Unveiling Spark: Public Testnet Launch Date confirmed
We are thrilled to confirm the date of launch of Firo’s Lelantus Spark testnet on 31 July 2023. This marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a more private and secure blockchain building off the years of work we’ve had in privacy protocol research from Zerocoin, Sigma and Lelantus.
What is Lelantus Spark?
Lelantus Spark (or Spark for short) is Firo’s next gen privacy protocol that the Firo core team has designed and implemented from scratch. First announced in 2021, Spark has undergone several revisions and improvements and finally is now almost ready to be unveiled to the public for testing!
Spark offers full sender, receiver, amount and transaction graph privacy giving holistic on-chain protection. What this means is that no one knows:
- who is sending
- who is receiving
- how much is being sent
- The history of flow of a coin
What are the benefits of Spark?
One of the biggest changes that Sparks brings is Spark addresses: a powerful new stealth addressing system. These addresses allow users to share their addresses publicly without revealing any of their transaction activity or the assets they hold. They are also flexible and allow people to selectively disclose their transactions through the use of full incoming and outgoing view keys.
Additionally, Spark’s construction is modular which offers a degree of future proofing. What this means is that as better tech comes along, individual components can be upgraded. Research is already being undertaken to use curve trees to scale Spark’s anonymity set and performance.
Spark’s cryptography is built upon well-established and understood discrete log assumptions, a cornerstone of modern cryptography offering an alternative to other schemes that use more exotic cryptography. Unlike some other ZKP schemes, Spark also does not require a trusted setup ceremony.
Spark also represents a huge user experience and privacy improvement over its predecessor Lelantus. Previously, users had to manually anonymize coins after receiving them. This is not only inconvenient but also leaks metadata as to when the user is online. Spark allows people to send coins directly to your Spark address where they are anonymized automatically without any user interaction. Additionally, you can send funds directly from Spark address to another Spark address without ever exposing the amount sent.
What about security?
Spark has undergone audits of both the underlying cryptography and its implementation. We’ve also completed full security proofs for the protocol as a whole. Additionally, MAGIC Firo Fund has approved a security retainer with HashCloak that includes building out Firo’s fuzz testing infrastructure with a focus on Spark specific components that can catch bugs and vulnerabilities missed in audits.
What does the testnet launch mean and how can you participate?
The upcoming launch of the Lelantus Spark testnet is a crucial step in the development process. It provides an opportunity for users to test the protocol in a safe and controlled environment before it goes live on the mainnet. This allows us to gather valuable feedback and make necessary adjustments to ensure the protocol is as secure and user-friendly as possible.
We invite everyone to participate in the testnet launch. We will provide download links on the launch day, so stay tuned for that. Your participation will help us improve the protocol and bring us one step closer to our goal of a more private and secure blockchain ecosystem.
As a token of our appreciation, we will be offering bounties and incentives for testnet participants. More details about these incentives will be revealed in a later announcement.
Following the testnet launch, we plan to launch the mainnet in a few months. Meanwhile, ongoing research is already being done to improve Spark’s performance and also expand its use cases through Spark Assets (Spats) that allows users to create their own privacy-preserving assets.
Stay tuned for more updates from Firo.