We are excited to introduce the Blockspace Race, Celestia’s incentivized testnet program! The Blockspace Race is the largest ever testnet to support data availability sampling, with 700+ sampling light nodes.
Throughout 2022, we shipped multiple testnets including Mamaki, the first to support data availability sampling. While these testnets proved helpful in testing network functionality, the Blockspace Race will help us stress test a more complete version of the protocol.
Starting March 7, participants in the Blockspace Race will compete to score points for finishing tasks. The participants with the highest scores at the end of the race will be crowned the victors, so bring your A-game!
As for the theme, the space race was a technological feat that united the world towards a shared goal. In the same way, the Blockspace Race is about progress towards the shared goal of providing abundant blockspace. And there we have it, the Blockspace Race.
- 1,000 participants were selected to participate in the Blockspace Race, made up of validators, bridge nodes, full storage nodes, and light nodes.
- The Blockspace Race has five phases spanning nine weeks of competition. Each phase will require participants to complete their respective tasks to collect points during the race.
- The testnet boasts some new features, including IBC transfers, more efficient syncing, and an improved API for interacting with Celestia DA nodes.The phases and tasks for the Blockspace Race can be found in the documentation. Details for each phase will go live once that phase begins.
Participating in the Blockspace Race
Over 20,000 people applied to participate in the Blockspace Race, with only about 1,000 available slots. The validator role had available 100 slots, while the other slots were made up of the remaining node roles. Cutting the number from 20,000 to roughly 1,000 was no easy task thanks to the high quality of respondents and community contributors. We thank everyone in the community who expressed interest to participate in the Blockspace Race, and we welcome those who were selected.
As a reminder, Celestia is made up of two networks (consensus and data availability), each with different node types. The node types that are associated with roles in the Blockspace Race include validators, bridge nodes, full storage nodes, and light nodes.
Participants will each receive tasks related to their role for each phase of the Blockspace Race (view the docs for tasks relevant to your role). Participants will get scored based on the completion of tasks and how well they perform. We hope to see participants collect as many points as possible while helping us test Celestia – so don’t forget to have some fun!
The Blockspace Race will feature five phases for a total of nine weeks. Phase 1, which will begin on March 7, starts with validators bringing the network to life.
Throughout each phase, participants will find tasks related to their role in the docs which will become public once each phase begins. The end of phase five marks the completion of the Blockspace Race. Scores will get tallied, ranking participants based on how well they did throughout the Blockspace Race.
Technical features of the ITN
The testnet brings new upgrades and features. Here’s a short summary:
- IBC addition enabling testnet token transfers to other IBC-enabled testnets.
- New inclusion proof API to efficiently prove that data was published on Celestia.
- Block encoding refactor allowing easier parsing of Celestia-specific transactions.
- Re-architecture of blocksync significantly reducing time to sync the chain.
- Improved API for interacting with Celestia data availability nodes.
The Blockspace Race will be pivotal in helping the community stress test these new upgrades and the network as a whole. The result will be invaluable feedback about how the community can continue to improve Celestia.
We will host a Twitter space for the community to learn more about the Blockspace Race and to ask any questions they may have during the week of March 7, 2023.
During the Blockspace Race, we will provide updates and support as competition progresses (join the Discord and follow us on Twitter to stay updated). Participants can find information relating to their tasks in the documentation and their knack portal.
We look forward to seeing how well all the participants will do. May the best win!