Babylon Betanet is Live | The Radix Blog | Radix DLT

December 20, 2022

Betanet is live!

Radvocates and Scryptonauts rejoice, Betanet is officially live! This long-awaited moment is the first integration of all the major elements of the full stack for DeFi, including an early developer preview of the all-new Radix Wallet for Babylon.

The Babylon Betanet is all about letting our developer community start getting serious about building dApps intended for release at the Babylon Mainnet update in Q2 2023. We’re releasing not just the test network for development, but a set of updates and new tools for devs to dig into.

If you’re not a developer, nothing changes for you today. The Olympia network and the current Radix Desktop Wallet will keep running right up until the Babylon Mainnet update. Stay tuned for the building momentum of activity from our amazing developer community, working on creating the next generation of web3 apps for you.

If you’re already a member of our dev community, or taking the opportunity now to get started, let’s jump right in and see what you’ll find inside the box.

Scrypto v0.7

The big push for Scrypto this release was to get as close to feature complete as possible, in order to take the leash off any projects which were awaiting a promised but undelivered capability. You can check out a lengthier list of new additions in the release notes, but here are some notable highlights:

  • Royalties — developers may set costs for the use of their blueprints and components, which the network will automatically collect on their behalf.
  • Recallable tokens — the native resources implementation has been expanded to permit developers to optionally specify rules under which a token can be taken from its owner, and these rules will automatically be exposed to consumers like wallets. This enables whole new classes of functionality for regulated tokens, membership NFTs, and projects that need a controlled ecosystem for their assets, while ensuring that users are armed with knowledge about which tokens can be recalled.
  • Real-world time — developers have been clamoring for the availability of wall-clock time since the Alexandria preview event over a year ago, and a first implementation has shipped with Betanet. The mechanics of how network time works is a deep topic, one that is particularly important for some financial applications, and you can expect detailed documentation to appear over the coming months.

There’s still an assortment of smaller items and fit-and-finish work to do, but with all the big ticket items now present in Scrypto, the focus for the language for the next few months will be on making everything as intuitive and frictionless as possible. The team will be listening closely to the developer community to discover any pain points or awkward designs, ensuring that development on Radix isn’t just best-in-class for smart contracts, but a completely delightful experience from the first “hello world” steps all the way through to safe production applications.

Learn more about Scrypto v0.7

Radix Wallet & Connector extension developer preview

Betanet enables the first public test of the mobile Wallet connection and signing workflow shown at RadFi. Developers can download an iOS preview of the Wallet from TestFlight as well as a new browser extension to enable the connection between desktop and mobile. Please note that this early release is very much focused on developer needs for successfully passing and signing transactions, and isn’t yet suitable for general users who just want to get a feel for the Wallet experience.

Part of the Wallet implementation strategy is for iOS to be the “pathfinder” implementation to shake ideas out, with Android following behind as things are settled. Consequently, an Android preview release is not available on Betanet launch day, but one will be released during Betanet.

If you’re eager to get started on development using the preview Wallet, you can jump straight to a guide to installing and using the Radix Wallet preview here.

See the vision for the Radix Wallet on RadFi

Jump to the getting started guide

Radix Dashboard preview

Radix Dashboard is a dApp website that will replace the Radix Explorer at Babylon launch. It includes typical explorer functionality like searches on accounts, transactions, and more — but also will let users connect their Radix wallet and use a variety of helpful utilities. The Betanet release of the site is a very early form, and is focused on some core searches and utilities for developer use. The full plans for Babylon release and beyond are still under wraps, but you can check out the first version here.

Check out the Radix Dashboard

Web developer SDKs

Naturally, frontends are going to need to communicate with the Radix Wallet, and there’s a Wallet SDK just for that purpose. The Wallet SDK also contains a very basic manifest builder, providing a JavaScript interface for manifest generation that meets the most common needs, as well as the ability to request account addresses from the Wallet. Please see the README for an explanation of where the SDK is headed, and you can start working with the basic features now.

There’s also a convenient √ Connect Button UI element that acts as a useful wrapper for the Wallet SDK.

