TestNet Payment, Website Update, Stay Tuned!

Greetings Sub-Nation!

Excited to see the Testnet GROW to almost 400 nodes before the latest commit.

New descriptors are posted from the Testing Community, so try to hook into the updated Testnet group and start doing more testing on your devices!

I’m excited as I just saw the first successful HOT payment from Serving across a Node I run on my Rasp Pi 3B!

TestNet HOT tokens on MetaMask

This is an Earning wallet I set up to test across my Rasp Pi node, which was running 24/7 for a few days.

Still early days of the network traffic but this was really cool to see!

Also its very impressive to see Community Members making some really cool things!

Check out subnodes.io – this person made a really cool website where you can find descriptors to connect to, test your own node to make sure ports a forwarded correctly, and submit your Node descriptor so others can join the network!

Again, its best to remind you that this will show your external IP address on this list, so only submit your Node if you are safe and secure with this info being Public! (recommend running a Public Node using a cloud service like AWS or VPS services)

Also keep a look-out for a full RC2 Windows 10 Guide to be released soon!

I am just piecing together some of our existing guide and doing a walk-through on a Windows machine so you Windows 10 crowd and try to get involved in testing with us!


Website Updates and RC2 Incoming

I’ve been quieter than normal with a number of things going on, but there are some exciting updates in the Community!

The FAQ on our website has now been built out and has a lot of great information and links to learn more about how what SubstratumNode is, how it works and help with some troubleshooting with the RC1 TestNet.

Tara from our Community has posted a Chinese Tutorial to help those users get their HOT test tokens and install and run SubstratumNode in their region! Thanks TARA!

The Testing Community has been buzzing with over 1 MILLION HOT tokens being send across from the HOT Faucet for the testnet. This is incredible and shows how active and excited our Community is after many months of watching development closely. Get your HOT tokens now!

BJ Allmon has been spearheading the updates as usual on Twitter and Telegram, and represents arguably one of the most transparent development teams in the Crypto-Software space, keeping all observers on the pulse of how the Node software is moving.

Open Source transitioning is nearly complete (all under GPL3 Licensing) and BJ also completed migration of the JIRA workflows into the team GitHub Project page. It’s expected that a ton more development will be in store now the public community can get more involved in building.

RC2 is about to be packaged and delivered in the coming week, so a number of bug fixes and feature upgrades to the GUI will be rolled out to the excited Community.

Get involved in the Community via our Social Accounts, and Subscribe for Updates below!

Subscribe to our Wiki to get Updates!

Getting HOT Tokens For Testing

Just wanted to post my experience getting HOT tokens, since a few users may be confused if they aren’t too familiar with wallets, Ropsten Test Network and gettting ROP (Testnet version of ETH) on the Ropsten faucet.

I’m a Metamask user (and their Beta Android app is GREAT by the way – try it here), and I’m also experienced using MyEtherWallet (MEW), so for me this process was actually pretty fast.

The full HOT Faucet guide is on the SubstratumNetwork github (link here) but you actually only need the following to make this quick and painless:

  1. ETH Wallet set up with MetaMask plugin on your browser – make sure you are logged into the plugin so it is actively running in backgrounds on your browser
  2. Your Wallet address
  3. 5-7 minutes of time

Here’s my RUN-THROUGH, with links and pretty pictures:

STEP ONE – Get your ROP (Ropsten ETH)

Ropsten is a Test Ethereum network that runs on a duplicate blockchain to real Ethereum.

To get Ropsten ROP, you need to go to the Ropsten Faucet Page and enter in your wallet address of the wallet you want the HOT tokens in for using with Substratum Node (SubNode). Keep in mind that the normal Ethereum and Ropsten Networks run in parallel and the wallet addresses are interchangeable – your wallet will show different balances depending on what network you are viewing them from:
NOTE: always check what network you have activated when you do ANY transactions with your wallet, unless it is a ‘burner wallet’

Copy and paste your wallet address into the Ropsten Faucet window and press “Send me test ether”

VOILA! Within about 60 seconds you will have Test ETH on Ropsten network


This part is a bit technical for some, but with MetaMask and a bit of copy-paste on the MEW classic website, this can be EASY!

