Incognito's Q3 2022: Technical Roadmap

Hello Incognito community,

One of the upsides of the bear market is that it’s a good time for builders to focus on fundamentals (aka building infrastructures and products) so let’s sit down together to retrospect things the team has built in the last quarter and then discuss things we will be building in this quarter (Aug - Oct).

Summary of Q2

In the last quarter, the following initiatives have been done:

  1. Instant finality
  2. Unified Privacy Tokens
  3. State Pruning
  4. Bulletproofs code improvements for faster transaction verification
  5. Incognito wallet extension (alpha version)
  6. Incognito web app (alpha version)
  7. Network Explorer V2

In addition to those, the team tried piloting to build new bridges to two non-EVM blockchains (Solana and Near). It turned out that building bridges to the non-EVM blockchains was viable regardless of the discrepancy of their programming models to EVM-based counterparts.

You could check out the demos of the non-EVM bridges at:

  1. Solana bridge (for Riptide hackathon)
  2. Near bridge (granted by Cypherpunk guild)

In fact, the bridges’ code was ready for audit (by 3rd security firms) but we’ve decided to delay the audits until after the pEthereum improvements so that we can make the workflow of both EVM and non-EVM bridges consistent as well as achieve faster/more reliable processes and cheaper fees.

Things the team will be focusing on in Q3

In this quarter, we are shifting our focus on Universal Swap - a product that is leveraged by all key capabilities supported by Incognito: privacy, multichain, and interoperability (by allowing cross-chain sending tokens and arbitrary messages).

Speed

There is a foreseeable barrier that might prevent the Universal Swap to be a usable product - the speed, especially in the cross-chain workflow. Therefore, we will be addressing the speed problem first by:

Initiative Goal Ship date
Instant finality V2 Reduce unshield & papp swap processing time in Incognito chain from (1 timeslot + 1 oldconfig offset = 48s) to (1 newconfig offset = 10s) August
pEthereum improvements Make interoperability faster, more reliable, and cheaper August
Blocktime reduction to 20s Reduce tx latency that will speed up all Incognito features by up to 50% compared to the current latency September
Blocktime reduction to 10s (or 15s depending on the network’s situation) Keep speeding Incognito features up by up to 75% compared to the current latency October

We expect that once the improvements are released, the refund rate will be significantly reduced as swaps won’t take much time to be executed with the outchains’ DEXs.

More bridges and DEX integrations

More bridges may bring more users and assets from the bridging networks. More DEX integrations may bring more liquidity and cross-chain options for the swap.

Initiative Goal Ship date
Aurora bridge Bring more users and assets from the bridging networks to Incognito August
Avalanche bridge " August
Near bridge " September
Solana bridge " September
SpookySwap integration (Fantom) Bring more liquidity and cross-chain options for the swap September
Uniswap integration (Ethereum) " September
Trader Joe integration (Avalanche) " October
Trisolaris integration (Aurora) " October
Raydium integration (Solana) " October
Swap aggregator Find the best rate for swaps that also take fees into account October

Web and mobile apps

The next step is bringing everything we build in the previous sections to end-users via a simple UI/UX on the web and mobile.

Initiative Goal Ship date
Swap function on the web app (with new pEthereum workflow) Support the cross-chain swap function on the web August
Swap function on the mobile app (with new pEthereum workflow) Make UX on the mobile app consistent with the web app September

Decentralization

Lastly, we always need to keep improving the decentralization of the network.

Initiative Goal Ship date
Increase committee size to 64 Reduce fixed node dominance to 34% October
A design for decentralizing Beacon chain Design a protocol and its plan for decentralizing Beacon chain October

While we’ve planned to increase the shard committee size to 64 in the last quarter, we changed the plan and prioritized Instant Finality V2 and Blocktime Reduction since both initiatives depend on validators’ operation and block rewards that would conflict with a big change like committee size increase.

Closing thoughts

In the last couple of weeks, the team has regrouped to discuss the goals of the quarter along with initiatives to obtain the goals. Specifically, we came up with two main ones: 1) grow cross-chain swap volume by better usability. 2) grow the number of network validators. But we just presented the technical roadmap here, the growth plan and actions will be updated in the weekly newsletter because they usually depend on product development’s outputs that are subject to change for whatever reason.

As always, the goals will be more challenging without your help, please share your thoughts or concern if any in the comments below.

Thank you!

13 Likes

Apart from the well-defined initiatives aforementioned above, we also put the following R&D initiatives in a backlog:

  • NFT stuff
  • pNode 2.0
  • Liquidity pools for cross-chain vaults
  • Hardware wallet (we attempted this before but postponed due to limited resources and infrastructure changes)

We call them R&D because they would require time, research effort as well as rely on the reaction of user/market to the established products so that we can define what next we should allocate resources to.

5 Likes

Extremely disappointed to see hardware wallet put on the “backlog” where it has been for several years now while the dev team continues to build bridge after bridge that I have no use for.

My 0.02$: Drop the NFT stuff. The space is overcrowded, to say the least, and hasn’t proven its worth.

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Gave an answer regarding the hardware wallet support on another topic, please check it out.

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Honestly the pnode would bring attention and volume to incognito.
Helium exploded for the simple fact you could “plug and play”.
Owning a physical device that produces a passive income is far easier for somebody outside of crypto to understand and get behind.
It also provides a deeper incentive to maintain an investment if you invested in a physical device.
Just my thoughts

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing your thoughts @AvidZero
Forward your information, the Physical Node V2 was being quietly built behind the curtain. Everything we can disclose for now is that its hardware will be 2x “stronger” than the old one (we already tested and benchmarked with our testnet) and a 3D design will be ready for internal review & feedback in a couple of weeks.

5 Likes

Well I am definitely looking forward to it