Smart contracts and masternode governance project Giant have released a technical update on their Giant Contracts progress and roadmap, together with a separate project update for the first quarter of 2019.

Their update confirms a restructuring of the Project with co-founder and previous Giant Community Lead, Mikhail Maximov, taking over the role of CEO from his fellow co-founder, the previous CEO and Tech Lead Dmitry Filinberg.  Co-founder Pavel Bulatov remains as CMO and Dmitry Filinberg now focuses fully on development as CTO.

Giant’s initial focus on launch was to provide a decentralised binary betting platform and the update confirms the Project’s commitment to creating a safe environment for betting with no third party interference or control.  Some additional clarification is also provided however on the direction of the project and its roadmap:

Masternodes allowed us to decentralize the network fast and make it stable. However, the main value of Giant Blockchain is smart contracts with unique features, such as JavaScript usage, optimization solutions and spam control mechanisms…Giant is stepping out of the masternodes only domain and is making Giant steps towards our ambitious goals and objectives.

More information is expected to follow, with the new CEO confirming in the announcements channel on Giant’s discord server that his focus of late has been on communicating with developers regarding Giant Contracts and researching smart contracts in general:

I learned what differentiates Giant from other smart contracts blockchains. I can't stress enough how important this is and what opportunities gives us.  It'll lead to White Papers update, non-masternodes marketing, contacts with blockchain experts.

The price of Giant has remained relatively stable during the Great Bear of 2018 and the announcement was not followed by any bullish or bearish sentiment in the market.

Followers of the project would already have noted at the last Sprint Backlog in February that Giant smart contracts remained the project's number-one priority.

The next stage of development can be followed on the project’s public Kanban board which has been updated to show the current sprint which runs from 01 April until 14 April 2019.  Some of the tasks moving to the 'In Progress' section during March 2019 include: Validation of blocks and transactions, Development of a mechanism for accepting a block and transaction and Developing a Virtual Machine, together with 4 associated smart contract sub-tasks.

In other news, following the 2018 Blockchain Life Conference in Saint Petersburg, Giant announced on 06 March 2019 that they had partnered with Gentarium who are now providing a 33% discount on hosting costs for an unlimited number of Giant masternodes.  Giant has seen a steady upward trend in the number of masternodes going online since their launch in May 2018 and it is hoped that this partnership will be mutually beneficial.

Finally, a halving of block rewards for both stakers and masternodes is scheduled for May 2019 which will see a reduction from 4 GIC & 16 GIC to 2 GIC & 8 GIC respectively.  

Development of the Giant platform can be followed via their Github page.