Make sure you are logged in to your MetaMask plugin in the browser, and also ensure that POP-UPs are NOT BLOCKED for the site, or else your MetaMask plugin may not appear

First, navigate to the Classic MyEtherWallet page – as a general rule, always type out the URL for this and don’t trust any links online to navigate to this page – you could get Phished!

Go to https://vintage.myetherwallet.com/ (don’t trust, VERIFY 😉 )

Double check that Gas Price is set to 1 Gwei, and the Network is selected as Ropsten

  • Click on the Contracts tab.
  • Copy the HOTSwap contract address:
    0x1D735051A431c06185927C27AEcea99520634832 and paste it in the “Contract Address” field
  • Also copy the buyTokens() JSON Interface text:
  • [{"constant": false, "inputs": [{"name": "beneficiary", "type": "address"}], "name": "buyTokens", "outputs": [], "payable": true, "stateMutability": "payable", "type": "function"}]
  • Paste it in the “ABI / JSON Interface” field.

It should look like this:

  • Click the Access button
  • When presented with the “Select a function” drop-down, select buyTokens.
    See the image below
  • Selecting buyTokens will expand the form to reveal a “beneficiary” address field. Enter the wallet address from which you will send test Ether (ROP). This the same address you used in STEP ONE to Get Your ROP above.
  • Scroll down slightly – you should now see this area of the page about how to access your wallet.

Click “Connect to MetaMask” – don’t worry as the screen doesn’t change much, but the Access options may disappear

Now click the blue “Write” button – a window will appear to ask you how much ROP you want to send to the buytoken function. Each ROP will buy 5000 HOT tokens. Remember there are still gas fees, so hold back a small fraction of ROP to make sure there is enough. The Gas Limit will usually fill in a number automatically.

Click “Generate Transaction” – the windows expands showing the raw and signed transaction data.

Verify everything looks correct and then click “Yes, I am sure! Make transaction”

A Pop-Up windows will open from your MetaMask plugin, where you can confirm the transaction. When you click the green “SUBMIT” button it will submit the transaction to the blockchain and the smart contract will convert your ROP into HOT tokens!

And that is that! In about 2 minutes (depending on network congestion and your gas limit) you should see the HOT tokens.

Don’t forget to add ‘Custom Token’ in your MetaMask plugin so you can view the token balance for HOT.

The token address is: 0xcd6c588e005032dd882cd43bf53a32129be81302
And you can find it on Etherscan.io at this link

Not so hard if you use MetaMask and these instructions 😉

Exciting New Wiki Update 30-Jul-19

Greetings SUB-Nation!!

A lot of background work has been going on from the Development team of Substratum which is absolutely exciting!

At the same time, we are building out the Substratum Wiki website with new features to help support the Community.

The Community has been absolutely amazing with their support and contributions so far!

Here are a number of exciting updates – please get involved everyone!:

  • The Community has already started asking about contributing to support the Wiki site! – we have set up a Public ETH address to help support the website hosting and other initiatives.
  • Our Wiki site is now a verified Brave Publisher! Many of us really love the whole Brave project and their browser is great! You can now tip BAT to the Wiki site and help support our content. If you aren’t already using the awesome browser, click this link to download and further support both Brave and the Substratum Wiki
  • We have set up a Community Forum page and built out that feature, so you can both register to our Blog and also start to participate in the Forum to get help on the Testing, Roll-out and use of Substratum Node and more!

None of this is possible without all of you, so special thanks to the following people who really helped me out in the last week:

Wernigerode, Stu G, ToddMeow, BrianM, Microoo, Isabel Beebe and any others I may have forgotten!

Subscribe to our Wiki to get Updates!

The Safe Maker – unlocking wallet dynamics?!

Have you sat there confused about wallets, mnemonic passphrases, seed words, public and private keys – all the jargon around blockchain – and felt your head about to explode?

Well you aren’t the only one! Thankfully after a number of years in the crypto scene, many hours of reading and questioning a few developers, I think I’ve found a way to simplify things with a pretty good analogy!

Hopefully after this read you will have a good understanding of what all these components do, and how they behave together on blockchain.

For the sake of simplicity as well, we will take away the concept of sharing the wallet address publicly so others can anonymously deposit money – I think many people do understand the blockchain concept that a wallet address does not reveal who the owner is, and also won’t reveal the private key or other details.

