Q2 2020 Report

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Hello, community! There is our report for Q2 2020.

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Factom Realtime Explorer
De Facto released the first real-time explorer for Factom Protocol: https://explorer.factom.pro
Press release: https://medium.com/factom-pro/factom-realtime-explorer-690718ee2a69

Highlights of developed functions:

1. Realtime entries, chains, factoid transactions
2. Search chains by ExtIDs (and share search results)
3. Search by all hashes
4. Fully responsive design
5. Explore huge chains
6. Custom pages sizes
7. Copyable hashes and external IDs
8. Clickable External IDs
9. External IDs in Directory Block & Chain views
10. Blockchain Hints
11. Filtering Entry Credit transactions by commit type, entry hash, paying address
12. Filtering Factoid transactions by type
13. Coinbase transactions
14. Human-readable Exchange Rate
15. JSON formatting of Entry Content
16. Emoji and non-latin characters support
17. Dynamic page titles
18. Fast navigation across sub-blocks
19. Icons for intuitive navigation
20. Display all Entry Blocks of the Entry
21. Live Factom Blockchain Stats
22. High Redundancy

We have put a significant amount of work — several hundreds of dev hours (and I even don't count the development of full blockchain parser, backend architect, etc. because we already had into our BaaS platform) — into this project and will be applying for backpay grant to partially cover the development.

The part of this development is covered by De Facto efficiency and will be reduced from backpay grant.

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Free Factom Explorer API
We have made the REST API, that is used in Factom Realtime Explorer, public and free to use for everyone.
That means you can get information about blocks, chains, entries, txs directly from Explorer via easy-to-use REST API.
API endpoint is https://explorer.factom.pro/explorer, but it's undocumented for now.
Currently we are working on REST API specification (Open API 3.0 compatible) and documentation portal — it will be released in Q3 2020.

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Factom® PRO
  1. API performance was significantly improved — getting large chains now takes seconds and not minutes, thankfully to our special algorithm for reading large chains, that was also deployed into Explorer API
  2. We have updated our private blockchain solution for enterprises and consortiums (Factom® Private)
  3. Several PoCs are in work for both public and private networks
  4. Started marketing campaign in Telegram

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Open Node Monitoring Improvements
De Facto continues improving Open Node Monitoring to provide the best experience for all users.
We deployed the new version of monitoring system, which contains updated algorithm for detection of lagging nodes.

Open Node monitoring performs checks of heights of each node every 20 seconds. New algorithm detects lagging nodes almost instantly (within 1 check interval — 0-20 sec) and reduces their weight in Open Node Load Balancer, until affected node's height is progressed.

This work is beyond the Open Node grant(s), so it's efficiency related.

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Factom Inc Courtesy Node replacement
De Facto quickly reacted on the unavailability of Factom Inc Courtesy Node (https://courtesy-node.factom.com/v2) and deployed proxy server, that redirects all requests from Inc Courtesy Node to Factom Open Node, so people, that use old version of Factom Enterprise Wallet with only Inc Courtesy Node support, were affected only for a short time.

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Exchange Committee Work
Many dozens of hours were put towards Exchange Committee work — discussions, negotiations, working through different stuff, OTC trades, etc.
Highlights of De Facto's commitments into Exchange Committee:
  1. Coordination with Liquid on Factom enabling
  2. Led and tested Factom integration into Liquid
  3. Coordination with Liquid on FCT fast withdrawals
  4. Coordination with Liquid on issues with FCT withdrawals (all issues were resolved)
  5. Coordination with Republic on new listings
  6. Exchanges analysis
  7. Working through listing conditions and services/benefits, that will be received from an exchange
  8. MM analysis
  9. Coordination with OTC buyers
  10. Full and transparent documentation of all Exchange Committee transactions/conversions
  11. Sent updated Explorer information to data aggregators: CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko
  12. Sent updated Explorer information to exchanges: Bittrex, VCC, Liquid

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Core Committee Work
Actively worked with @Who while locating and investigating Factom API inconsistencies and bugs.

1. Helped investigating the incorrect heights of EC blocks at the range of DB heights
It's not a bug actually, but undocumented fix on the chain, that is described in detail now.

2. Exploration of how pending APIs work

3. Discovered and helped investigating two bugs related to pending APIs responses

4. Discovered empty external IDs on the blockchain
Added support for empty (zero-length) extIDs in the explorer (example: https://explorer.factom.pro/chains/98133e8546d2ced588807803795b1bad5d7cfa2faa0371bfcf5e560ccf5add29)
@Who created pull request to Factom Docs: https://github.com/FactomProject/FactomDocs/pull/17

5. Factom Protocol documentation updated
Updated Explorer section (added new explorer)
Updated Wallets section (added FAT desktop wallet)

6. Designed fresh application icon for Factom Enterprise Wallet and provided sources

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Website Committee Work
Gave an extensive feedback to @DBGrow for the new Factom Protocol website, that was released several days ago.

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Testnet long pause investigation
Investigated long testnet pause and provided extensive analytics of Testnet Nodes using data collected by fct.tools

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Factom World
Keep maintaining Factom Application Hub and @FactomWorld twitter account.
Worked with several parties to add recently released applications to Factom World:
  1. Off-Blocks
  2. FAT Wallet
  3. Factom Realtime Explorer

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Other activities/works
Participated in Factom AMA
Updated Factom Robot (added support for realtime explorer)
Updated Entry Credit Stores (added support for realtime explorer)
Factom Reddit and Telegram moderation
Updated Factom Reddit by Marketing Committee request
Governance and discussions participation
Proposed several ideas to Governance Working Group

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Keep maintaining a lot of infrastructure
  1. Factom Realtime Explorer
  2. Factom Open Node Singapore Node (free of charge)
  3. Decentralized monitoring for Factom Open Node and decentralized status page (via Open Node grant)
  4. Proxy server for Inc Courtesy Node replacement
  5. EC Stores
  6. Factom World
  7. Factom Testnet Monitoring
  8. Factom Developer Guides
 
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Forgot to follow up on this: is it possible for you to say anything about the PoCs, for example industries or types of use cases?
Yes, sorry, I have somehow missed your question.
Currently we are actively working on several PoC.

1) PoC for science data
We work together with community member that brings great expertise in the science data area.
PoC includes DIDs, on-chain proofs-of-existence and proof-of-ownership. The web version will be free to use for everyone.

2) PoC for private network with anchoring into Factom Mainnet
We develop the framework, that allows to write, read, and explore data in the private networks.
Private networks allow to extend TPS, store more sensitive data on-chain, and run networks in different modes (e.g. consortium of companies, working together or in the same industry, are operators of the private network). Our framework includes high-level API server(s), realtime explorer for private network, anchoring module.

3) Several PoC are in discussion phase — companies explore how they could use blockchain and we work through possible use-cases with them.
 
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