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Greymass - Progress Update, EOY 2021

For our last update of 2021, we’re releasing a bit early. The reason for this is we don’t anticipate any major updates beyond what’s included in this report before 2022 begins. The primary reason for which we’ll cover first…


The Working Groups

As November comes to a close, we’re wrapping up effort on a number of initiatives as we begin to focus exclusively on the efforts being put into the ENF-sponsored working groups. Our team is participating in both the API+ and Wallet+ core working groups, with the goal to research what comes next for the EOSIO technology stack.

To give you a brief overview of where we are involved:

  • For API+, we are looking at how to improve the availability of data and how users can more reliably interact with the blockchain. This includes things like making sure transactions are submitted successfully on-chain, how to more efficiently retrieve historical data, and optimizations to the APIs that developers need to make great EOSIO-based applications.
  • For Wallet+, we are taking a look at the integration options for EOSIO-chains, both from the perspective of the account holder who needs to sign a transaction and developers who need to create a great user experience. The SDKs that developers need will be a major focus alongside standards/protocols that both applications and wallets can follow along with.

We anticipate that the result of this work will be published early next year. Until then, we will be performing research, collecting as much feedback as possible, and working to craft all of this into a comprehensive document. We are looking at some of the biggest problems in EOSIO and have high expectations that we can help set the best path forward.

Team Expansion

Since our last update we have brought a few new members to the team. New developers to help us keep on track with Anchor, Unicove, and our SDKs - and a new member to help with our infrastructure to keep our services online. It’s going to take a bit to get them up to speed, but we’re in process and hopefully next year we’ll have significantly more bandwidth to tackle even more projects.

Greymass is expanding for the first time in years. We are looking for people who have experience taking charge in areas related to development, management, support, and potentially marketing. If you think you have the knowledge and skills to help, and are interested in exploring opportunities, please reach out to us at team@greymass.com!

Account Creation

During the first Eden election, Aaron ran on the idea of expanding account creation to make it more accessible to all. For the past few months, we’ve been dedicating effort to this initiative and have made significant progress.

Based on what we have accomplished so far, we anticipate this work will result in a new standalone SDK for application developers to integrate into their applications, updates to our existing SDKs, and an upgrade to our backend API services to facilitate these new tools.

Developers will be able to include the new SDKs in their project and setup a “Create Account” option in their dApp. We will be integrating this into Unicove to serve as an example of how it can be done. This will open a new window for the user to purchase an account, set it up in Anchor, and then be returned to the originating app to continue on with their journey.

The initial release, likely coming early next year, will be the first prototype of this new system and be made available for anyone to use. We will continue to refine these processes and expand on their capabilities, as well as take what we have learned and apply them to the research papers being done by the working groups.

Anchor

There have been no major new feature releases for Anchor since our last update. Minor releases were published for all versions (Desktop, iOS, Android) to resolve issues with connectivity and fix compatibility bugs. We have a number of new features both in the design and development stages that continue to progress, including:

  • In design, we are preparing to tackle the new user experience and education. One of the biggest things we learned this year is that with Anchor being so radically different, we need to take a bit of time to educate users on exactly what to expect. We are designing both in-app notifications and tips that will help teach users what they need to do next and what things mean.
  • For Android, we about a month in building a new core library we need to enhance its key storage. The SDKs we selected when starting the project haven’t completely met our needs and no viable alternatives exist. So about 6 weeks ago, we started developing our own core library to handle these operations, which is now entering the testing phases.
  • For Desktop, we continue to have conversations about what technically and visually Anchor 2.0 would need to achieve. Many of the problems we have today with the desktop version stem from its differences from mobile and the technologies its built upon. While no plans to start development are in place yet, the idea is starting to take form.

Roborovski (Next Generation History)

Another project we have put a focus on over the past few months is history APIs. As we started researching the path forward for our web wallet, Unicove, we discovered many areas where we needed specialized APIs to present the data in ways that the user needed.

For the past 8 weeks or so we have dedicated effort in to improving our custom API solution. Much of this was cleanup and modernization in preparation for what’s next: new APIs that weren’t easy before.

We made a lot of improvements along the way, and most recently completed a full replay of all historical data on the EOS mainnet in around 2 days on a single, consumer-grade server. The result was roughly 20tb of well optimized data that can be used to serve out some of the most demanding API requests in EOSIO.

On this journey we also discovered points we can hook into for streaming live transaction data, have optimized our serialization components to be roughly 8x faster, and have developed new tools to measure responsiveness from history endpoints. We have a prototype running live now for the Jungle testnet that also uses our new edge-worker setup to distribute compute resources and cache within a CDN layer.

For the time being, we are setting this project aside to focus on what we’ve learned and apply that knowledge to our efforts in the working groups. Next year we hope to complete this project and provide EOSIO with a new path forward for working with this data… maybe while having some fun with the branding.

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Analytics

To give you a sense of the trajectory we are on with a number of our projects, we decided to publish some of our project analytics with a brief description of what they are.

Account Creation

To start with, let’s look at account creation metrics, with this chart showing the number of accounts we are creating through our services.

As you can see over the past few months, as Anchor continues to increase in adoption and we make our account creation services more widely available, the number of accounts being created over the course of the year has started rising significantly. Hopefully a good sign that we are on the right track and will continue to see increased adoption!

Anchor

Next up is Anchor installations and the metrics we have to highlight how many people are downloading and installing the app. First up is Android, which while still in early access, has a user base in the tens of thousands at this point with the rate of growth increasing steadily. The chart below shows downloads per day of the Android version.

The iOS version continues to lead the way, which is to be expected since it’s a more stable release. We are currently seeing roughly 1500 installations per day. With Apple’s focus on privacy, we don’t have exact numbers on total users, but we would estimate the total user count at this time to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Sadly we don’t have these metrics available at this time for Anchor desktop in chart form, but the desktop version over the course of its life has now exceeded 300,000 downloads, with recent versions seeing approximately 25,000 installations.

Unicove

Our newest project, a web wallet named Unicove, has been seeing a steady increase in usage since it was announced and linked to from the mobile version of Anchor.

We are still very early in the lifecycle of this product but adoption has already exceeded our expectations with over 10,000 unique users in November. The expectation is that as we continue to add new features and refine the user experience, these numbers will be much higher in 2022!

EOSIO API Traffic

We are working on better tracking for API metrics but don’t have long term charts for this. Our EOSIO API traffic has remained somewhat steady over the past few months. The APIs for blockchain related actions consistently hovers between 3,000 to 4,000 requests per second, spiking up towards 7,000 requests on heavy days.

The total traffic we service for these types of requests ends up being somewhere around 300 million requests per day.

Signing Request Traffic

This one is a bit more of an abstract metric, but goes to show the volume of requests Anchor helps service each day. The chart below shows the traffic for our transaction relay, which is used to send requests between dApps and Anchor. This is not EOSIO API traffic like mentioned in the previous section, but is the traffic that happens either when a users wallet or a dApp connects to our relay services.

Traffic remains fairly stable between 1 to 1.5 million requests per day.

Wrapping things up

2021 has been an incredible year and we hope this last update helps give you some insights into what we’ve done, where we are heading, and what sort of adoption our products have seen over the course of the year.

A big thank you to everyone who’s contributed to this ecosystem, whether it be in development, engagement, or just providing feedback - much of this would have been possible without you.


Previous Report

Our previous report can be found here:

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Awesome stuff. Very excited for the future!

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