Althea Development Update #63: Beta 1

Althea Development Update #63: Beta 1

Right now Beta 1 rc2 is churning it’s way through the build system

Once this release passes QA in a couple of days we will have out first Althea build with feature complete routing and bandwidth payment.

Beta 1 will be able to, dynamically route, buy , and sell bandwidth with production Ethereum. Everything described in our original demo video, but ready for use as the primary ISP for the households and businesses of our test networks.

There are lots of features left to add, including proper integration for our Network DAO organizations and of course as the first Beta release there’s a non-zero chance of money eating bugs.

Why real Ethereum?

Our last release Alpha 12 was our first and now our only testnet release.

The reason we’ve chosen to push forward with using real money so quickly is a combination of very good testing results from Alpha 12 and the high cost of downtime.

People really, really, don’t like it when their internet goes down, the cost in terms of customer dissatisfaction that comes with any service disruption is much higher than a month’s worth of internet service money.

Because of that there’s not much point in cutting over our production networks to builds that both enforce payments and still use a testnet. Once the possibility of reduction or disruption of service is there due to a major network change it’s cheaper to just compensate for lost Ethereum in our test networks than it is to risk downtime doing this all again after testing Beta 1 with testnet Eth.

What’s New in Beta 1

  • Real eth payments
  • New traffic flow optimizations to improve performance
  • Free tier & payment enforcement
  • Configurable maximum price
  • Billing code optimization
  • Dynamic payment adjustment, as transaction fees change the payment frequency is adjusted to keep fees at 5% of total costs
  • A configurable pricing oracle to compensate for swings in Eth price

What’s not yet in Beta 1

  • Updated subnet dao integration
  • Querying various network wide values from the subnet dao
  • Advanced fraud detection (subtle route degradation)
  • Payment channels

Production Network DAO

In news that would usually be important enough for it’s own update we have our Aragon Althea network app deployed to mainnet where it is being used as a in-production list of nodes.

Votes of the network organizers are working as well, the missing major feature is the ability to collect network fees natively. Right now they just have to be sent to the DAO manually.

What’s Next?

In 2019 we are setting out to demonstrate not only that normal people can build an ISP but also that decentralized cooperative networks are the superior way to do so.

Once we’ve operated Beta 1 in our test networks for a week or so I plan to cut Beta 2 with whatever bugfixes we find necessary and start recommending it for general usage by those following our project.