A new contest is taking place that aims to test a node written in the Rust programming language — with the ambition of breaking the world record for the bandwidth of blockchain protocols in a real network.

Free TON's current node is written in C++ and already has the ability to process thousands of transactions per second. Sharding plays an instrumental role in this network, as this means that smart contracts can be processed in parallel.

It’s believed that a node written in Rust would be dramatically quicker due to better process parallelization, and organizers of the Rust Cup believe that Free TON has the potential to outperform Solana, which claims to be the fastest blockchain platform with a capacity of 50,000 transactions per second.

‘An event for the entire industry’

The Rust Cup was announced in December 2020 and was scheduled to start in February. Although the contest is yet to commence, the warm-up is in full swing.

One of the validators, Anatoly Ustinov, said: “The launch of the node from the team of Mitja Goroshevsky is more than an event for Free TON, it is an event for the entire industry. The work that has been done is so huge in terms of hours and science intensity that it is beyond belief."

More validators are now being encouraged to get involved — giving them the chance to pursue their passion for blockchain and take pride in the development of technology that could indelibly enhance the network’s performance. It’s shaping up to be a contest that makes history — and competitors seeking glory have the potential to win big rewards. Those who are interested in taking part can throw their hats into the ring by joining the international validators’ group on Telegram.

More insights from Free TON here

How the contest will work

It is expected that 200 validators will be named as winners in the Rust Cup, and the prizes on offer will depend on where they rank. Special prizes are also being set aside for those who spot errors in a node or platform protocol.

Validators are already warming up in anticipation of the rustnet’s debut, and a pre-launch simulation of how the network will operate has already taken place.

Under the rules of the race, every competitor will be given exactly the same stake into the DePool contract they have to run — and the winner will be determined by the rewards that they have accrued through staking by the event’s conclusion.

Participants have been warned that they may have to endure network restarts, node failures, bugs, protocol changes and other unfriendly conditions — and any such issues are set to be part and parcel of the competition.

A leaderboard has also been set up for the Rust Cup, meaning that spectators can find out how each competitor is progressing in real time.

‘Strong potential’

The Rust Cup comes hot on the heels of news that TON Labs, the development arm behind the Free TON blockchain, has raised $6 million through an investment round led by VC firm Runa Capital.

The funding will go toward building out a new product environment for the Free TON blockchain — and Runa Capital says that TON Labs is the only blockchain company that it has awarded direct funding to.

Runa Capital’s general partner Dmitry Chikhachev said the firm sees strong potential in Free TON’s high-performance, decentralized computing platform, adding: “The team, their sophisticated approach and the open-source TON project itself radically differ from other ventures in the blockchain space, and Runa is thrilled to support such a unique project.”

Learn more about Free TON

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