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Cointelegraph is following the event of a wholly new blockchain from inception to mainnet and past via its collection, Contained in the Blockchain Developer’s Thoughts, written by Andrew Levine of Koinos Group.

We just lately launched the third and remaining model of the Koinos testnet, which is why I need to speak about one thing few initiatives like to speak about: Constructing blockchains is growth hell. On this article, I’ll clarify why and the way different builders can keep away from getting caught in it.

At first blush, constructing a blockchain doesn’t sound so exhausting. A blockchain is only a mixture of well-established cryptographic primitives, which, when correctly carried out, permit for the development of a ledger containing a verifiable historical past of transactions by a community. The extra decentralized the community, the extra reliable the historical past.

Blockchain “frameworks”

In an effort to make constructing new blockchains simpler, different groups have launched blockchain “frameworks” that, in concept, ought to get rid of the necessity for builders to fret about constructing the blockchain itself in order that they’ll deal with no matter distinctive options they need to construct into the blockchain. Cosmos, EOSIO and Polkadot’s Substrate are examples of such blockchain frameworks.

When our crew stopped engaged on Steem (the world’s first fee-less blockchain), our authentic intention was to leverage an current blockchain framework to construct a blockchain designed to be as accessible as attainable. We had spent 4 years refining Steem’s fee-less design and figured that, by porting that resolution into an current blockchain framework, we might ship a blockchain that was much more accessible than some other blockchain in comparatively little time.

Associated: Contained in the blockchain developer’s thoughts: Proof-of-burn blockchain consensus

Actually fee-less and general-purpose

However we have been stunned to search out that not one of the current frameworks allowed us to create the form of actually feeless consumer expertise we have been trying to carry to the market. We didn’t simply need to take away charges on a technical degree, we wished to empower builders to construct purposes that have been free to make use of. Additionally they lacked plenty of different options we believed have been required to ship an appropriate developer expertise.

The facility of a general-purpose blockchain stems not from the options the blockchain engineers construct into the blockchain however from the options that builders add to that blockchain as sensible contracts. That is doubly true for a blockchain framework that ought to actually be essentially the most general-purpose blockchain possible because the entire concept is to permit folks to construct any form of blockchain they’ll think about. And but, the prevailing frameworks didn’t empower us, one of the vital skilled blockchain growth groups, in our makes an attempt to construct the blockchain we wished to construct in a number of methods.

The prevailing frameworks not solely made it unattainable for builders to create free-to-use purposes, however in addition they pressured builders to be taught new and infrequently troublesome programming languages and dramatically restricted the speed at which each purposes and the blockchain itself might enhance.

Associated: Contained in the blockchain builders’ thoughts: Constructing a free-to-use social DApp

Releasing builders

We wished to construct a blockchain that will free builders to construct insanely nice purposes that peculiar folks would love to make use of. That allowed the builders to work within the programming languages they already knew and beloved (what we name “common language assist”); that allowed their purposes (and the blockchain itself) to quickly evolve; and, most significantly, it allowed them to construct purposes that have been free to make use of.

However as a way to construct that blockchain we first wanted a really general-purpose blockchain framework that will not solely permit us to construct the blockchain of our desires however as a pure consequence of being essentially the most general-purpose framework possible, ought to permit anybody to construct the blockchain of their desires.

Koinos is that final general-purpose blockchain framework that can function the muse for the final word feeless layer 1: Koinos mainnet. The Koinos Blockchain Framework (KBF) is designed to be the only blockchain possible, containing solely these cryptographic primitives essential to assemble a blockchain and the fitting “system calls” to permit for the widest vary of behaviors to be added in-band (with no exhausting fork) via the importing of a wise contract.

Infinite upgradeability

The good thing about this design is infinite upgradeability, however the associated fee is that it makes getting the system calls proper all of the extra necessary. Lacking a system name or designing it incorrectly would imply having to take care of an in any other case avoidable exhausting fork. As a result of exhausting forks are so time-consuming, political and disruptive, they’re the one greatest issue limiting a blockchain’s capacity to enhance itself, which is in the end felt by each single developer whose utility is constructed on such a platform.

Now we will see how each utility and blockchain builders can get trapped in growth hell: working in programming languages they aren’t comfy with, on platforms that drive them to include charges and that enhance at a snail’s tempo. Underneath these circumstances, even minor modifications have extremely excessive stakes, and we haven’t even factored in these situations the place there are thousands and thousands, typically billions, of {dollars} in danger.

That’s growth hell. Because the core growth crew behind the Steem blockchain that needed to oversee 23 exhausting forks, we all know this terrain higher than nearly anybody else, which is why we have been so dedicated to banishing it, nicely … to hell.

Constructing the Koinos Blockchain Framework from scratch with a wholly novel microservice structure and getting it to the purpose the place we might launch variations 1 and a couple of of the testnet have been extremely difficult. However integrating the suggestions we obtained from these testnets, fixing the bugs they uncovered, and finalizing the all-important system calls have been an entire different degree. However we went via that growth hell with the hopes of creating it in order that others gained’t ever need to.


Testnet v3 is, subsequently, greater than “simply one other” model of the testnet. It’s the remaining model of the Koinos Blockchain Framework, which is why we’ll now confer with the testnet, not by a model quantity, however by the identify: Harbinger. It’s the fruits of almost two years of working, figuring out and implementing all the required system calls wanted to provide blockchain builders the final word degree of freedom and permit their utility builders to profit from a platform that’s enhancing at a extra speedy fee than some other blockchain on the market.

After all, everytime you’re making an attempt to unravel a extremely necessary drawback, some degree of growth hell is inevitable. You simply need to just remember to don’t undertake applied sciences that increase the stakes unnecessarily and that the purpose you’re striving for is value the associated fee.

For us, that purpose just isn’t solely sparing blockchain builders (together with ourselves) from numerous hours spent in developer hell but in addition leveraging this new expertise to construct Koinos mainnet: the final word feeless layer 1 for empowering builders to construct insanely nice blockchain-based purposes.

No extra growth hell

The KBF goals to get rid of growth hell by permitting builders to construct any blockchain they’ll think about just by writing sensible contracts, which is infinitely simpler than working within the blockchain code itself. And that’s precisely the place we discover ourselves in now. Whereas growing the blockchain framework was extremely difficult, now that it’s over, all that’s wanted to finish Koinos mainnet is simply two sensible contracts: one for our proof-of-burn consensus algorithm and the opposite for governance.

Not solely is writing sensible contracts far less complicated than blockchain growth, however this additionally implies that blockchain builders now get to reap the benefits of the ever-expanding instruments which can be out there to sensible contract builders just like the AssemblyScript SDK one in all our neighborhood members constructed. AssemblyScript doesn’t simply produce much more environment friendly sensible contracts than these written in C++ (that was a shock), it makes sensible contract growth accessible to JavaScript builders.

For the reason that KBF turns any sensible contract developer into a possible blockchain developer, which means growing customized blockchains will now be accessible to JavaScript builders with much more languages to come back, resembling Rust.

If you happen to’re interested by operating Harbinger, we’ve made it insanely simple to run a node so that you could be up and operating in underneath 5 minutes.

This text doesn’t include funding recommendation or suggestions. Each funding and buying and selling transfer entails danger, and readers ought to conduct their very own analysis when making a call.

The views, ideas and opinions expressed listed below are the creator’s alone and don’t essentially mirror or signify the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levine is the CEO of Koinos Group, a crew of trade veterans accelerating decentralization via accessible blockchain expertise. Their foundational product is Koinos, a feeless and infinitely upgradeable blockchain with common language assist.