Celestia has announced the launch of the largest ever incentivized testnet program called the Blockspace Race. The program is designed to support data availability sampling, with more than 700 sampling light nodes.
Testnets including Mamaki were launched in 2022 to test network functionality, but the Blockspace Race will help stress test a more complete version of the protocol. Starting from March 7, participants in the Blockspace Race will compete to score points for finishing tasks, with the highest scorers being crowned the victors.
The Blockspace Race is designed to unite the world towards a shared goal of providing abundant blockspace. The race has five phases spanning nine weeks of competition, with each phase requiring participants to complete their respective tasks to collect points.
Over 20,000 people applied to participate in the Blockspace Race, with 1,000 participants selected to participate in the program. The participants are made up of validators, bridge nodes, full storage nodes, and light nodes. The validator role had 100 available slots, while the other slots were made up of the remaining node roles.
Each phase of the Blockspace Race has tasks related to each participant’s role, with participants scored based on the completion of tasks and performance. The testnet boasts new features, including IBC transfers, more efficient syncing, and an improved API for interacting with Celestia DA nodes.
The Blockspace Race will feature five phases for a total of nine weeks. Phase 1, which starts on March 7, will begin with validators bringing the network to life. The tasks for each phase can be found in the documentation that will go live once each phase begins.
Celestia hopes to get invaluable feedback from the community on how to continue to improve the network. The Blockspace Race will be pivotal in helping the community stress test the new upgrades and the network as a whole.