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Announcing the ‘Big Bang’ Stargate Testnet




Josh Lee

Stargate, or Cosmos-SDK v0.40, introduces some of the most groundbreaking features the Cosmos ecosystem has seen so far. This massive task was taken on by 7 different entities around the globe with a common passion for the Internet of Blockchains. After months of collaboration, the release candidate for Stargate has finally been released.

However, releasing software is just half of the equation. The other half is testing it. With so many new features like state sync, cosmovisor, protobuf, IBC, and many more–it is crucial that these features are tested in the hands of those who will use it the most.

This is where you can help.

Why Big Bang?

The goal of Big Bang is to create a multichain test environment that tests, simulates, and benchmarks the post-Stargate Cosmos. As every stack of software required for Stargate upgrade has matured, the software used and procedures handled in Big Bang will mimic the real world. We aim to provide a vibrant testing ground for validators, developers, ecosystem projects, and others a useful experience and a final chance to be Stargate ready.

As the development of Stargate was decentralized across different entities, it felt apt that the testnet would be run by multiple entities. Big Bang will be operated by Regen Network, Vitwit, and Tendermint. And yes, we welcome contributions!

The stargate-x organized and operated by Iqlusion focuses on Gaia / Cosmos Hub, specifically for integration testing on legacy amino for service providers such as wallets, explorers, and exchanges. The bigbang-x testnets will prioritize testing features, security, and performance with an emphasis on the amazing capabilities unlocked by the protobuf encoding refactor.

A three-phase community-led testnet

The Big Bang testnet will be broken down into three stages, each having emphasis on different aspects of new features introduced by Stargate.

Phase 1

Schedule: 16-Oct-2020 1500UTC to 30-Oct-2020 1500UTC

The goal for Phase 1 of Big Bang is to bootstrap. A Cosmos-SDK v0.39 zone will be launched with the purpose of testing x/upgrade module and cosmovisor introduced in Stargate, which allows an automated upgrade of a Cosmos-SDK zone.

This phase will target validators who aim to familiarize themselves with the automated software upgrade process. Check here for more details on Phase 1.

Key timelines

  • GenTx submission: 16-Oct-2020 1500UTC to 19-Oct-2020 1500UTC
  • Genesis file release: 19-Oct-2020 1600UTC
  • Network genesis time: 20-Oct-2020 1600UTC
  • Software upgrade proposal (v0.39.1 to v0.40.0) - 26-Oct-2020 1500UTC
  • Voting Period — 48 hours (26–28rd-Oct-2020 1500UTC)

Phase 2

Schedule: 30-Oct-2020 1500UTC to 16-Nov-2020 1500UTC

Phase 2 of Big Bang will revolve around feature and performance testing. The aim is to identify potential bugs and security vulnerabilities that may exist in the software and to objectively measure the performance of the software through a series of test scripts.

Different from thestargate-3/4 testnet, which the goal is to ensure a smooth upgrade path for Cosmos Hub service providers, Big Bang will focus more on the wider Cosmos ecosystem and its projects. A light IBC testing between Big Bang, Agoric, Stargate-4, and Ethermint will take place.

Specific activities and timelines will be announced through the cosmos/testnets GitHub repository.

Phase 3

Schedule: 16-Nov-2020 1500UTC to 11-Dec-2020 1500UTC

For Big Bang Phase 3, we want to introduce a multi-token incentivized Stargate testnet. This testnet phase will involve multiple zones from the ecosystem such as Cosmos Hub, Regen Network, Akash, and Chainapsis who plan on operating Stargate testnet zones of the application-specific blockchains throughout.

We envision Phase 3 to be a community-funded Game of Zones like incentivized testnet where Cosmos developers, validators, and service providers can showcase the full potential of the post-Stargate Cosmos.

More details on the incentivization and how you can participate will be shared via the cosmos/testnets repository. If your project would like to participate in Big Bang phase 3 by running a zone or provide token incentivization for participants, please leave an issue on the GitHub repository.

Announcing the ‘Big Bang’ Stargate Testnet was originally published in Cosmos Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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