Announcing Network Upgrade ‘Skyr’

Apr 21, 2023

The much-anticipated v16 Network upgrade — nicknamed ‘Skyr’ — went live on Wednesday, July 6. By introducing Milestone 1 of the Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM), Skyr is one of the largest upgrades in Filecoin network history.

An Ethereum-compatible (EVM), WASM-compilable virtual machine, the FVM provides core functionality for developers to innovate on the Filecoin network stack. This includes non-programmable smart contracts in Rust, as well as dynamic gas fee updates and other supporting features and enhancements. The Skyr upgrade also lays the groundwork for FVM Milestone 2, which will see the launch of user-programmable smart contracts that allow anyone to simply and easily deploy dapps and other decentralized tools and services on the Filecoin network.

The FVM will ultimately enable the Filecoin ecosystem to envision a myriad of new use-cases and service efficiencies for decentralized storage. Automated service agreements, new market functionality, data DAOs, tokenized data sets, trustless reputation systems, and many other network opportunities are already being explored by Filecoin community members.

The importance of the FVM for the future of the Filecoin network directly inspired the v16 nickname ‘Skyr’, a tribute to an engineering retreat in Iceland that officially kicked off work on the project. For months, this team coordinated an immense amount of technically complex work, distilling more than a year of conversations around FVM needs, design preferences, and technical implementations into a series of FIP proposals. As always, these FIP proposals then underwent months of testing, community feedback and input, design iteration, and technical review before finally achieving community acceptance.

Alongside the FIPs process, preparing and planning for the Skyr network upgrade was a highly complex task that required constant coordination among various contributors in the Filecoin ecosystem. The FVM engineering and network implementation teams, storage providers, community engineers, and others spent months reconfiguring the Filecoin protocol and testing network components. The Filecoin ecosystem also stood up new accelerator and grants programs to support FVM builders; introduced a new governance mechanism to support application standards; updated systems and network apps to support FVM monitoring and network usage statistics; and began to explore new technologies, DAOs, and program offerings that will scale the power of a more dynamic network.

What’s next for the Filecoin network? User-programmable smart contracts are on their way and planned for later this year, but before those capabilities are added, expect new FIPs to help expand the usability of smart contracts, more dynamic marketplaces, and deeper integration between Filecoin and other blockchain ecosystems.

The v16 update is the culmination of a comprehensive end-to-end effort spanning from network ideation to developer implementation, an achievement hard-won from every level of the community and setting the tone for the future of the network; a milestone only possible thanks to everyone in the community innovating the boundaries of decentralized storage.

Stay involved in governance discussions and keep an eye on the next phase of the FVM by heading over to the FilecoinProject/FIP Github page. Welcome to Skyr!