Blockpool Summer '18 Update

It’s been a busy start to summer here at Blockpool. Throughout June, our development efforts were focused on the following items:

  1. Public Testnet v0.5.0 launch
  2. BiT (Blockchain Integration Technology) security enhancements
  3. Updates to BPL Wallet, BPL Explorer, and BPL Commander

Let’s dig in.

Public Testnet v0.5.0 Launch

We’re thrilled to announce that the public launch of our Testnet v0.5.0 went swimmingly. Community delegates have come online to help with testing, and the Quality of Service metrics are working as planned.

Thanks to the awesome work by Blockpool developer locohammerhead, we’ve set up a BPL Testnet snapshot server at the following address:

http://13.56.163.57:9031/snapshots/

Rest assured, we are changing the snapshot address to a much more friendly URL in the near future.

The Public Testnet allows us to iron out any kinks before delivering new technology to our client base. A huge thanks to all of our participating delegates.


BiT Security Enhancements

We put security at the forefront of everything we do at Blockpool, and have been working hard to be sure that our API is completely secured. In recent years some security flaws with SSL encryption were exposed which make “Man-in-the-Middle” and Stolen Credential attacks technically possible. As a proactive measure against such attacks, we have implemented the Redis caching system and have configured Redis to require a new private key for every new API call.

Redis gives us the ability to store expired private keys very quickly, so we can check to see if they have already been used. We’ve implemented a rule so that if anyone were to try to use the same private key twice, the system would simply reject their API call. This change is an added layer of security so that in the event that an attacker is able to spoof the SSL certification, their efforts would be invalidated at the next API call, as the compromised encryption key would no longer be valid on the second use.

To clarify, there have not been any security breaches with Blockpool — we are implementing this functionality to be one step ahead of any potential MiTM or Stolen Credential attacks.

  • Integrated Redis enterprise caching system to improve reliability
  • Configured Redis to cache private keys and reject previously used keys
  • Added QR code functionality to support Merchant Payment Services
  • Created documentation for Merchant Endpoints

Product Updates:

BPL Wallet
  • Fixed existing bugs to show correct price of BPL
  • Fixed existing bugs to show the correct value of market cap in the dashboard and navigation bar
  • Fixed existing bugs on BPL-wallet- explorer link
  • Updated bpljs (Blockpool JavaScript) to the latest version 0.2.6 to handle different epoch times
BPL Explorer
  • Configured Explorer to redirect to homepage or 404 page if an incorrect/nonexistent address is entered in the URL. This includes invalid addresses, block IDs and so forth.
  • Fixed voter table supplyPercentage() — The voter table previously failed if a delegate did not vote for itself.
UX/UI Enhancements
  • a link to the voted delegate was added to the address page
  • added responsiveness to the footer
  • removed box shadow from the items on the block page
  • added box shadow to the header in the light theme
  • fixed the alignment of the header logo, which was reaching out of the containing div
  • overall fixes to the address link (includes correct display of special transaction types [Delegate Vote and Delegate Registration])
  • fixed the approval amount shown on the address page
  • made changes to the next forgers block so it shows the next forger only once
  • fixed the borders and margins in the statistics blocks, added responsiveness
  • streamlined the look and feel of the price chart
  • added a Blockpool themed loader component
  • overall refactoring and linting of the code (removing of obsolete stuff and refactoring into reusable components)
  • Comment added to QoS Display functionality, now displays “Coming Soon”
BPL Commander
  • Added option to install and configure Testnet. This includes the option to switch between the two nets through the commander.
  • Added configurable snapshot URL
  • Allow the user to set a custom URL from where to retrieve the snapshots.
  • Added Database Rebuild Confirmation prompt. The menu option for dropping and rebuilding the database is now guarded by a confirmation prompt to avoid mistakenly selecting that option and having to resync.
  • UI now displays more node statistics
  • Added total forged and productivity to the output of the node stats

What’s next?

Our July release is already well underway.

BPL Explorer is being upgraded to Version 3 of the ARK software while BiT and myBlockpool are being worked on to support the Proof of Concept we are building with OpSec.

During July we aim to complete public testing of the Delegate Node Software, which will be a huge step forwards as we progress towards SideChain hosting and Smart Contracts within BPL and our Descendants.

Finally, our replacement for BPL Commander and the precursor to SideChain hosting, a tool we’ve called the Delegate Management Software, will be put into Alpha Test Release.

Keep Reading.