We are going to call this the Safe Maker Analogy

Safe maker

For this analogy, let’s say this expert Safe Maker’s name is Ian Coleman (the creator of this awesome BIP39 generator that shows how these components interact to create mnemonic codes).
Ian is an expert in making Safes (the kind that have a barrel dial on the front which locks with a combination) with various different qualities.

Customers contact him and ask him to make custom Safes that cannot be replicated, and also are impossible to open without the correct information.

In making these Safes, Ian uses a variety of components and choices to make these unique, and also to ensure that his customer is the only one who can access the safe (even after he makes/gives it to the customer) – BUT most importantly the customer can contact Ian with certain parts of the information about the Safe and it can be unlocked or recreated in some situations.

While making the Safes, Ian also creates them in a variety of shapes (square, rectangle, circular etc) using moulds with different code names, stamps the Safes with a unique serial number and matches that serial number to the Safe unlocking combination using a special calculator.

So here it goes:

Mr Nakamoto wants to get one of these legendary Safes so he can deposit crypto Gold bullion (Also known as Bitcoin) and leave it for his grandchildren to inherit. He calls Ian Coleman the Safe Maker.

Ian tells Mr Nakamoto, that he is happy to do this and explains that Mr Nakamoto needs to take special precautions to ensure that his Safe can be unlocked, if anything should happen to him or his Safe.

Ian organizes Mr Nakamoto to meet at his Workshop and tells him to pick 12 metal ingredients at random from the Periodic Table, and write them down on a piece of paper – this is the Mnemonic Seed Phrase. Ian in this situation cannot lie or cheat, and sadly he also has a rare form of extreme forgetfulness, that erases how he made each Safe once he is finished! So Ian lets Mr Nakamoto know that after he mixes these metals and uses it to make the Safe, he forgets the recipe and destroys any record of how he made it.
Most importantly, Ian also explains that Mr Nakamoto CANNOT lose or forget this recipe of 12 ingredients in exact order, or he will not be able to help Mr Nakamoto if he forgets how to unlock the Safe.

To further make this more secure, Ian gives Mr Nakamoto the option to pick a 13th ingredient without Ian watching, and mix it into the other 12 ingredients – this is the Mnemonic passphrase. Whether or not Mr Nakamoto does this, the recipe for the Safe has now been created.

Before pouring the metal into one of his special Safe moulds, Ian gives Mr Nakamoto a briefcase with a combination lock on it, which he can keep the metal recipe safe (remember, this is the Mnemonic Seed).
This keeps the metal recipe and the 13th ingredient extra secure for Mr Nakamoto, so even if he lost the briefcase containing the recipe copy, it cannot be accessed – this briefcase combination is the Encryption Password.

As Ian pours the metal mixture into a specific mould, he tells Mr Nakamoto that this mould has a unique code to identify it. Other customers may get a Safe made from the same mould, but each Safe is still unique despite being the same shape and dimension – one of these moulds is known as the derivation path.

Once the metal forms and sets, Ian brings out a special calculator he created (see again his Mnemonic code generator) and enters in the 12 metal recipe in exact order. He also asks Mr Nakamoto to enter in his 13th ingredient if he picked one. Lastly, Ian enters the code on the mould he used to form the Safe. The special calculator gives Ian two unique character sequences and a printed receipt:

Note: when we are stating that a sequence is created, keep in mind that in the crypto realm, this is a combination of alpha/numeric characters

  1. The first number is a serial number that is etched onto the front of the Safe – this is the Wallet Address
  2. The printed receipt is signed by Mr Nakamoto showing he owns the safe, and it is glued to the bottom of the safe out of view – the is the Public Key
  3. The second number is the combination to unlock the safe itself – this is the Private Key

(Note this is how the Ian Coleman “Mnemonic Code Converter displays the outputs)

Before the extreme forgetfulness sets in for Ian, he firmly reminds Mr Nakamoto that he should also store the combination to the Safe somewhere where no one can find it, or memorize it himself.

Now you may be asking yourself, why does Ian make Safes this way?

