Secret Network has just been upgraded to version 1.11, adding new functionality that enables contracts on EVM-compatible blockchains to communicate with contracts on Secret. This is a massive step forward in our Secret Ethereum initiative, decreasing the gap between our ecosystems by providing Secret’s confidential computation to Ethereum developers!
In addition to that, v1.11 adds the ability to upgrade Secret contracts. This is an extremely useful feature for developers as it allows them to add new functionality to existing contracts, or to patch vulnerabilities. Previously, developers had to use workarounds to achieve similar results, but with Secret v1.11 this process is now simpler and standardized.
This upgrade also adds the ability for contracts to send private push notifications to alert users about on-chain events. This can help users keep up to date without having to manually check their wallet or a dApp interface for the latest information, and will also reduce the workload on query nodes, improving overall network performance.
To learn more about all of these new features, read on!
This network upgrade adds IBC-hooks, an IBC middleware developed by the Osmosis team that enables ICS-20 token transfers to initiate contract calls. When used in conjunction with Axelar GMP, this makes it possible for contracts on EVM-compatible blockchains to initiate contract calls on Secret. This is a major advancement of Secret’s Privacy as a Service capabilities, providing the tools needed for developers to build applications on EVM chains that utilize Secret’s privacy-preserving computation.
This unlocks exciting new capabilities for Ethereum applications, enabling developers to build things that would not be possible using a public blockchain alone. Some examples are private voting for DAOs, on-chain random numbers for gaming, account abstraction, sealed-bid auctions, and confidential data tied to NFTs.
The tools are available, it’s time to start building!
Historically, Secret contracts have not been upgradable, in contrast to most smart contract blockchains. This was a deliberate design choice made before Secret contracts launched on mainnet in 2020, with the intention of maximizing the security of funds held in contracts, and preserving data privacy. It can be argued that contract upgradability poses a risk to user funds and data, as the author of a contract could change code without users’ consent. However, with most smart contract blockchains these risks have always existed, and are accepted in order to optimize the developement experience. Over time, it has become apparent that many developers in our community feel that Secret contracts should be upgradable, as not being able to upgrade them overly complicates the development and maintenance of Secret applications. Taking this feedback into consideration, SCRT Labs has enabled contract upgradability with v1.11.
Now that contract upgradability is in place, we should soon see updates to some popular Secret contracts. For example, new features that have been planned for some time for older SNIP-20 token contracts include support for query permits, timestamps for transactions, “decoys” for enhanced privacy, and improved compatibility with MetaMask.
Private Push Notifications
SNIP-52 is a Secret contract standard for private push notifications. It was developed by Solar Republic, the same development team behind the privacy focused StarShell Wallet. Secret v1.11 adds some code that makes the use of SNIP-52 possible for the first time.
The original motivation for developing this was to reduce the workload on query nodes. Typically in a blockchain network, in order for a wallet or dApp to receive the latest on-chain data, a request must be made from a client to a query node. During times of heavy network usage, such as a popular NFT mint or high trading volume on a DEX, these query nodes can become congested, resulting in a slow down of the entire network.
SNIP-52 aims to prevent this by instead having contracts “push” notifications to clients when certain data changes, rather than requiring the client to send multiple requests checking to see if the data has changed. If Secret dApps adopt this standard, it should result in an overall less congested and more smoothly running network!
What’s Next for Secret?
Last month we announced Secret Ethereum, an initiative to bridge the gap between the Secret and Ethereum ecosystems on both the user and developer levels. This announcement mentioned several phases, each of which would introduce new forms of interoperability. At the time of that announcement, only phase 0 had been completed. With today’s launch of Secret v1.11, phase 1 is now live, providing developers on Ethereum with the tools needed to store and utilize encrypted data on Secret. This phase unlocks a whole new world of use-cases for decentralized applications, and we’re extremely excited to see what gets built as a result of it!
However, this is just the beginning.
Next month, we will be unveiling a brand new core development roadmap for Secret Network, which will focus heavily on our Secret Ethereum initiative and provide more detailed information about the remaining phases outlined in our initial announcement. Big things are coming.