Our goal was to have a persistent network accessible to developers to build apps against. This was our target to get up and running with external partners, and we’re glad to have our launch partners onboard.
The genesis ceremony for the cheqd testnet was carried out on Wednesday, 21 July 2021. Prior to the genesis ceremony, we had asked all our launch partners to setup a node with a Cosmos cheqd node with the beta software code.
During the ceremony, we minted 1 billion CHEQ test tokens as well as the genesis configuration required to connect up all the nodes into the testnet. We’d planned for the ceremony to take 1.5 hours, but as these things go, we ended up extending this to 2 hours as to fix teething issues during peer configuration.
The balance minted with cheq test tokens was distributed as follows:
- 1.20% cheq test tokens distributed to the founding validators: We wanted to model the fact that in real life, different validator nodes would have different amounts staked.
- 2.80% cheq test tokens was set aside for future validators, treasury, and cold storage: We distributed the majority of the tokens minted as set aside for future use.
The cheqd testnet currently involves four Cosmos validator nodes, one from each founding launch partner. The functionalities available at the moment allow anyone with access to the nodes to:
- 1.Create Cosmos accounts that can hold cheq test tokens
- 2.Create DIDs that can be written to the cheqd testnet, and pay for it with cheq test tokens
- 3.Automation to speed up basic testnet cheqd node deployment
We wanted to get this code early with external partners, so that we can start capturing feedback from potential real node operators in the future.
To make the process of distributing the 20% cheq test tokens among the founding validators randomised, an appointed representative from each of the founding validators rolled three dice using DuckDuckGo. After multiple rounds of die rolls (and an impromptu guitar solo!) we ended up with this distribution:
- 1.Outlier Ventures at 9%
- 2.cheqd at 5%
- 3.Evernym at 4%
- 4.DIDx at 2%
As we open up the network to more validators, we’ll distribute more cheq test tokens on a randomised basis. We will be working in the background over the next few weeks to onboard additional validator nodes, initially as a manual process and then expanding it to make it public and open for anyone to join the network. We will continue working on tooling and services to make this process easier.
Our testnet launch in July 2021 gave us valuable feedback from our early adopters in being able to refine where our engineering teams should focus on. While we initially planned to release a Cosmos-based Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) specification for August, the feedback we received was to focus on making the installation and upgrade processes easier.
We’ve therefore worked towards making installation packages and releases (along with documentation) available in the following formats:
- 4.Instructions on how to build any of the above from source.
One challenge with having a private beta was the logistical challenge of allowing prospective node operators to freely browse and decide to install the code at their own pace, rather than individually trying to coordinate access to the repositories.
- Basic Cosmos node setup and the “cheq” token
- Creating, managing, and configuring accounts and keys on a cheqd Cosmos node. These are set up steps that new node operators need to do to get started.
- Basic decentralised identity primitives
- Writing Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) entries on a ledger paying for DID writes on the cheqd testnet using testnet tokens. As our CEO, Fraser Edwards, and Javed Khattak (our CFO) described in this blog post why self-sovereign identity needs a token; we want to enable new business models for digital identity.
- NYM is the term used by Hyperledger Indy for Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) that are created on ledger. For the sake of explaining with similar concepts as current Hyperledger Indy implementations, on our testnet transactions to add a DID to the ledger are called NYM transactions. Future releases of our software are likely to replace the NYM terminology with DID for better understanding.