The Shannon Era Begins

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POKT Network
May 10, 2024
The Shannon Era Begins

The protocol team and Grove and PNF are excited to start releasing official Shannon materials. 

Shannon is the next generation of the POKT protocol, taking its utility to new heights with a modular design. Over the coming weeks PNF and the protocol team will be releasing developer tools, research works, bounty programs, and community initiatives that correlate with Shannon Testnet Phases.

What does Shannon achieve?

Shannon accelerates key changes that are already taking place at POKT Network. 

  • Shannon takes our Gateway strategy for decentralized demand-side access and makes the creation of Gateways fully permissionless, enabling rapid volume growth by fully becoming an open and universal RPC infra layer. 
  • Shannon takes the Data Source expansion that we started in Morse and introduces tokenomics that enables monetisation for the Data Sources themselves. This accelerates our expansion into new use cases and provides a new sustainable incentive model for open Data Sources of all kinds. 
  • Shannon removes the remaining limitations on the protocol’s scalability and brings interoperability with key ecosystems in Web3, opening us up fully to the rest of our world.

TL;DR Shannon lifts POKT Network from a leading DePIN with full supply-side decentralization and an empowered community to the first true sharing economy for any open data source. 

Becoming the API to the Open Internet.

And today marks the first steps towards Mainnet release, starting with the first Alpha Testnet.

Public Testnet

The public Testnet is structured in phases, each providing specific areas of focus and unique milestones. The main goal of every phase is to break, learn, iterate and rebuild stronger with community involvement. 

New bounty programs and a rewards system will be announced shortly. We encourage your participation in identifying areas of improvement. POKT has a proud history of community contributors who made substantial protocol improvements, and we will draw on this throughout the Testnet Phases.

Public Testnet Launch

A re-genesis will occur in the coming weeks to launch the official Public TestNet. However early adopters who aren’t afraid of bugs can start getting familiar with deploying and running using this docker-compose guide today! Bounties and incentives for improving tooling for Public Testnet will be announced soon.

These will be the priorities for Alpha Testnet 1:

1. Limits of permissionless demand. 

One of the core reasons we are moving from `Morse` to `Shannon` is to enable scalability issues related to permissionless demand. The team is working on tooling so we can load-test it and start finding potential bottlenecks. We are excited to share what we believe is one of the best E2E load-testing frameworks we've seen across the entire industry.

2. Governance Parameters

In order to migrate existing functionality and add new functionality, we need to add support for Governance parameters that are compliant with the new Cosmos SDK. We are hard at work on getting this done ASAP.

3. Explorers & Faucets 

In order for anyone to interact or explore the new network, we need visibility tooling. Luckily, using the Cosmos SDK opens up access to existing tools and our community is actively working on bringing those in!

4. Images & Binaries 

No one wants to build from source every time. We'll integrate with the Cosmos Operator to provide binaries and images for every POKT Shannon actor so that it's seamless for existing operators to test the new network as well as onboarding new ones.

We will share an extensive document of the success criteria we are using to cross this milestone.

Jump into Shannon Today

To allow developers, hobbyists, and tinkerers to truly participate in Shannon on a protocol level, the team has built a complete LocalNet environment, able to be deployed in 2 commands. This LocalNet is complete with validators, gateways, suppliers, monitoring, and other tools, and is able to automatically reload on new changes in the code or configurations.

This is the first protocol deployment tooling to be this simple in the Web3 space, and we are excited to release it now to the community with this Quickstart Guide and a Complete Walkthrough video. 

As always, you can follow our Github Roadmap and very soon (not yet) apply for tasks with the community label here

POKT Network is an open source project and you can find our active repo for Shannon here.

Update On Mainnet Timings

Every design decision is focused on allowing POKT Network to optimize core utility, abstracting away anything that doesn’t directly benefit its DePIN business, while enabling Shannon to be modular by nature and to natively integrate and interoperate with other ecosystems in Web3.

We hoped to be able to abstract away the validation layer entirely and deploy fully as a rollup on Celestia’s emerging tech, but we built pragmatically in a way that gave us a fallback to a new Cosmos SDK that was a strong alternative (full analysis here released in September 2023). 

Celestia’s ecosystem is developing rapidly but, in this instance, not rapidly enough for us to launch as a full rollup. POKT Network will therefore launch with the Cosmos SDK backed by CometBFT's PoS consensus, which will enable it to use Rollchains and settle its blocks on other data availability layers such as Celestia for added security. These changes set back our Mainnet timings but will allow interoperability with both IBC and Celestia ecosystems. The Rollchains module will be added in later testnet phases.

Here is the updated timeline, with Mainnet launch now targeted for later this year.

A Note From PNF

Shannon is not only the next era of the POKT Protocol, but also the next stage of growth for the POKT Network community. This evolution in technology is also an evolution in our community, enabling more developers to engage directly with the protocol itself and contribute in meaningful ways. We are excited for what is next. Please be on the lookout for new materials and initiatives being released over the coming weeks.

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