- Since they need an asynchronous form of chain upgrades, the Nano team developed Epoch blocks
- Next week, they will start distributing these special blocks across the Nano network
- The account-chain upgrade will move accounts from Epoch 0 to Epoch 1
Since all the accounts on their network are asynchronous, the Nano team knew their chain upgrades need to also come in asynchronous form. In line with this, they developed the Epoch blocks. Next week, the Nano team will start the process of distributing these special blocks across the network. Let’s take a closer look at this rather unique method of network upgrade.
The Lowdown on Epoch Blocks
In a nutshell, these unique blocks mark the final stage of the Universal Block network upgrade. It also designates the end of the Legacy block or the send/receive/change/open era. Once an one of these blocks is added to an account-chain, the note software will no longer validate the old-style blocks that were added.
In other words, after Epoch blocks:
- An account-chain will no longer be able to generate Legacy blocks.
- Transactions on the account-chain are received by a State block.
This special block functionality was added in version 15 – Pull Request #955 to be specific. Signed by the Genesis account, they will be added to each of the account-chains on the network, including all the un-opened accounts that have pending services.
Due to the sheer number of frontiers on the networks, the Proof of Work is generated utilising the Distributed Proof of work system developed by the Nano Center. There is no need for users to generate Proof of Work on their own as this is taken care of by Nano.
What Epoch Blocks Can Change
Since it is an account-chain upgrade, the blocks will move network accounts from Epoch 0 to Epoch 1. Future transactions then will have a minimum version of 1. In addition, they can no longer be received by Legacy blocks. The account, however, is automatically upgraded to version 1 when received by a State block.
The blocks will not be able to change any representatives or balances on accounts. In the event where an attempt to change an account’s balance occurs, it will be rejected by the node since the signature would be incorrect. Only the account-chain holder has the option to sign blocks that can change representatives or balances.
Epoch blocks are intended for one-time use only. However, they can also be used in future upgrades when the need calls for it.