Nexa Roadmap Progress Update 22nd May 2023
I am now going to be doing a regular run down each week diving into all the things that are being done behind the scenes. We haven’t been doing a good enough job communicating this and in the interest of catching up on everything this one will be fairly comprehensive. If you want a very quick overview then I recommend skipping to the roadmap list at the end, although there are some key details I’ll be talking about, so I recommend reading the whole thing.
A lot of research has been going on with scaling, especially in the area of signature operations in an FPGA. Computing signatures are one of the key bottlenecks that Nexa aims to solve via specialised hardware and putting this capability into an FPGA is the first step in this. We’ll release a more detailed article on this later in the week but I’ll give a quick overview of this work here to have everything in one place.
We have built an FPGA that does schnorr signature operations. The goal of this was to implement the Nexa mining algorithm into an FPGA in a way that can also be connected to node to do Schnorr signature validation. The verilog of the FPGA is about 90% complete ready to be connected to a node but the data being signed/validated currently is only a defined bit width, whereas it must be able to handle variable bit width for full node signature validation. The outcome of this project has been incredibly insightful already. There are some key findings from this. First the good news: it is possible to process a very large number of signatures even on a fairly low cost FPGA (roughly $20). One FPGA of this capability is easily enough to process more than 100,000 TPS’ worth of signatures. That means that Nexa does not actually need massive cost reductions and efficiency improvements to process signatures and hashes during transaction validation. This means we can move directly into getting these FPGAs into nodes on the UltraScale testnet ready to prove a 100,000TPS capability.
The other finding from the project is that FPGAs are not a viable hardware competitor to GPUs. GPU chip technology has improved significantly beyond the technology found in FPGAs, namely transistor size, and this makes FPGAs uncompetitive in cost against GPUs for Nexa’s PoW algorithm. This gives Nexa more time in the GPU era as it requires a straight jump to ASICs. My personal opinion, is that this is a very good thing for Nexa. It allows us to work on scalability right now with existing FPGA hardware without losing our current GPU mining community. It also gives us more optionality in how we mature the network in terms of scalability and decentralisation.
In summary, we are now at a point where we are finishing of the FPGA project ready to connect it up into nodes for the UltraScale Testnet.
Outside of the roadmap we at Otoplo decided to produce a Token API to make it considerably easier for developers to integrate Nexa token data. We will be using this in our projects such as Tokenize, the wallets and the explorer, and we look forward to other developers making use of this tool to speed up their development time and reduce their costs.
Anyone can go any use this tool today.
We are far into the development of the Tokenize app now. The design has been complete for a few weeks now and the developers are working rapidly to bring it all together. We have been continually adding more token functionality to the NexCore library which will be used in the Tokenize app and will allow other developers to also build custom token tools on Nexa.
It’s important to point out that we made a decision early on to significantly increase the scope of this project to make it a full non-custodial token management tool, as opposed to the original plan of building a browser-based tool that just mints tokens. The expanded scope of the project will provide a comprehensive tool that is considerably more useful to people wanting to come and build on Nexa. We are aiming for this tool to be industry leading out of the gate, and we will expand it even further with use case-specific features in the latter half of the year.
We expect to release Tokenize in 4-6 weeks. I will be releasing a video showing how the Tokenize app works in the next week. So keep an eye out for that.
The NexScript project is well underway. This project will provide a high-level programing language to build Nexa smart-contracts in, instead of using the low-level script. The initial part of the project was spent on making good technical decisions to make sure we can efficiently upgrade the project with more features after the initial release is complete. It’s important to us that we are able to expand the feature set to get the most out of Nexa’s highly flexible transaction structure and op codes. Work is now ongoing to implement language and service using the NexCore library. I expect to see it have an initial release by mid-July.
We have been pushing hard on all fronts with the resources we have had available to us. We have managed a number of new listings with the major new ones being BitMart and Coinex, with more negotiations with other exchanges going on behind the scenes. We executed a co-marketing campaign with BitMart and we will continue to work with new and existing exchanges to bring Nexa to more crypto users.
