Celer Launches Orion Mainnet Upgrade: Ready for Large-scale Node Expansion on Ethereum Layer-2

3 min read

While the global pandemic is forcing the world into silos, Celer team is committed more than ever to deliver the best technology to enable an open, connected and free global financial infrastructure. Being in Ethereum, the most vibrant and inclusive blockchain community, we feel obliged to provide the free and open-source software for the community to join and run a large-scale layer-2 scaling solution. When seeing other strong blockchain communities like Bitcoin already has Lightning Network reaching thousands of nodes globally, we feel an additional sense of urgency. 

Today, we are excited to launch Orion Mainnet, Celer’s latest mainnet upgrade that marks the starting of the large-scale node expansion on Celer’s State Channel Network on Ethereum. We sincerely invite our friends in the Ethereum community to join and help us to build the largest state channel network in the world on Ethereum.

TL;DR

  • Operational tools and docs are now available for the Ethereum community to easily spin up a state channel node and connect to the growing state channel network!
  • Running and operating Celer State Channel Node is easy and cost-effective. 
  • Exciting new features tailored for smoother user experience and high performance are released!

One State Channel Node, One Month = One Coffee

Oh, and that is with 1000 client connections to the node. 😉

With the highly optimized Go implementation, you can run a State Channel node with 1000 client connections on 1CPU, 1G memory ($5 per month on AWS). With such a low bar to entry, we believe the growth potential of Celer node is limitless. In fact, Celer’s popular mobile game app CelerX runs a full Celer node on mobile devices with ease. 

We have also abstracted away as much underlying complexity as possible with easy-to-use operational tools released. To be the first to join the growing Ethereum layer-2 scaling network, you can simply go through these four steps:

If a node operator chooses to report your node status to the state channel network explorer, you will see that node popping up in Celer Network Explorer. You can also use the explorer to see which nodes are live and accepting connections in real-time. We will provide periodic updates on the growth of the global network of Celer! 📈🚀🚀🚀

Though we have completed extensive audits of the codebase, bugs can still happen. So we suggest starting with smaller amounts of balances in the state channel nodes and we have also temporarily imposed a channel balance limit to no more than 20ETH per channel in this first phase of the rollout. ❤️⛑️

If you encounter any issues, we are always available on our Discord channel. 

What’s under-the-hood for this upgrade?

For hard-core developers, this upgrade focuses on enhancing performance, reliability, and adding features for a smoother user experience.

Comprehensive operation tools 

Make the process of running the state channel node for the community simple and straightforward with view-only tools and admin tools. 

Data layer migration to relational DB 

As state channel nodes’ data is primarily structured, we migrated the storage layer from key-value storage to use a relational DB for better performance and reliability regarding ACID properties.

Enhanced multi-node routing

Support more stable and reliable multi-hop routing. OSPs as state channel routers periodically broadcast route updates (info of connection and off-chain balance with peers) to the network. OSPs currently do routing decisions based on the state channel topology and node liveness. Later releases will use balance info for routing decisions and move towards more advanced cRoute algorithms along with the network’s growth. 

Channel balance auto-refill 

OSP has a channel depositor process to accept deposit requests from other modules through function calls and OSP operators through the admin tool. The operator can also configure the OSP to automatically refill the balance of channels if the OSP’s side of channel balances are below a configurable threshold.

State sync

Clients have the option to sync state channel state with OSP. It solves significant user experience issues when we have clients sharing the same address but with different local storage states. The security is ensured by a fisherman’s mechanism where OSP does not know whether the client is fishing for malicious behavior with a bond penalty or genuinely asking for state sync. 

Delegate payment receiver

A client has an option to authorize the OSP to receive payment on behalf of the client when it’s offline. The payment would be auto-delivered to the client immediately after it’s back online. This also drastically simplifies the issue where normal users have to be online all the time to receive payments in state channel networks. Note that the delegated receiver cannot withdraw funds from the channel on behalf of the user. Therefore, we believe this is a reasonable tradeoff in the last hop for usability. 

What’s next?

Once you become a node in Celer Network (off-chain service provider), you have access to the full state channel functionalities offered by Celer and can use the Celer Web Client SDK to access those functionalities. There are so many different blockchain use cases that developers can leverage Celer Network to provide a drastically better user experience. In the coming weeks, we will review some key use cases and blueprints to build where Celer’s layer-2 technology can provide significant value. In addition, we will also host some fun activities to get our community started in joining the network and go through the operational process with us. Finally, we will also host a public bug and feature bounty for the state channel node software to include the strengths of the great community to improve Celer Network continuously!

Where to ask questions?

Both GitHub issues and Discord chat rooms are great places to ask us technical questions. You can also find us in different channels as follows:

Join us and grow the layer-2 scaling world!

Celer Team

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