ARTIS Σ1 towards 10M blocks

With the chain humming towards block 10000000, we are switching to the OpenEthereum client and upgrading the network to “Istanbul”.

The ARTIS Sigma1 mainnet was launched in October 2018.
In a few days from now, it will author its 10 millionth block (see status dashboard).
Since 10M is a nice number (at least in the decimal numeric system), we’re using the opportunity for a small “facelift” which consists of 2 components:

Parity -> OpenEthereum

The recommended/supported client software is now OpenEthereum (current version: 3.0.1).
OpenEthereum is basically the successor of the Parity Ethereum client we used up to now. Parity (the company) has shifted its focus from Ethereum to the Polkadot project and handed over ownership and development of its Ethereum client to the community.
lab10 collective in recent months has participated in the coordination efforts for setting up that community, with Gnosis emerging as the leading organization. This blog post gives and outlook for where OpenEthereum is heading in this new organizational setup.

“Istanbul” network upgrade

The chain spec of ARTIS Σ1 (published here) was updated to conduct a network upgrade at block 10M.
This upgrade applies the changes which were made on Ethereum a few months ago with the Istanbul hardfork. The changes are about gas pricing for some opcodes and about facilitating the verification of zero knowledge proofs in smart contracts. More details can be found in EIP-1679.
Such upgrades are conducted in order to keep ARTIS as close as possible to Ethereum.


While the Σ1 mainnet is humming along with minor changes since its start, the τ1 testnet has already been upgraded to POSDAO, a smart contract based governance system for permissionless validator set management.

Σ1 is still being governed by the semi-permissioned on-chain governance system developed by and adapted for ARTIS.
This system allows changes affecting the consensus protocol to take place without so called hardforks, but in a more orderly and transparent manner.
There’s a public frontend showing the on-chain state on

The long term goal is to upgrade ARTIS to the Honey Badger BFT (hbbft) consensus protocol, which is superior to the currently used AuRa protocol in several ways.
Development is ongoing (see dev Wiki) and we hope to have a new testnet running hbbft up and running soon.

Subscribe to get the latest
news and articles first

We follow privacy by design principles and do not tolerate spam.