Fetch.ai’s 2019 Technical Roadmap

Feb 24, 2019

2018 was a fantastic year for Fetch.ai: from our video and Technical Introduction Paper through the source-code release to our advanced scalable ledger, we’ve gone from prototypes to production of the key innovations in less time than it takes our planet to whizz around the sun. Ending the year with our custom virtual machine and SDKs to allow agent development in Python and C++ left us with all the key foundation pieces for the following year: the journey to mainnet.

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

2019: The action-packed first half

Let’s dive into 2019 with our scheduled Development Release. At the time of writing, this is ready to go: that’s the by-invite access to the test network, Network Participation App (NPA) and the test network’s Wallet app. When we say “by-invite” we mean “if you have the FET ERC20 token”. The ERC20 token acts as a key that entitles you to tokens on the testnet that you can use for development, network use and more. With our apps, such as the NPA, anyone can build and deploy agents that represent sensors and information inside their mobile devices – a really easy way of contributing and seeing how value can be gained from connecting to the network. As the months roll on, the NPA will also introduce an agent that gets things done for you and a way of visualising and exploring the Fetch.ai digital world in real-time. There is a website that works out entitlement and that will be in place for when tokens are in people’s hands. This site also forms a key part of the initial release of the community website: where we support and work with those building things on Fetch.ai.

As we move into Spring, we have the Public Test Network milestone. This is due at the end of April and introduces a broader access test network complete with improved Open Economic Framework (“OEF”,  our digital world for agents) and many more of the parts surrounding the Fetch.ai smart contract mechanism.

Update April 2019: We’re pleased to say that both the development release and the public test network were delivered on time. Now everyone, not just those who took part in the token sale, can access, use, experiment with and develop on the Fetch.ai decentralized network.

As part of the public testnet release we also delivered the following:

* Block explorer and status page: easy-to-use web based block explorer for looking up transactions, contracts, etc., and a status page to view what’s happening with each testnet component.

* Decentralized search for agents: agents can now search across multiple nodes to find other agents to work with using Python, C++ or other languages.

* Smart contract language playground: learn to develop in Etch, Fetch.ai’s smart contract language, inside a simple, web-based interface.

* Foundations laid for future releases: the testnet foundation release enables the developer community to engage in smart contract and decentralized computing development.

2019: A sprint towards mainnet

Summer brings some very important new developments, the biggest of which is the integration of our unique consensus mechanism. This, coupled with useful proof-of-work and our decentralized ledger computing platform (which we call “synergetic computing“) means that the end of June will be the first time that all of the major Fetch.ai components are together roughly as they are intended on being. We are referring to this as our Consensus and Synergetic Computing milestone. This sets us up for the end of July where we have our Alpha release. Alpha is where we effectively have a mainnet, but we might have more bugs than an insect house and and have popped some new strings on the guitar but not yet tuned them: it’s complete, but some of the functionality detail may be yet to arrive. It is this Alpha release where we start to rapidly increase our efforts on security, stability and performance tuning with the help of our community.

Update July 2019: We delivered our Alpha release to schedule, as planned in our roadmap. It provides the stable foundation for the future, with all elements of our technology stack now linked together as a complete network. The release includes:

* Enhanced block explorer: The block explorer enables you to see all transactions and the balances of addresses; just like a bank statement, but for the whole Fetch.AI network.

* Introduction to Etch: Our unique computer programming language has been created to be capable of supporting the scalable complexity of algorithms needed to enable revolutionary Synergetic Contracts on the Fetch.AI ledger.

As the leaves start to turn orange, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, we move into Beta. Beta is defined as ‘all expected mainnet functionality present and functioning, but with tuning, fixes and tweaks yet to be made’. Beta marks the clear start to the final furlong towards mainnet. At some point, when the tickets are all closed and the network is behaving as expected, it becomes the mainnet. Fetch.AI is scheduling that point for the end of Q4, 2019, and we’re incredibly excited to be on that journey with all the supporters, partners and developers involved in doing cool things in this new ecosystem.

Here’s to a growing population of agents!