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Paloma Weekly Wings: November 15, 2023 - Paloma and Pigeon Upgrade to v1.10.0 and Launch Pigeon Operator Keys

Paloma Weekly Wings: November 15, 2023 - Paloma and Pigeon Upgrade to v1.10.0 and Launch Pigeon Operator Keys

Your new Paloma hatchlings this week?

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

REMINDER WARNING: The Hatchling Paloma Network of “Messenger” (v1.10.0) and the Pigeon relay module is on v1.10.0. Paloma is still young, and its Cosmwasm and EVM contracts are still un-audited and undergoing continuous upgrades on protocol as well as on the 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 stated but considers this mainnet high-risk. Proceed with caution.

1. Paloma and Pigeon Upgrade to V1.10.0

Paloma and Pigeon both upgraded to v1.10.0 with a number of enhancements for target chain communications. Today, we introduced Pigeon Operator Keys and their features that will allow validators to relay as many messages as possible to be included in a transaction block on the Paloma network, without account sequence mismatch errors.

Pigeon Operator Keys

In order to support multiple signing keys for Pigeons, we recently released a change for Paloma that introduced message metadata fields for all Paloma messages, allowing Pigeons to define signers other than the creator address.

This change includes:

  • Removing lens as a dependency, replacing it with a slimmed down in-house solution called ion

  • Support to define multiple signature keys in the pigeon config, see below for additional details

  • Automatic key rotation when sending messages to Paloma

  • Automatic metadata injection into messages

  • Introducing validator-key as a configuration field for the paloma chain inside Pigeon. This used to be the signing-key field, which remains to be supported for now

NOTE: The new signing keys are completely optional. In case there's no change to the configuration, Pigeon will read the old existing signature-key field and use it for both the message creator and signer when injecting metadata. See below on how to enable support for multiple signing keys.

Going forward, we'll be referring to the old signing-key as validator-key.

Support for multiple signing keys

By default, Pigeon will use your validator key to sign any transactions sent to Paloma. In high throughput environments, this may lead to account sequence mismatch errors.

It's possible to define more than one signing key to be used in rotation to combat this issue. In order to do so, you will need to create a number of new keys and register them with Pigeon like this:

# First, create a number of new keys. You may create an arbitrary amount of keys.
palomad keys add pigeon-operator-alpha
palomad keys add pigeon-operator-bravo
palomad keys add pigeon-operator-charlie

# Second, your new addresses will need to receive an active feegrant from your validator address.
# This step is very important. It's not enough to simply fund those addresses manually.
# The active feegrant is considered a "permission" to send transactions from your validator address".
palomad tx feegrant grant $VALIDATOR_ADDRESS pigeon-operator-alpha --fees 500ugrain -y
palomad tx feegrant grant $VALIDATOR_ADDRESS pigeon-operator-bravo --fees 500ugrain -y
palomad tx feegrant grant $VALIDATOR_ADDRESS pigeon-operator-charlie --fees 500ugrain -y

After creating your signing keys, all you need to do is register them with Pigeon by adding the following to your pigeon config. Make sure to restart the service after making these changes.

    - pigeon-operator-alpha
    - pigeon-operator-bravo
    - pigeon-operator-charlie

Introducing Pigeon Operator Keys that brings a number of new concepts into the Paloma client that are required:

  1. Message Metadata: Every Paloma-scheduled message that is to be included within a transaction now comes with a new, required field called metadata, which itself includes two different fields: signers and creator. These fields allow Paloma to verify that validators are signing with multiple signing keys. However, with the creator field, Paloma will always know which validators signed which messages and with which keys.

  2. Ante Handlers: Paloma's modules may now register their own ante handlers to perform transaction validation.

Using these new concepts, Paloma validators may add multiple signing keys for relaying and attesting to messages. Paloma now considers the metadata field contents when verifying transaction signatures. It does so by confirming that the transaction contains signatures from:

a) all signers of every message within the transaction

b) ensuring that the message creator is among the set of signers, or at least one of the signers of a message has active fee-grant from the message creator

This allows us to start using more than one key when signing transactions, as long as those keys are fee-granted from our validator account. It also sets the stage for multiple-signature transaction verification with each validator’s creator key.

Validator Target Chain Readiness

There's a hen & egg situation in case we're currently onboarding a new chain on Paloma, as the chain status is not yet active, Validators without full support for the new chain will still be within the active validator set. Paloma v1.10.0 adds target chain awareness when filtering for viable message relayers, ensuring that validators with missing chain support for the required target chain are no longer considered for relay activities. This avoids having relay messages delayed in delivery.

Gravity Bridge Event-Nonce Observation for Batches

This adds a new GRPC query to retrieve the last observed event nonce from Paloma. Pigeons will use this information in order to build their own state. This is an ongoing improvement in fixing the current paloma-testnet-15 Optimism bug that has a batch submitted infinitely due to inability of validators to verify the Event-Nonce due to the speed of the network.

2. Paloma Compass-EVM Upgrades and Bot Redeployment

The new Gravity Bridge Event-Nonce Observation requirement now requires an upgrade to Paloma’s EVM light client, Compass-EVM. Compass-EVM will now need to emit the Event-Nonce which will be queried by all the validators using Pigeon. Today, there two nonces used in Paloma’s cross-chain calls:

  • BatchNonce: This is owned by Paloma and attached when doing a submit_batch() call. The contract also emits it as part of the BatchConfirmEvent

  • EventNonce: It's a nonce that's owned by the contract, emitted with every event and increased by 1 every time the contract emits an event. It should be shared across all events. It is not sent by Paloma.

With the upgrade of the Compass-EVM, Paloma’s community will submit a new vote to upgrade the light client on testnet and mainnnet EVM target chains. This will then require a redeployment of all the Paloma and Curve bots which will complete the upgrade and prepare Gravity for further testing of Pigeon Feed features.

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

Pigeon of the Week: The Crested Pigeon

The crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) is a bird found widely throughout mainland Australia except for the far northern tropical areas. Only two Australian pigeon species possess an erect crest, the crested pigeon and the spinifex pigeon. The crested pigeon is the larger of the two species. The crested pigeon is sometimes referred to as a topknot pigeon, a common name shared with the reddish crested Lopholaimus antarcticus of Eastern Australia.


Paloma Pigeon Operator Keys remove the dreaded Account Sequence Mismatch errors that block validators from using the same key to sign multiple messages in a Paloma block. Paloma’s vision is that validators are not limited in their ability to monetize their block space and their RPC endpoint investments. With Paloma Operator Keys, validators on Paloma may compete to monetize the entire stack. Maximum message relay throughput means Paloma becomes a core addition to the blockchain developers toolkit.

The Volume team continues to update Paloma’s Gravity Bridge to address batch event-nonce tracking and attestation. Compass-EVM upgrades and new votes will be coming this week to prepare for further Gravity upgrades.

We are excited for the next phase of Paloma.

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