We are excited to announce that we have successfully launched Celestia devnet!
On a cold November day in Berlin, our engineers were huddled in a conference room clad in Celestia hoodies. Suddenly, they erupted into cheers of elation.
On their computer terminal windows were the following messages:
A group of 7 Celestia validator nodes were making blocks, 4 full nodes were following along, and light nodes were successfully syncing block headers and doing data availability sampling!
It was the culmination of a 3 month engineering sprint since the last team offsite in Kyiv. The first version of Celestia's node software had been implemented and was working on a live network.
In fact, the network is still live! Check out the block explorer while it lasts.
Let's unpack what we built.
The celestia-node repo takes care of the consensus and networking for the blockchain. It's how Celestia full and light nodes make new blocks, sync new blocks and block headers, and of course sample data from blocks.
The celestia-app repo is where the state machine for the chain lives, which handles staking and transaction processing.
Optimint is the software that allows a Cosmos zone to deploy directly on Celestia, as a rollup. It spins up its own p2p network, collects transactions into blocks and posts them onto Celestia for consensus and data availability.
Devnet gave us an opportunity to test all these features across all these repos together. They were not just working in isolation in a test environment, they were integrated with one another and deployed on a live network.
Launching devnet is a major milestone in the development of the Celestia network. It puts us on track to launch a public testnet in 2022.
Yes you heard that right! If you're interested to participate in testnet as a validator or developer, please indicate your interests on our waitlist form and we'll get in touch when we’re ready for you.
Before we launch testnet, we have a few more features to build. Below are some of the highlights.
For celestia-node, we will implement bad encoding fraud proofs, polish our light node and make our networking services more robust. In celestia-app we will evaluate an upgrade to ABCI++ and finish implementing transaction fees. For optimint there’s still work to be done on improving data availability layer integration, syncing blocks, indexing transactions and general tooling.
If you want to see the full list of features and issues for testnet and our other milestones, this project board gives a comprehensive overview.
In parallel to core protocol development, we're exploring two exciting initial use cases. First, we want to help Ethereum based rollup projects scale by giving them a cheap yet secure off-chain data availability layer for their needs. Second, we're building a settlement layer for EVM rollups to deploy natively on Celestia.
We'll share more details about both of these in future blog posts so stay tuned!
Moving Towards Modular
Devnet and testnet are just stepping stones of the much larger journey of building the world's first modular blockchain network. Making it as easy to deploy your own blockchain as it is to deploy a smart contract will require years of work and can't be accomplished in isolation.
Aside from scalable data availability layers like Celestia, it will take the development of new execution layers, cross-rollup bridges, and developer tooling to realize the modular, multi-chain future that we all envision.
We're thankful that we are not on this path alone. We are building alongside some of the smartest teams in the space. Teams like StarkWare, Matter Labs, Offchain Labs, Fuel and Optimism are leading the development of scalable execution layers. Teams like Axelar, Connext and Composable are building bridges to connect these execution layers.
Onward and upward!
If you want to try your hand at launching a node and connecting it to the network have a look here for instructions. Disclaimer: this is only for the truly adventurous!
If you have issues getting it running which you very likely will, feel free to drop us a line in our Discord but we cannot guarantee you any support. This is not a testnet and our focus is still on shipping code.
Thanks for your understanding and we look forward to hearing your feedback!