Check out the Wallet SDK documentation

Check out the √ Connect Button

Querying ledger state is done via the Gateway API, which has undergone an overhaul since Alphanet. The Gateway interface is still under development, so please don’t hesitate to head over to Discord and provide your feedback about what sorts of queries would be most useful to you. As always, laying out a concrete use case is the best way to present a need.

Jump to the Gateway SDK

See the Babylon Gateway API specification

→ Join the Discord community and give feedback in #scrypto

Radix Engine Toolkit

Some adventurous community devs have already encountered Scrypto Binary Object Representation (SBOR), which is a custom encoding used by multiple parts of the Babylon tech stack, and an SBOR-encoded transaction manifest is what is actually submitted to the network to run. To spare developers from having to learn and implement the intricacies of SBOR, the Radix Engine Toolkit is now available for anyone to use. This nifty tool handles encoding and decoding for you, converts transaction manifests between JSON and string representations, and leaves your breath minty fresh!

Learn more about the Radix Engine Toolkit

New Babylon-centric technical documentation site

In preparation for Babylon, a new technical documentation site focused solely on Babylon concepts is now live. Information about the current Olympia network will remain at the main docs site until the mainnet upgrade. Much remains to be filled in, but have a look through for the latest Scrypto documentation, as well as getting started guides for dApp developers, information on the Radix Wallet, links to the various libraries and APIs for dApp developers, and more.

Check out the new Babylon Tech Docs site

What’s Next

There will be additional Betanet releases in the coming months, either to enable features that didn’t quite make the launch date or to adjust interfaces in response to community feedback.

Community node running will open up in late January or early February, and messages have already gone out to existing validators seeking volunteers to join the testing pool.

Explanations of the mechanics of key Babylon concepts like smart accounts will be trickling out, along with other updates to the completely Babylon-focused documentation site.

And, of course, an Android preview of the Wallet will be made available as soon as it’s ready.

Betanet Lightning Q&A

Does Betanet have “real” tokens and applications on it that will become part of mainnet?

No, Betanet is strictly a test network, and everything on it will eventually vanish.

Will Betanet experience ledger resets during operation? Can my data on it be wiped?

Yes and yes. New Betanet releases may include a reset of the ledger.

When will Betanet run until?

Betanet will be shut down after the release of RCnet, just as Alphanet is now being shut down with the release of Betanet.

When is the Android Wallet expected to reach parity with the iOS Wallet?

Not until the Babylon mainnet upgrade.

When will Scrypto 1.0 be released?

Concurrent with the mainnet upgrade, although user-facing changes are planned to end with the release of RCnet.

Can I still test Scrypto locally?

Of course! The Radix Engine Simulator isn’t going anywhere, and will continue to be available.

Have the fee tables been updated since Alphanet?

No, fees are in the midst of a research effort and should still be treated as random numbers which have no relation to what actual costs will be.

Why don’t I see the Radix Wallet on the App Store/Google Play Store?

Prior to the mainnet upgrade, both applications will be distributed through their respective platform’s testing process via an invite link for developer use.

Where’s the Babylon desktop wallet?

Babylon Wallet development is strictly mobile first, and no desktop-native version is under development at this time. Check out RadFi or the related roundtable discussion to learn more about this, and about how the mobile app still lets you interact with DeFi on desktop!

Babylon is Coming

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a single year since the release of Alexandria, the first glimpse of a radically different way to develop for Web3 and DeFi. The evolution of both Scrypto and the Radix Engine in 12 short months is nothing short of staggering, and the amazing output of the burgeoning Scrypto developer community has, incredibly, already dramatically exceeded the output that other networks have burned millions and millions of dollars to achieve. And all this before smart contracts are live on the network!

Add in crypto’s first mainstream-ready wallet experience (watch RadFi, if you missed it!), and Babylon is nothing short of a revolution for users, developers, and entrepreneurs. It’s such a game-changer that the naysayers have retreated to claiming that the whole thing is vaporware and “too good to be true, won’t ever ship.” Well, it’s time to tell them the bad news — Babylon is right on schedule. Let’s get building.

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