CasperLabs Weekly Update, 29th September 2020: Scaling Blockchain and why Smart Contract Testing is Critical

4 min readOct 3, 2020
Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash

Update Summary

Over the past week at CasperLabs, the team entered into the fourth weekly sprint of the 0.20.10 release cycle (Sprint 6.4). At the end of this cycle, we’ll be feature complete to launch the Delta testnet. We’re evaluating and designing a simplified set of contracts with a pluggable incentive that accepts and rewards providing data for gas fee stabilization.

Our CTO, Medha Parlikar shares her presentation on “Scaling Blockchain and why Smart Contract Testing is Critical” at the Wyoming hackathon.

Engineering status

  • The team has entered into the fourth weekly sprint of 0.20.10 release cycle (Sprint 6.4). At the end of this cycle, we’ll be feature complete to launch the Delta testnet.
  • This release is going to incorporate the block reward (seigniorage), slashing, and events stream for subscribers to the node feeds.
  • As a part of this release cycle, we’ll be developing the token standards for Casper.
  • We’re designing payments 2.0 to bring additional functionality to the platform.
  • At the end of this sprint, a release candidate will be cut and deployed on the test infrastructure for testing for a week. The version, after fixing any bugs identified during the testing, will be deployed for Delta Testnet.
  • Our release candidate for the Delta testnet would be unveiled at the end of the current sprint and deployed for testing on our test infrastructure before it would be released.
  • Beta Testnet was restarted on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 at 19:00hrs UTC with 52 validators. 38 validators are in sync, 1 has not cleaned the state before restart and others have their port closed. The network is healthy and finalizing blocks.
  • The current Beta testnet will be deprecated in favor of the Delta testnet which will include a new block explorer.
  • The Rust network (code name Charlie) with 5 validators was relaunched on Friday, 23 September 2020. The network is stable and is processing deploys.
  • Deploy count: 31400, Height 2923, Era 229.
  • During preliminary tests, we’re able to process 500 TTPS inside the Rust node.

Current Focus

  • On Highway, we’re working on validator set rotation, implementation of Slashing, implementation of Bonding & Unbonding.
  • We plan on having 50 validator slots for the Delta testnet.

Node — Rust

  • On the Rust node, we’re implementing the Event stream,
  • Implement infrastructure for improved testing of Rust Node.
  • Enhancements to the Rust Client.
  • Enhancements to Deploy Buffer.
  • api-server: work on /status and /metrics endpoints.

Test and SRE

  • Support Rust network with 5 validators.
  • Support Beta Testnet launch.
  • Automation of the release process.
  • LRT3 Testing of Rust node.
  • Extending network control test library functionality. This enables us to rapidly deploy a local instance of the node.


  • Design and Specification for Casper Token Standard.
  • Porting Clarity to the Rust network and other improvements to its UI/UX.
  • Integration of key management between Signer and CLarity.
  • Specifications for Event Capturing Service.

Economics Research

  • Prototype for ChainLink-CL adaptor. We recently realized that the way the chainlink ecosystem works impose some severe risks on us. The nature of the risk is that chainlink tokens are highly volatile and it is unclear who makes the payment for the data. This poses an additional technical challenge on cross-chaining the integration as we’ll have to make payments on ethereum. We’re evaluating designing a simplified set of contracts that accepts and rewards providing information with a pluggable incentive scheme.

Contract Runtime

  • Updating PoS Contract to work with Auction Contract.
  • Implementing functionality to pass Consensus instructions to Auction Contract.
  • Adding Contract Runtime endpoint to return winning validators for the era.


Team & Company Update

  • George will join the Ecosystem team full time starting 01 October.
  • Mark Lemoine joins the SRE team
  • Matthew Wampler will join the Rust team starting Monday. Mathew was responsible for designing and writing the ethereum mining algorithm.
  • We are looking for talented SRE’s, Developer advocates, and Technical writers to join our team.
  • Applications can be sent via Workable. Alternatively, via email.
  • We have adopted a Casper Enhancement Proposal (CEP) process to vet and accept important features and changes. Details of the process can be found here
  • Our weekly Governance/Community call holds every Tuesday
  • Time: 9:00 AM PST (16:00 UTC, Sydney +11, Beijing +8, Greece +3, Amsterdam +2, Onitsha +1, New York -4, Seattle -7)
  • Location:
  • Our weekly workshops/dApp Session holds twice a week on:
  • Thursdays 07:00 am Pacific time and
  • Fridays midnight Pacific (4 pm Japanese Time).
  • The zoom meeting id is

Want to get started?

At release, links to installation packages and relevant documentation are available on GitHub.

Packages available on GitHub

DApp Developer Guide

Where can bugs be filed?

Report a bug on GitHub

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