We have made a great partnership with Chainge to be added to their non-custodial wallet and open liquidity pools for DEX trading of NEXA. This exposes Nexa to many new investors and opens new DeFi onramps. We have a great marketing campaign planned with Chainge and we look forward to continue to work with them to provide new services to Nexa users.
We have been hosting our own AMAs and Twitter spaces and have been attending podcasts and Twitter spaces from other projects such as SOAT and Flux. These were great fun and it was an excellent opportunity to clear up misconceptions and talk about some of the huge and unique benefits of Nexa. We will continue to get our message out this way in the future.
Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign we now have extra resources to put into marketing going forward. These will be used to increase our output on written content, social media content, video content, website content, and social media and community activity. On June 1st we are launching a campaign to reward our biggest Twitter supporters for their efforts in getting the word out there about Nexa.
As tools and services like tokenize are released we will have a lot more to publicise as projects start dipping their toes into the warm waters of the Nexa tokonomy!
New Tech Features
Otoplo recently released the HODL Vault functionality in the desktop wallets. Significant progress is being made in getting the Otoplo wallet natively on iOS and Android. We aim to have these complete within about 6 weeks. This will mean that the Otoplo wallet is available on every single platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and web) and it will allow us to move full speed ahead in providing incredibly exciting new features. The next major new feature coming to the Otoplo wallets will of course be tokens. This will be one of the final pieces of the puzzle for the Nexa tokonomy. Tokens on the Otoplo wallet will be released shortly after Tokenize is released.
The next major function we plan to add to the Otoplo wallet is instant transactions and I can’t wait to announce more about this closer to launch. I am personally working on the multi-UTXO smart-contract architecture for instant transactions so that it is ready for developers to implement into our service once tokens are implemented in the Otoplo wallet.
Quality of Life Improvements
The new update to the Nexa full node was released recently. The main new feature added was the ability to automatically consolidate UTXOs when spending. This solved the issue of the 256 input limit on inputs per transaction and is especially helpful for exchanges and miners. This will reduce any issues users face when sending transactions and therefore improve the user experience on Nexa.
Roadmap Late-2022 to Mid-2023
Core NEX & Token Functionality
- Tokens in explorer - Not done yet.
- Tokens in Wally/libnexa.so - Mostly done.
- Front-end redesign for Nifty - Not done yet.
- Rostrum upgrades - Done.
- Nexa Mobile wallet - NEX functionality - Android released iOS coming soon.
- Example web app - Done.
- Fungible token tool page PoC (e.g. white label ticketing service) - Almost done.
Gigablock Scaling Phase 2
- Signature FPGA - 90% complete.
- UTXO Commitments - Research ongoing.
- FPGA miner - Work complete.
- Cashdrive - Work ongoing. Roughly 50% complete.
Decentralized Token Exchange
- Prototype token DEX service - Not done.
- Prototype Cross chain atomic swap service - Not done.
- Constant product market maker research - Not done.
- Focus on crypto users and developers. - Done and ongoing.
- Nexa.org (more educational info) - Done and ongoing.
- Podcasts - Done and ongoing.
- Educational video content - Done and ongoing.
- Ads on social media test (youtube, twitter) - Not done (not had budget for it).
- Official social media account content - Done and ongoing.
- Sponsored written content - About to start (delayed crowdfunding).
- Community rewards - About to start (delayed crowdfunding).
- Talks at conferences - Not done.
- Twitter spaces - Done and ongoing.
- Exchange listing - Done and ongoing.
PQC Sig Scheme Evaluation
- Evaluate possible schemes to make Nexa Quantum Computing resistant. - Ongoing.
New exchanges: CoinEx: https://www.coinex.com/exchange/NEXA-USDT BitMart: https://www.bitmart.com/trade/en-US?symbol=NEXA_USDT&layout=basic Chainge: https://www.chainge.finance/info/pairs/NEXA/USDT
SOAT interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c33b9izbS_4 FLUX AMA: https://twitter.com/RunOnFlux/status/1649079728685367297?s=20