Well, here are a number of dynamics that will help this all fit together:

  • Due to his rare Alzheimer’s Ian forgets everything about the creation of the Safe – the only way he can make that exact safe again is if Mr Nakamoto returns with the 12 metal ingredients in exact order, and a 13th ingredient if he picked one, and also points out what mould his Safe was made from! – the mnemonic seed, mnemonic passphrase and derivation path
  • Ian will have to use this unique recipe to replicate the Safe, but without it, it can never be remade.
  • If Mr Nakamoto forgets the combination to his safe, he can contact Ian and use his special calculator to generate his combination again if he provides the mnemonic seed, passphrase and derivation path – but only Mr Nakamoto knows this information
  • As long as Mr Nakamoto doesn’t forget his Safe combination, no one else knows how to unlock it, and no one can make the exact same Safe either
  • The serial number (wallet address) on the Safe lets an onlooker know it’s uniqueness, but not how to unlock it
  • The signed receipt (Public Key) on the bottom is not normally seen by any onlookers, and proves that Mr Nakamoto owns the unique Safe and the serial number, but cannot be used to unlock the Safe.
  • If someone steals the Safe, none of the visible information helps them unlock it. Even if they stole the briefcase Mr Nakamoto has with the recipe of how its made – remember the briefcase is locked with a combination (Encryption Password)


Hopefully this sheds some light on how the different parts of cryptography tie together with Mnemonic code and key pairs in the blockchain space!

Feel free to keep up with our Blog and Community Content:

“From the Community, For the Community”

Summary of Terms Used for the Safe-Maker

  • Mnemonic seed phrase = Safe metal recipe – 12 random metal ingredients
  • Mnemonic passphrase = extra 13th ingredient
  • Encryption Password = briefcase combination lock code for the metal recipe
  • Derivation Path = Mould of Safe
  • Wallet Address = serial number on safe
  • Public key = signed receipt on bottom of safe
  • Private key = combination to unlock safe

Here is another resource which helps distinguish between the differences between Public Key and Wallet address, that helped me:

What is the difference between the Public Key and Wallet Address?


TLDR; Private Keys produce Public KeysPublic Keys produce Wallet Addresses… However, Wallet Addresses cannot be used to produce/reveal Public KeysPublic Keyscannot be used to produce/reveal Private Keys.

Substratum Dev Team Show & Tell — 19-July-19 (i37)

Show & Tell weekly sessions are an excellent insight into the challenges and triumphs facing the Substratum development team. For those following these Show & Tell discussions, the format of the progress breakdown has just gotten slightly more tense and exciting, because the team is down to the last handful of critical items (cards) to move to the first Release Candidate (RC1) of the SubstratumNode

As always, B.J. Allmon heads the meeting by outlining the Substratum Node Version 1 Strategic Goals:

  • Priority 1. Make the Internet Free (as in freedom) and Fair. — “As a SubstratumNode user I can allocate my spare computing resources so that the Internet can be a free and fair place for the entire world.”
  • Priority 2. Earn Cryptocurrency. Change the world. — “As a SubstratumNode user I earn $SUB as content is routed through my node so that I am incentivized to make the Internet free and fair.”

Many of the Tactical Focus Items listed have been done for a while. Most of these have been done for the purpose of RC1 and the others that are Work-In-Progress will be built-out further after RC1 to provide more in-depth features.

GUI (Graphical User Interface) updates have notably been challenging and involve a lot of work.

The ‘Show and Tell’ segment

The Development team review the completed work for the week, including Telling the story of each card, or Showing the completed feature.

This week was interesting to hear all the inside dynamics about the wallet generation from Dan Wiebe and accessing it from Node itself. Most engaging was the number of on-screen demos from Command-Line

Correct handling of wallet password from gui

This was an item that Dan noticed. The wallet password is used in multiple places in Node, but it was not correctly being referenced in all places in the software.
Once the wallet details are unlocked with the user password, now it is properly referenced in all areas.

use default fixed service rate pack

Right now there isn’t a configurable rate (cost per CORES packet routed) yet integrated into Node. This card enforces if someone happened to modify the source code to charge some arbitrary rate per CORES packet, Node then reverts to the default rate (which will be specified later on by the user in future Node versions).

provide better clap cli help – clandestine port and neighbors

Help file onscreen in command-line has been built out, with more info and verbiage for users.

