Swarm of Duty II — Scaling Storage Capacity
In May to July, we ran “Swarm of Duty”, Bluzelle’s first incentivized testnet program for developers, token holders and validators. The goal was for various stakeholders in the Bluzelle ecosystem to familiarize themselves with the token economics and learn about staking on the network through gamification. It was an outstanding success with more than 200 validators competing for highest uptime. With the help of our community validators, we were able to upgrade our testnet with 4 iterations, and identified a critical bug from Tendermint. In total 1.4 million BLZ was distributed to the participants.
As we approach production mainnet, we are launching Swarm of Duty II, a whole new episode to drive utility and storage capacity of the Bluzelle network. The more capacity we have the more customers we can support and the more BLZ fees earned by validators.
To accomplish this goal we have established a three tiered validator program that matches our army theme of Swarm of Duty and BLZ Soldiers. Each group has a different role and set of responsibilities. It’s designed so we can have everyone participate from the token holder who wants to be more involved to those experienced technologists who can build for us. We will provide support and education so people can actually move up the ranks by proving themselves.
Infantry (Tier 1) ⭐️
This tier is for anyone to easily spin up a node with their own device or from the cloud. Tier 1 Validators do very little work for the network and only provide storage. Tier 1 validators are there to easily expand the network size of Bluzelle.
Armory (Tier 2️️️️) ⭐⭐️
Professional Validators who run operations, allow for many to delegate, and they earn fees and commissions. This group is usually for validators run by institutions or groups who have strong infrastructure setup and vast experience in running blockchain nodes.
Special Forces (Tier 3) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This tier will be kickstarting the network and maintaining it going forward. It is for elites who are looking to support the Bluzelle network in the long-term and are eager to make extra contributions to the Bluzelle ecosystem through their technical expertise. Not only are they professional in operating nodes, but they are also able to build out tools and techs that can benefit others and help our ecosystem scale quickly. For instance, they can build monitoring tools for validators to track their downtime and trigger security alerts automatically. Or they can build up deployment wizards that support “one-click” setup of validators for different cloud providers. As creative as they can, they will earn more from Bluzelle for additional work on top of their validator rewards.
To give you some inspiration, we have created this “Call to Arms” contest for Special Forces. Check out the below section for the different categories that you can potentially contribute in!
Testnet Hard Fork Contest
The Hard Fork Contest is your entry point to earn an “Infantry” or “Armory” badge and title.
Since the end of Swarm of Duty 1 and the launch of Soft Mainnet, the Bluzelle team has implemented many more new features to improve the usability, user experience and security of the Bluzelle network, including new jailing criteria, gas algorithm, tax modules and so on. These need to be implemented to our production mainnet, which is going to be a hard fork from the current soft mainnet. Therefore, it requires best practices of our validators on the network to support this hard fork to make sure all the old data is not corrupted.
This contest is served as a “dress rehearsal” for the hard fork, while making sure the new network is thoroughly tested and run as expected. It will be conducted on a new testnet that we are launching in parallel with the soft mainnet.
We are providing token incentives for current soft mainnet validators and other public members who would like to help stress test our new network. 500 BLZ — 5000 BLZ will be given out for each task delegated by the team. Existing soft mainnet validators will receive 30% bonus on top of the reward for completed task.
Category A. Hard Fork Rehearsal (1,500 BLZ)
In this task, you are required to go through our instruction to set up a node of your own on the new testnet and maintain a minimum 98% of uptime during a 2-week timeframe. The Bluzelle team will launch a new public testnet in coming days and require participants to join the new testnet within a certain deadline. Please stay tune for our brief and be prepared in advance in our Discord channel.
Category B. White Hat Attack (up to 5,000 BLZ)
Validators will be encouraged to conduct attacks in any aspects against the network and provide all-rounded stress test to the network. Examples can be spamming of network with many malicious transactions, attempts to invalidate transactions by tampering blockchain history, or abusing the economic system to steal tokens or avoid fees. Any reported attack that successfully causes issue on the network (or even halt the blockchain) will be rewarded up to 5,000 BLZ.
Category C. Bug hunting (Various)
Whenever you discover a bug or initiate a successful attack, it is important to document it and report to our team. Amount of rewards will be evaluated based on the severity of the bug and subjected to the Bluzelle team’s judgement.
Special Forces Call to Arms
The “Call to Arms” program is an inspiration for validators who would like to take an extra mile to earn the “Special Force” title and more rewards. Below we are providing this “enhancement list” that you can contribute to help us to strengthen the foundation of our blockchain and ecosystem. If you are interested in any of the below task, you can claim your duty by joining our Discord channel. Our team will provide you with enough resources and guidance to get started.
Oracle Data Feeds ($200 — $2,000/month)
Provide consolidated data feeds for our oracle product. Specifically, act as a source of data for our oracle’s feeders by consolidating data from various sources — it is up to you as the consolidator to choose reliable sources. The oracles need access to reliable data using friendly API’s. It is a huge benefit if important data feeds (sports, financial markets, weather, etc) can be consolidated into a consumable service that Bluzelle oracle feeders can use as one of their sources. Feeds can ultimately have an ongoing revenue stream, contingent on quality of service. Note that a data feed is not the same as an oracle feeder. Feeders (listed below) consumer a data feed, and are the middlemen, taking data from a data feed, and feeding it into the oracalized blockchain.
