The state of open-source code

There’s quite a bit of discussion going on about whether Incognito is open-source. This post is to help bring clarity to the topic, similar to what we did with the state of decentralization.

When talking about source code, there are three compartments to the Incognito infrastructure:

1. The Incognito Network

Incognito is a permissionless blockchain protocol.

  1. The network code is open-sourced —>
  2. The highway (network topology) is open-sourced —>

2. Bridges (cross-blockchain communication)

Incognito makes use of various types of trusted and trustless bridges.

Trustless

  1. The bridge to Ethereum network is open-sourced —>
  2. Portals v2 and v3 are open-sourced —>
  3. Portal v4 is still under development but its code is open-sourced —>

Trusted

  1. Portal v1 is not open-sourced, but here is a good example of how it works —>

Instead of open-sourcing Portal v1, we will migrate all existing bridges to Portal v4 (May - July), which will be open-source. To know which bridges are currently connected to the Incognito network, read this article.

3. Layer-2 Applications

The Incognito Wallet

The light version of the wallet is open-sourced —>

The light version of the wallet includes all basic functions (send, receive, mint, burn), which can be performed on the Incognito blockchain network from anywhere in the world.

The Incognito DEX

The Incognito pDEX comprises 3 different layers, each in separate stages of becoming open-source:

  1. The user interface - where you trade and interact with the DEX, accessible via the app and apk. It’s open-source and can be accessed here.
  2. The backend service - a relaying layer sitting between the user interface and the DEX protocol on the blockchain. It’s currently closed-source.
  3. The DEX protocol - the trade engine deployed across the thousands of Incognito validators. It’s decentralized and open-source, available here and here.

Provide

  1. Provide is a temporary solution, and is closed-source for now.
  2. Liquidity v.2 will replace it soon, and will be decentralized and open-source.

Provide is a temporary solution to incentivizing enough liquidity to enable anonymous trades, and is a trusted tool that the core team manages. We built it in the early days of Incognito when the supply of PRV was limited and we needed to find a way to maintain liquidity without requiring you to purchase and provide PRV. While Provide is closed-source, we are going to replace it soon with a decentralized and open-source model, called Liquidity v2 (aka Add v2).

Add v2 will enable you to earn in exchange for adding liquidity directly to the Incognito pDEX, and all its functions will be decentralized. In other words, there will be no need for an intermediary layer to hold your funds in order to provide privacy.

The ETA for Liquidity v2 is May-June, directly after Privacy v2.

pNode & Node Tree

Both the physical Node and the Node Tree (cancelled) will be open-sourced (along with their designs) in April 2021.

Why are some things still closed-source?

From a developer’s perspective, it does not make sense to keep any parts of the project closed-source permanently. Currently closed-source components are temporary, mostly based on decisions made with security in mind. The goal is to eventually migrate to long-term solutions and open-source all elements, so anyone can contribute to every part of the project.

Happily, we are now moving into a stage where elements are more robust, and we can start to safely retire or open-source many components, alongside the increasing decentralization of the network.

That’s all for now, I’ll be sure to keep updating you as more of the project source code is opened. Let me know if anything is unclear, and be sure to share your questions below. Thank you!

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