Dan also showed this in his Show session, illustrating that the Help screen update provides more info for users when using the wallet integration commands.

show – windows subnode cli doesn’t print out anything – dan wiebe

Dan Wiebe took the lead on the SHOWs this week and first showed a demo of the use of Substratum Node from CMD command-line

Dan shared on-screen after some deliberation (BJ casually walked over, as a battle-scarred Zoom meeting veteran, and fixed it for him)

This is great, as a lot of users and testers are Windows based!

show – consuming private key into database + blockchain: pay bills!- dan wiebe

This segment was both lengthy and very thorough. This area of cryptography is the foundation of blockchain in both Bitcoin, Ethereum and many other chains. As much of the wallet address and key pair dynamics are very elaborate, you might find this other post useful that I am about to publish (link to be added) – its quite a lot to wrap one’s head around!

In a nutshell, wallet integration is coded within Node software, so that it can generate mnemonic seeds and allows the BIP32 cryptography to generate key pairs for wallets on the ETH blockchain.
While you can both generate new wallets and recover your own using your mnemonic seed and passphrase (and use wallet private key), this entire integration means that things can be simplified for users once the UI is built out. It also allows users to use wallets from many different origins including Hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger.
This is critical for adoption by both new entrants to the crypto sphere, but also to others who are not familiar with managing wallets, and use the assistance of user-friendly platforms and hardware.

While the demo showed the many ins and outs of the way Substratum Node interacts with wallet generation, recovery and integration, Dan also demonstrated what is shown and stored in the database file. (stored in sqlite3 format – node-data.db)
With both security and monetization factors in mind, different parts of wallets and keys are stored in the node-data.db database file itself, depending on what is specified.

It does not show the consuming wallet private key (as that could be used to drain the wallet of funds by a malicious party!)

By providing the consuming private key to SubNode when it runs, it does not display the mnemonic seed or the consuming wallet derivation path, unless this is specified by the user purposefully. If the seed is displayed, it is displayed in encrypted format, using the user-defined password.

That said, the consuming wallet public key and earning wallet addresses can also be stored in the database. This is integral in the monetization model, because a node will have to prove to others that are involved in data routing and transactions, that it:

  • Has a correct private key that matches the public key for the Consuming Wallet
  • Has an earning wallet address stored (so others can ‘pay’ it for routing)

This was also confirmed on-screen showing the Ian Coleman BIP32 Mnemonic Generator, which confirms that the mnemonic BIP32 generator and functions all work correctly.

Also critical in this area, it was demonstrated that YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE EARNING WALLET once your Node is initialized. The main reason for this is because it will interfere with the accounting module and the bookkeeping.
If you do intend on changing the earning wallet, you need to delete the database file and specify all wallet details again. In this case you will lose all account receivables that are owed to you for routing.

Additionally, the public and private keys are matched during the initialization of Node, so if the user does change the private key when starting up, Node will detect that it is different to the public key that is stored (as the private key is not stored in the database for security reasons outlined above).

Lastly, it was shown that language support is provided for wallet generation and command line for Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, English and several others.

As explained several weeks ago, the tracking and completion projections have changed as the final few cards are in motion. Each card is critical to be completed for RC1, and 2 cards are blocked by one in progress now.

The reason the Todo card count is at 2.5 is there is a card that was finished which was going through review on Friday, right after the Show & Tell session.

Happy friday! Here is today’s show and tell deck. Quick heads up. The “Blockchain: pay bills” card is in team review right now. It will be made public once review is completed and any minor tweaks are made if necessary.

B.J Allmon

With 3 cards completed during the week, this team is not stopping the momentum – the tracking method has changed for the public to view the progress based on cards remaining.

To keep all the team utilized, there are some RC2 cards that are being worked on while other coding pairs (pairs of developers working together on card items) are busy with the RC1 cards in progress.

Team Capacity Utilization overall is interesting right now because RC1 is imminent – the yellow area shows some parts of the team are working on background RC2 items, to ensure that all team members are productive on the initiative.

The bugs that were worked on took up the 33% capacity were relating to the wallet monetization components and the Windows usability of the software

Things are getting closer and closer as RC1 work is checked off and implemented!
Stay tuned for another update next week!

If you have enjoyed all the Show & Tell summaries thus far, please donate to the cause below, so the Substratum Wiki community can continue to curate, host and push out this great information for everyone!

Disclaimer: I am not an official Substratum team member — I am a community moderator. This write-up is interpretation of the Show & Tell meeting and data released from the team. None of this is to be taken or construed as investment-related or as financial advice.

ETH donations much appreciated, and will go directly to support hosting the website: