With the term ‘testnet’ being used to mean a plethora of things in the blockchain space, we felt it was very important to set clear expectations of what to expect in our upcoming first release of the Constellation testnet in  August, 2018. So, without further ado, here is the lowdown.

What is the first release of the Constellation testnet?

The first release of the Constellation testnet can be likened to a milestone versioned, pre-alpha, open source software release that runs on a variable release cycle. This means that it contains incremental iterations of testable code that can be used by technically-advanced users only. In the case of Constellation, this follows our core development roadmap, which is updated on a monthly basis, to account for delays and technical iterations – hence, it is variable.

This means that the v0.001 (Apollo mission name) of the Constellation testnet will allow skilled developers to review the core codebase, submit issues, submit pull requests, and start evaluating the codebase for future milestone releases.

What are the goals of the testnet?

To provide a technical framework for developers and skilled technical users to interact with Constellation’s features before they hit production.  

To demonstrate progress on the project to the community.

Deploy, test, and iterate upon the commercialization of theoretical concepts and new inventions that are core to Constellation.

To provide a growing technical repository of core and community-contributed documentation that grows in line with milestone release candidates.

The first series of iterations will not provide an ample environment in which dApp developers can begin testing their applications. This will take significant time and progress to reach a point where Constellation code can be incorporated into dApps or Applications. Once the testnet is ready for Application development we will notify the community and make the appropriate updates to our roadmap.

What to expect?

From a user perspective, the testnet won’t yet deliver immediate, tangible value since it is pre-production. This will demonstrate a fully-functioning blockchain system, built from scratch, running on community-hosted nodes. Visualization tools and other updates to the node UI are on the roadmap and in development. In the coming months, we will also be open sourcing our set of tools for deployment and analysis.

We’ll be testing network functionality and our P2P protocol in the wild for the first time. Developers will be able to run local nodes, send and validate transactions, as well as produce the equivalent of blocks (bundles) on their local machine to earn reputation.

Engineers will be able to remotely connect to Constellation’s testnet cluster through an authentication process or submission of a PR that passes our continuous integration test. Nodes will need to be permissioned to connect to the testnet by staking  DAG on the developer tier of the Orion portal and applying for the “Node Bounty”.

What is the duration of the testnet?

The testnet is going to be run continuously, up until the release of the main-net, thereafter, the testnet will be used for validating new development. We have seen recently that 6-months is not sufficient time to build, test, and prepare for deployment as has been the case with other prominent infrastructure-focused cryptocurrency projects, which have been riddled with bugs weeks before a main-net launch. At Constellation, we are focused on quality—not speed—and will not release a half-baked product. If it takes longer than anticipated to deliver quality then we will update the community in ample time.

Get started hosting a node on Constellation

Want to start operating a Constellation testnet node? Visit orion.constellationnetwork.io to learn how you can apply to be one of the first node operators on the Constellation network (and be eligible to earn a 15,000 DAG bounty!)

Click here to watch a video demo of a 3-node Constellation testnet.


Ian Smith

VP of Growth, Constellation Labs