New Balance

in staking

BitCanna invitational testnet


Among fifty others, I was chosen to participate in the new Cosmos based testnet of BitCanna. In this blogpost, I will tell you about what I came across and what I learned during the first phase. Let me start with telling about what BitCanna is and why it means so much to me that I was chosen to be one of the firts validators on their new network.

What is BitCanna?

BitCanna is a blockchain solution for the legal cannabis industry. At this moment, they have a custom-built blockchain which is based upon BTC/DASH technology. Since this has become outdated and is a limiting factor in the possibilities for developing new products, BitCanna decided to move to a new blockchain based on the Cosmos ecosystem. This will expand the possibilities to develop new products, while being connected to other blockchains that also utilize the Cosmos Inter Blockchain Communication protocol.

Although governments around the world start to change their opinion about cannabis and in some countries it even got the legal status, the image of this potentially huge market is still not in the green. Because of this, many businesses in the cannabis industry have run into problems with financial institutions or legislators. This is where BitCanna comes in to play.

BitCanna has partnered up with some of the biggest payers in the industry and together they have formed the BitCanna alliance. The goal of this alliance is to work with legislators and solve the problems that legal cannabis businesses are facing.

Alongside the BCNA coin, BitCanna will be providing a supply chain solution and a trust and reputation layer. These things will not only benefit the businesses operating in the cannabis industry, they will hugely improve transparency towards legislators and in the end help to create a healthy market environment, which will serve all parties involved.

Why BitCanna?

For the past couple years, I had been working as a budtender in a Dutch coffeeshop called “The New Balance”. Unfortunately, in January of this year, I received the news that due to continuous confiscations and harassment by police and local government, the coffeeshop would shut its doors permanently on the 30th of April and I was going to lose my job. This news struck me hard because I truly loved working there.

My job in the coffeeshop was part-time and next to that, I do some self-employed work as a web designer. Although I really like building websites, it is not something I want to spend most of my time doing. So, by the end of January, I was looking for new opportunities for work.
I have been interested in web technologies for a long time, so it’s no surprise blockchain technology came into my scope. Besides the fact cryptocurrencies are a profitable investment, from the moment I started learning about blockchain, I got hooked and wanted to participate and support it.

When I came across BitCanna, the project immediately got my attention. I started investigating the fundamentals and understood what they want to solve. A mission I fully support! When I was reading about the move to the Cosmos ecosystem and understood what that means for the future of BitCanna, I setup the full-node wallet and started buying BCNA.
On the same day the registration for the testnet opened, I immediately wrote my application, because having the chance to learn from the team while becoming a validator on the BitCanna network, to me is a big opportunity! In this way, I will be committing to the cannabis industry via a project that’s sole purpose is to eliminate the issues that I have witnessed myself while working in the coffeeshop.

The invitational testnet

When I received the e-mail from BitCanna that I was accepted to participate in the testnet, I could not be more exited!
I ordered a Linux VPS at Strato webhosting, where I have been a customer for over years now. For me this is a trusted party where I hope, I can comfortably rely on.

Operating a Linux server is not new to me. But in terms of experience, I am definitely a beginner. So, there was a lot to learn before I could start setting up the node and completing the tasks. As I’m the type of person that learns on the go, I started configuring my server and found good help watching YouTube video’s from LearnLinuxTV.
As always, I figured everything out and by the time phase one of the testnet started, I was ready!

Before I tell about the tasks in this first phase, I must say that the team behind BitCanna did an exceptionally good job in writing the documentation on GitHub and HackMD, managing overall support in the Discord channel and other things like setting up a task center, so we can easily provide proof of the tasks we completed. Since this is the first time I engage in a testnet, I don’t know what the standard is, but I have read comments in the Discord channel, that the way this project is organised, is top notch! And I totally agree!

First task

The first task was setting up the validator node. In the days ahead of the testnet, I did some investigation into the setup of a Cosmos node, so I already knew what I could expect. Well, it went beyond my expectations. Al the steps that had to be made where precisely documented.  Although there were some issues with connecting my wallet to the node, with the help of Johan from BitCanna, this was fixed with a simple command to restore the wallet with the seed phrase. After about two and a half hour, the node was online.

Second task

After the node was setup, I started the second task which was to connect to node to the Prometheus dashboard and provide as many analytics as possible to the BitCanna developers. For this task, I had to edit some lines in the configuration file and allow the Prometheus server access to my node. This was done by adding a rule to the firewall. Because I already knew where the folder was located which contained the configuration file, this second task was done in a matter of seconds.

With the node up and running and connected to Prometheus, I could start playing around and learn how to operate the node via Command-line interface. I delegated some coins to my own node and some to others. For the sake of testing and learning, I also unbonded coins from my own node. By doing that, these coins will be unavailable for 21 days. That’s something you should be aware of when you are delegating your coins to a validator!

Final tasks

The third task was to send out a tweet about participating in the testnet. Done! And the final task of this stage is writing a blogpost, which I never thought I would be doing! Now look at me here.

What’s next?

In the second phase, we will prepare our validator node for the new testnet and after that submit a so called “GenTX” transaction. By doing this our current wallet address will be engraved in the genesis file, and we don’t have to create a new wallet for the new testnet.

Make sure to check out the website of BitCanna and I will tell you all about the second phase of the testnet in my next blogpost.