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Updating verifiers

This page will contain the full process that we use every time we update our verifiers. We have a total of 9 verifiers in the cycle: ⛵ Argo 746, ⛵ Argo 752, 😱 😱 Killr 😱 😱, and 6 that we have not disclosed. We update at least one verifier with all new code before release, and we update the rest of our verifiers shortly after release.

For us, the update process is largely manual. We have various automatic processes that we used before public release and continue to use for convenience in testnets, but we do not feel that the convenience of an automatic process for updating our verifiers on the production blockchain would justify the risk of something going wrong. Regardless of whether you update your verifiers manually or through an automatic process, the only responsible way to update verifiers is serially. If you update all of your verifiers at once, you are risking the stability of your sentinel and leaving your verifiers vulnerable to removal from the cycle if something goes wrong.

Even in our testnet update scripts, we always update serially. One verifier is updated, and then the script queries the verifier until it is confirmed to be tracking the blockchain and producing blocks again. In a production environment, some element of stochasticism is desirable, as well, so that timing of updates does not make ownership of verifiers too obvious. For critical updates, we spread out updating of our 9 verifiers over at least several hours. For less time-sensitive updates, we typically spread out updating over several days.

In these notes, we will describe our manual process. Part or all of this could easily be automated.

This page is not yet complete.