State Guardian Network Beta Testnet Launches

3 min read

Since the previous productive Celer State Guardian Network (SGN) alpha testnet, we have improved both the features and stability of SGN. Now we are excited to announce the start of the SGN beta testnet. We hope this will be the last testnet before we push SGN into the mainnet launch.

What is the State Guardian Network?

State guardian network (SGN) is a scalable and decentralized “watchtower” sidechain that ensures the off-chain state security and smooth usability for state channel users. It provides highly reliable and efficient services including client channel state protection, delegated payment receiver, and app connectivity oracle. SGN is decentralized and incentive-aligned through the CELR staking process that governs the layer-2 validators and rewards all layer-1 CELR stakeholders. For more details about the motivation and design of SGN, please refer to our CelerCore architecture document.

As shown in figure above, SGN mainly consists of four components: mainchain (layer-1) smart contracts, CELR delegators, sidechain (layer-2) validators, and state channel users. 

  • Mainchain contracts hold the CELR staking process. They specify and enforce the fundamental rules and configurations of roles, rewards, penalties, and fees for all network participants.
  • Delegators stake their CELR tokens on the mainchain contract to vote on validators and governance proposals. Delegators receive their shares of SGN block rewards and service fees proportional to their stakes.
  • Validators are elected by the delegators on the mainchain contract. They run sidechains under BTF consensus to offer SGN services, calculate reward distributions, and trigger penalty executions. Validators receive commission rewards from their delegators.
  • Users are state channel clients who pay service fees to the mainchain contract and submit service requests to the sidechain

Features and Instructions

The beta testnet includes everything for the upcoming phase 1 mainnet launch. Below we summarize the features and test instructions for different roles.

Validators

Validator operators should be able to follow the instructions and use the SGN CLI tools to do the following operations:

  • Set up a validator node and join the network
  • Delegate stakes to itself
  • Withdraw stakes from its own staking pool
  • Claim rewards and commissions from its own reward pool
  • Query various mainchain and sidechain states
  • Participate in mainchain and sidechain governance

Once a validator joins the network, it will automatically participate in the sidechain to produce sidechain blocks, offer state guardian services, and calculate reward distributions.

Special features for testnet and phase one mainnet

To guarantee the security and interests of all the SGN early participants, we take extra precautions to gradually roll out the network. In particular, there are two temporary features for beta testnet and the upcoming phase 1 mainnet.

Bootstrap validator set

During the first (bootstrap) phase of SGN public launch, entities who want to join the SGN as initial validators need to go through a whitelist process by the Celer team. Only whitelisted accounts can initiate themselves as validator candidates on the mainchain DPoS contract. In doing so, we can minimize the risk of network being attacked by malicious or incompetent validators in the bootstrap phase. This whitelist feature on smart contract will be irreversibly disabled in the phase 2 mainnet after the successful bootstrap phase.

Penalty forgiveness period

During the initial phase of SGN public launch, all slashing events will be logged and revealed to the public, but not executed on the mainchain contract. This can minimize the risk of validators and delegators being slashed due to any unintended and unforeseen issues when first operating the validator nodes. As the validator set is audited, the SGN network will still be able to provide reliable staking service to CELR delegators and state guardian service to the state channel users.

Delegators

CELR shareholders can do the following operations through the SGN web explorer:

  • Delegate stakes to a validator
  • Withdraw stakes from a validator
  • View and claim rewards from a validator
  • View various mainchain and sidechain information

Here is a demonstration of how to interact with the web explorer. The UI has changed a bit, but the main workflow remains the same.

State Channel Clients

We will provide an SDK library to pay the mainchain service fee and submit guard requests. Meanwhile, anyone can follow this instruction to do client users tests on our beta testnet.

Participate in Beta Testnet 

SGN beta testnet is already launched. It is using the Ropsten network as the layer-1 mainchain. Please sign up here to receive testnet CELR tokens, and sign up here if you want to become a validator. Please refer to the instruction section above for how to perform various testing, and find the testnet configuration here.

The testnet is launched in two phases.

Phase 1 testnet starts from now and will last about two weeks, during which anyone is welcome and appreciated to test and provide feedback to the Celer team. As bug fixes and feature improvements are expected, there may be unplanned downtime or full network reset.

Phase 2 testnet starts in about two weeks when the network becomes more stable. We will launch a bug bounty program and reward program to ensure the reliability of the upcoming phase 1 mainnet launch. The details of the bug bounty program will be released later.

We appreciate your interest and support! Please find us on Discord (preferred for technical discussions), SGN Support Telegram, Twitter, or Telegram if you have any further questions.

Celer Network Team

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