As more and more hotspots ship out, we are encountering some blockchain syncing problems. A number of the shipped hotspots were assembled over a month ago but had older firmwware that did not include some important bugfixes.

In some cases the older firmware absorbs blocks in their ledger that they don’t properly understand causing ledger corruption issues that prevent further syncing.

To mitigate this problem we have decided to deploy an intentionally backwards incompatible change to the blockchain sync protocol. The goal here is two fold; to correct some deficiencies in the original sync protocol and to force hotspots running an older firmware to upgrade before starting to sync the chain.

In addition a small change to peerbook metadata has been made to allow hotspots to advertise the last time they wrote a block to their local blockchain. This is intended to help spotting and diagnosing hotspots experiencing syncing problems.

Content

  • Roll the blockcain sync protocol version

Deployment Plan

As this is a network-wide breaking change we plan to roll it out as quickly a possible to everyone to avoid partitioning the network. A small controlled smoke test OTA will be done followed shortly by a release to general availability.