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Paloma Weekly Wings: December 6, 2023 - Pigeon Feed: The Launch of a New Validator Revenue Model for Relay Chains

Your new Paloma hatchlings this week?

Welcome to the weekly update on new software design from the Paloma community of developers.

REMINDER WARNING: The Hatchling Paloma Network of “Messenger” (v1.10.1) and the Pigeon relay module is on v1.10.1. Paloma is still young, and its Cosmwasm and EVM contracts are still unaudited and undergoing continuous upgrades on the protocol and its smart contracts. The GRAIN token is launched but not yet trading on any exchanges. Although the flock is flying on the messenger mainnet, it is still subject to the continued development of Paloma’s cross-chain messaging system as well as to the security guarantees offered by the GRAIN token. We expect “Messenger” to experience weekly chain halts and chain restarts to upgrade. We also expect numerous undiscovered vulnerabilities. We also do not control nor influence the price of GRAINs. The community will strive to preserve the mainnet state, which includes balances, but considers this mainnet high-risk. Proceed with caution.

1. Introducing Pigeon Feed

What is the Problem?

Now that Paloma has extensive pigeon logging and new Pigeon Operator Keys implemented for validators to send more relay messages from their validator key, Paloma is now looking towards creating the Paloma Message Relay market. Currently, funds for relay gas charges are refunded directly to validators via the Volume team’s refund script, which tracks relay activities across all chains. This scaling limit was implemented so that Volume’s engineering team would understand how validators performed message relay activities. The launch of and, with nearly $7.5MM in total trading-bot volume, highlighted a new need to optimize validator performance. Currently, validators are selected for relay by random. Continuing to assign messages to validators based on random assignments will not be adequate as bot developers and users demand more performance for their messages to be relayed across multiple chains. Now, Volume is ready to allow validator selection to fall to the most reliable validators that can perform relaying according to a set of rules arising from mainnet bot activity. Paloma’s network of validators is a live network. There are no restrictions on entry and exit, which means that the lack of these message-relay performance rules hurt validators’ ability to tune their data centers to compete for more significant relay revenues. It’s our view that relay revenue is vital to validator performance and the foundation for making Paloma a better Relay Chain. To launch the Paloma Relay Fees and Market, we need to launch Pigeon Feed.

What is Pigeon Feed?

Pigeon Feed is the relay performance ruleset by which each validator Pigeon is weighted for receiving messages and executing successful relay work. These rules and weights are set in governance and voted by all grain hodlers. Although these rules are voted into by governance, they are optional for validators to follow as they are strictly performance metrics for message relay actions. Validators that follow these rules will be weighted higher than those that do not. Pigeons with higher weights will receive more message work, prioritized by their service fee pricing. As Paloma continues to add more messages, we expect more participants to enter the network to compete for relay fees. More competition for relay fees will reduce the prices validators charge for relaying while maintaining a high-quality data center. Pigeon Feed does not require a large stake for participation. Thus, Pigeon Feed allows smaller validators to compete in message relay activities without needing to compete for increasing GRAIN stakes.

The Pigeon Feed Performance Weights

Pigeon Feed will include the following performance weights for pigeon message relay assignment wins:

  • The pigeon's message uptake rate:

    • This is the number of messages a pigeon uptakes within a minimum performance period of 5 seconds. Ideally, Paloma expects all pigeons to accept and process messages within the 1 second block time. However, at launch, the target is 10 seconds for relay message uptake.

  • The pigeon's message delivery success rate:

    • This is the rate of successful message deliveries by any Pigeon selected to deliver a message. Higher message delivery success rates result in a higher weight.

  • The pigeon's message delivery speed

    • This is the duration between message assignment and successful relay. Lower delivery speed depends on validator investment in best-performance RPC endpoint service providers. Faster delivery response speeds result in higher weight.

  • Active MEV Endpoints (MEV endpoint setting)

    • This is the check for MEV endpoint message performance. Messages that require MEV and are delivered by validators will increase this weight. Paloma currently supports MEV relay with Bloxroute endpoints.

  • Active tx type: 2 set (eip 1559 for lower gas)

    • Validators that configure pigeons for lower gas feature functionalities, including EIP-1559 will result in weights in favor of that pigeon's performance. EIP-1559 is optional for all validators, and this weight will ensure that validators that continue to implement lower gas-cost features will have higher performance weights.

2. Improving Message Relay Queue Resilience: Reducing relay delays from 30 minutes to 10 seconds.

Paloma’s message queue expects all validators to accept assigned messages immediately. However, this past week, we noticed several delays in message relay by validators who were assigned messages. This was a new observation, and Paloma only allows messages to be retried after 30 minutes. This created a situation in which Paloma experienced a backlog of over 200 messages due to a delay in a pigeon picking up and publishing a valset update on the Ethereum blockchain. The cause of the delay could have been insufficient ETH for gas or a non-performant RPC endpoint. and bots continue to require faster performance for smart TWAPs and other bots. Thus, the Volume team and Paloma community continue to work on Message Relay Queue performance as a part of the Pigeon Feed initiative.

Paloma will now feature automated message re-assignment from non-performing pigeons to other pigeons in the network. Automated message re-assignment will now be 10 seconds for each message. This reduces the delay window from 30 minutes. Successful improvement at 10 seconds will be tested with a lower duration of 5 seconds or at least 2 seconds. Paloma’s goal to be the fastest relayer requires that we continue improving message relay resilience in seconds and sub-second times.

3. Upgrading Paloma to Cosmos-SDK 0.50.0, Comet BFT 0.38.1 and Cosmwasm 1.5.0

Work continues with the Vitwit team to upgrade Paloma to Cosmos-SDK 0.50.0. The Vitwit team continues to upgrade all the Paloma custom modules to Cosmos-SDK 0.50.0. This work requires an ongoing understanding of Paloma’s custom use of the following Cosmos-SDK modules:

  • Paloma Scheduler

  • Paloma Treasury

  • Paloma Gravity

  • Paloma Valset

  • Paloma Consensus

  • Paloma EVM

This migration will continue in December as we prepare Paloma to take full advantage of advanced Cosmos-SDK features that allow for even further message relay and transaction throughput across the network.

Stay up to date and follow the Paloma public repositories and the commits of ongoing upgrades to the Paloma Cosmos-SDK blockchain and the Pigeon relay module here:

Pigeon of the Week: AI Pigeon Series - The Lambo Pigeon

The Lambo Pigeon is a species of blockchain message relayer that drives message delivery with the fastest possible road machine. The Lambo pigeon is an inspiration for all Paloma validators that the Relay Chain, which they manage, will reward the pigeons that perform with the highest Pigeon Feed weights.

The Lambo Pigeon



Welcome to the launch of Pigeon Feed with the launch of performance weights for Pigoen Validator message relay performance. This first stage allows Paloma to implement new message-relay assignment methods immediately. Paloma also continues its upgrade of Paloma to Cosmos-SDK 0.50. We look forward to testing these new features next week.

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