Weekly Update: W/C 14th November, 2022

As part of Edge’s ongoing commitment to transparency and development in the open, the core team write weekly updates to the Edge community. This is the 189th of these updates.

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Good evening @everyone 👋

Work on project governance progresses at a strong pace — we’re on track to launch before the end of the year. The interfaces are looking fantastic: fast, simple, and effective. We’re very excited to be able to show them to you, and to enable governance on-chain.

The first few governance proposals have been drafted by one of our founders. They cover the planned burn of project revenues, adjustments to staking requirements, development prioritisation, and a few other items besides.

For governance to be a success the project needs as high a level of participation as possible. We’ll be calling on all of you to engage with the proposals and to vote accordingly.

This week saw just one mainnet deployment, with Index v2.0.4 being released. This patch contained a few bug fixes relating to node data. We’re aware of a few other issues with the index API, mostly around sorting. We’ll be fixing these over the coming weeks. I think we can all say that the Explorer experience is much smoother now with the new index!

There was a question about hardware wallets in the community this week, and I think that my follow up is worth reposting here. While we don’t have third party hardware wallet support for XE yet, it is easy to put your XE into cold storage. Note that for $EDGE you can use any hardware wallet with standard ERC-20 support.

For XE, it is possible to securely generate a wallet. The aim of this is to generate a wallet and transfer XE to it without the private key existing on a machine that has access to the net. You’ll need a machine that you’re happy to wipe, depending on how confident you are in the security of your devices (or how paranoid you are), you can either use a sandboxed virtual machine or a physical machine you’re happy to wipe. (Another option is to use a live CD to run a temporary operating system.)

Once you have your machine, you’ll connect to the internet and load up https://wallet.xe.network/ in a browser, and then disconnect from the internet. Disable WiFi, disable bluetooth, and unplug any network cables etc. Then you click “Create wallet”, and make a physical copy of the wallet address and private key. If it helps, breaking the key out into sets of four works well. You don’t need to type in a password or go through that process on the wallet, you just need a copy of the address and the key.

Next, we need to verify the private key has been copied down correctly. Cancel the Create wallet modal, and click Restore wallet. (Remember, we’re still offline. This machine should never again go online, so keep the network disconnected!)

Once the “Restore a wallet” window pops up, carefully type in the private key, and a password of your choice (this part doesn’t really matter, we’ll be wiping this machine soon.) When you’re done and you’ve clicked Restore, you’ll be taken to the wallet as usual. You won’t see any block information or transactions, as that uses the internet. Pay careful attention to the wallet address displayed at the top. This should match the address you wrote down. If you see a different address, you’ve entered the wrong private key. Any private key is technically valid, but it’s important to have the right one.

If you see the correct address, fantastic, you now have access to a wallet without it having ever been near the internet. You have the wallet address which you can send your XE to, and you can access that with your private key should you ever want to transfer the XE away, but until that point, there is practically* zero chance of your private key being leaked.

If the wallet address doesn’t match, do all this again, and be more careful when copying your private key. Even a single character being wrong will lead to a totally different wallet.

Once you’re happy that you’ve created your cold wallet, it’s time to wipe down the machine. How you do this depends on your approach to sandboxing or air gapping your machine. To be entirely safe, the operating system should be wiped — with a live OS approach, simply remove the disc/flash drive and restart the machine. For a VM, you’ll want to shut it down and delete it, and for a natively installed OS, you’ll want to reinstall your OS. The reason for this is that not only do we want to disable any ability for any nefarious program to communicate your private key with the outside world while you’re generating/typing it, but we also want to make sure there aren’t any key- or screen-loggers capturing data that wait for a network connection before transmitting upon reconnection to the internet.

Now, this may all seem a little bit cloak and dagger, and the level of precaution you take is entirely up to you. The web wallet itself is secure, runs entirely client-side, and the only outward communication it has is to send locally signed transactions to the blockchain. The mobile wallet uses industry standard iOS security protocols, and is entirely client-side too. But for those of you who like to have the ultimate peace of mind, the above allows you to create a cold storage wallet more secure than any hardware wallet.

(* There are of course very esoteric side cases where even air gapped machines can exfiltrate data but the reality is that if you’re being targeted by such sophisticated methods, you’ve got more to worry about than your XE.)

And as I said, as $EDGE is ERC-20, you can store it in most hardware wallets.

The team have also been working this week on a number of improvements for the wiki, including video tutorials and demonstrations. These will be useful both to users who want an understanding of the services, as well as for sales channels too, demonstrating the power of Edge. We’ll share these with you over the next few weeks.

And that’s all for now!

Enjoy your weekends folks 🍻

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