Oracle Feeders (Protocol-based reward)
Run a feeder, consuming data from data feeds and feeding these data points into the oracalized blockchain. A feeder will run under the authority of a validator, making calls to the Bluzelle Oracle module to “feed” in data points the feeder has received from its data feeds. Each such data point fed in can be considered a vote on the behalf of the feeder and the weight of the vote is directly proportional to the validator’s total delegated stake in the blockchain. Data points that are fed in and accepted by the oracle result in rewards for the validator and its delegates, while data points that are rejected (statistical outliers, for example) can result in the validator and its delegates being slashed. Running a feeder is optional but serves as a low-effort means for a validator to generate additional revenue for itself and is an effective “bonus” to attract delegators. Feeders are critical to the Bluzelle Oracle service.
Block Explorers ($5,000 — $20,000)
We have been using Big Dipper, but would like to open up the opportunity for other block explorers. There are many areas of improvement including the ability to see DB-specific data or oracalized data, on our chain, in a more elegant way. Having variety is also great for the customer. It is expected that if you participate in this, you provide Bluzelle with the source code and ability to deploy your block explorer. The IP would be open source to the Bluzelle community, free for anyone to deploy for the public chains or for their own private chains.
Monitoring tools ($500-$7,500)
This is critical so that the burden of running a validator is GREATLY reduced. Running a validator is hard work. We want this to be made super easy and streamlined. Not only should it be easy for someone to setup a validator (a separate challenge below), but for validators that are running, we seek services that validator groups could subscribe to or instantiate (like running on their own infrastructure), to keep automatic tabs on their validators. These could be paid web services that one logs into, provides information on your validator endpoints, and then allows the monitoring service to monitor your endpoints for downtime. Or it could be simple technologies a validator could deploy that monitor their own validator instances. Downtime can result in jailtime, and being jailed means being slashed, which is a costly penalty for any validator.
Deployment wizards ($5,000 — $15,000)
Make it super easy for us to “close the deal” with hot validator prospects, or to simply maximize the conversion rate from would-be validator to actual validator. Make it very simple to sign up to whatever cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP, etc), pay, and get a validator, buy BLZ, and self-stake your BLZ to your own new validator. This is all a lengthy and complex process. Let’s make it one click. Allow the user to select how many validators, how many sentries, what types of sentries, the types of pruning, peering, etc. The user should not have to do much with code or command lines — all wizards and control panels. Bonus for support for “blockchain load balancing”. Using this new terminology loosely, we seek automated ways a validator could spin up (or down) new validators and sentries based on dynamic changes in the operating environment. So for example, if a blockchain needs more voting power to maintain decentralization (maybe some validators were lost), a validator group can seize this opportunity and spin up more nodes. If a new zone appears (once IBC is supported), a validator group could easily add new nodes to that new zone.
Delegation wizards ($3,000 — $10,000)
Wizards and front-ends that allow delegators to delegate with validators. Special forces validators possibly already have great tools to do that with their own validators. We can see that when we goto websites like https://www.cosmostation.io/. We want delegation tools so that any validator in our ecosystem has at their disposal, simple ways to onboard delegators. These tools could be landing pages and portal apps that allow laymen to quickly delegate. They could be tools that a validator can deploy to make it easy for them to get delegators. Bonus if people without even having BLZ can very easily (in one swoop) go from having USDT or ETH or BTC to converting to BLZ and staking… all in one step. Possibly even just start with USD, although fiat is contentious.
Kubernetes Ops ($4,000 — $8,000)
Bring up a test Bluzelle chain using Docker and Kubernetes. Demo being able to have a Master Node and Worker Nodes (essentially the validators) in Kubernetes and using the autoscale feature to add new worker nodes (validators) to the cluster. This could possibly be a whole new testnet deployed by special forces, or be a setup where special forces demonstrate their own ability to spin up and run their own validators and sentries on our networks (testnet and/or mainnet) with Kubernetes. Key is to have a sort of “one click to add validator or sentry” mechanism. Make scaling super simple.
Smart Contracts ($3,000–$7,000)
Bring up a test Bluzelle chain that supports smart contracts via CosmWasm and/or Ethermint and demo being able to deploy a token smart contract or some other useful smart contract, on the chain. Bonus points if the Bluzelle DB is used. The idea here is a module that can be dropped into a Bluzelle zone and now, that zone supports smart contracts. This could be Ethermint (even off the shelf) or CosmWasm, or something else not mentioned here. Special forces could demo this on their private network, or as part of one of Bluzelle’s own networks.
Implement an IBC version of the Bluzelle Network. IBC stands for Inter-Blockchain Communication, and allows blockchains to inter-operate. Bluzelle has launched with just one zone (blockchain). We need to be able to horizontally scale by adding zones at will. These zones talk to each other via IBC. We also want to be able to add special zones like perhaps an Ethermint Zone and other speciality zones. We also need to be able to connect with other Cosmos chains. We’d like to see Bluzelle testnets being run with multiple zones and possibly also talking to Ethermint zones. Bonus for the Bluzelle client libraries to be able to work with multiple zones.
Open Category (case by case basis)
This is a general category that we have left open for special forces to get creative in areas that do not fit into the categories we have already mentioned. The community can share their ideas on tools and technologies, and get quick feedback from the Bluzelle team on the viability of their ideas. We have this category specifically because we do expect some excellent products and services that won’t fit into the aforementioned categories.