Opening the Midnight devnet

The Midnight development sandbox is now publicly available to developers

The Midnight devnet was opened to selected groups of developers in late 2023. Following its success, the devnet became publicly accessible to developers on February 26, 2024.

Midnight’s benefits include the use of a simplified programming language – Compact, designed to integrate with TypeScript, a familiar language among developers – and a novel data-protection-first programming model that will bring zero-knowledge (ZK) technology within reach for a wider audience of DApp developers.

About the devnet

The devnet operates as a sandbox where developers can experiment, identify and fix issues, and fine-tune their applications without impacting real users or assets.

The Midnight devnet is primarily for DApp developers – from developer organizations to entrepreneurs. Developers can experiment with the network and provide feedback, building applications involving data protection, shielded swaps, and smart contracts. This collaborative environment helps identify potential issues and improvements in DApps under development. The team also invites researchers and enthusiasts to explore and contribute to the ecosystem.

Midnight is in development, and some features are still being explored. As a result, the devnet offers developers an opportunity to influence Midnight’s product roadmap and share their desires and frustrations when working with sensitive data.

Benefits for participants

Because the devnet is a public platform, participants can test drive this new way of creating data protecting applications that run on the blockchain.

Midnight pioneers who join the devnet will have the opportunity to:

  • get a head start by developing with pioneering data protection technology as it continues to evolve
  • experience the benefits of IOG’s research-based, security-first approach to development
  • have a real impact on the direction of Midnight development
  • focus on the product to be developed rather than the tools, with a familiar language and Microsoft VS Code, a widely used IDE
  • build relationships early as dedicated Midnight engineers and community managers answer queries
  • have online discussions about the DApp being developed, which may help inform potential customers
  • showcase their work through private and public webinars with the Midnight and IOG teams.

Who will get the most out of the Midnight devnet?

Participating individuals and teams will get the most out of the devnet if they:

  • have a vision for a DApp with specific data protection needs
  • are bold early adopters committed to safe, careful development and thorough testing
  • have TypeScript knowledge and experience
  • have blockchain and cryptography experience or willingness to learn
  • are committed to knowledge sharing and collaborative development.

A suitable development environment should include Linux, macOS, and/ or Windows, with sufficient resources to run a full non-mining node, a local proof server, and publish-subscriber indexer besides the client software.

Development on Windows has been tested using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), specifically Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS (GNU/Linux x86_64).

What’s next

The next stage of development for Midnight will be a public testnet with increased network stability and many features in their final form.

Get involved

Begin your journey by visiting Midnight docs. You can then establish a development environment and connect to the Midnight network. Follow the provided tutorials and sample DApps to enhance your understanding. Should you require assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to the Midnight team on Discord for support.


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