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New Release Schedule for Particl's Open Marketplace
The Timeline As stated in an answer to a question asked during our latest AMA/FAQ session, one of the decisions the…particl.news

Particl’s Open Marketplace Alpha Undergoing its Final Tweaks

The Particl team is making the final touches to make the current testnet alpha build completely stable and, hopefully, bug-free. No new features is currently being implemented until the Alpha build is made entirely stable. Having a super stable build will make integrating new features on it much faster and easier and should lead to more regular (and exciting) releases.

The Alpha Version Moves Up to Mainnet

Once the testnet Alpha version of the marketplace is fully stable and thoroughly tested, it will be moved up onto Particl’s mainnet, allowing you to purchase and sell real items using real PART coins. This milestone event will mark the end of the Alpha phase of development and initiate the Beta phase.

Limited Features

This first ever mainnet version of Particl’s Open Marketplace won’t require any sort of hardfork and will only contain a limited set of features. The features available will be the same features that have been on testnet for some time. This includes decentralized governance with coin weight, as well as the complete buy and sell flow. Community proposals, although not directly a marketplace feature, will also be live on mainnet.

No Privacy Enhancing Features in This Version

It’s very important to note that this mainnet version won’t be coupled with the RingCT hardfork yet, meaning that the MAD escrow system won’t be enhanced with it. This means that all marketplace transactions made on this version of the marketplace will be pseudonymous, not anonymous, until RingCT is hardforked onto mainnet and integrated into the escrow system during Beta. You can rest assured, however, that no other data will be generated by the marketplace.

The Beta Phase Will be Focused on Adding New Features

New features will be introduced during the Beta phase and will be integrated into existing testing builds as Release Candidates. Release Candidates will be released on testnet, and mainnet implementation of features are not guaranteed until Beta mainnet.

Whereas Alpha was focused on building the base layer for the marketplace, Beta will be focused on integrating new features. A fully stable marketplace codebase will result in quicker releases with something new to show for almost everytime, and it should also be a much more exciting phase for everyone than Alpha.

Beta Starts as Soon as Alpha Ends

The Beta phase of development will start immediately after the Alpha phase is completed and moved onto mainnet. The next build that will follow the first mainnet version of the Open Marketplace will be a Beta build and will be released, like Alpha was up until the end, on testnet.

Two Development Branches Used During Beta

During Beta, two types of branches, Development and Stable, will be used to push testnet builds to the community.

Development Branch

The Development branch will be the first place where new features will be available for community testing. Because introducing new features almost inevitably introduces bugs and issues, this may mean the Development branch might not be super stable all the time. This is not ideal to get a good number of testers (if it’s broken all the time, people are less interested in testing the builds) and to show friends. After all, what’s worse than showing a friend a build of Particl’s Open Marketplace only for it to crash in your face).

Stable Branch

This is where the Stable branch comes in. This branch will be used to push features that have already went through a good number of tests and that have been fixed of most bugs and issues. While the Stable branch is still a testnet branch, it will make builds much more stable and easy to share with friends. This branch is the final step before a feature is introduced onto mainnet.

A Feature’s Path to Mainnet

With this new strategy, a feature now has to go through one additional hoop before being implemented on mainnet. It first needs to be tested internally by the team, then tested within the rougher Development testnet branch. Once rid of most of its bugs and issues, the feature gets implemented onto the Stable branch for its final round of testing. Only after this last step will it be ready to be integrated onto mainnet.

Biggest Milestone to Date

This mainnet release marks an important milestone for Particl. It separates it from the group forming the majority of blockchain projects that do not have any sort of product ready at this time and gives it an entry ticket into a much more limited category of projects that have a product live on mainnet. What’s more, it will signify the beginning of a brand new phase for the project and the community as it will now be easier than ever to spend cryptocurrencies.

Want to read more about Particl and decentralized and privacy-conscious eCommerce in general? How about this article explaining the need to decentralize the tech industry, or this article breaking down how Particl could help Bitcoin succeed as a decentralized and independent economy?

Maybe you want more of an update on how things are going? Then just head over to our last Community Update or Particl Copay Development Update and get all the information you need to stay up-to-date with everything Particl.