Ethereum has announced the release of Homestead, the second major version of its software.
— Ethereum (@ethereumproject) March 14, 2016
The first version Frontier, a decentralized smart contract-enabled network, was presented on July 30, 2015. The Frontier was welcomed by leading financial institutions and banks worldwide and increased the value of Ethereum as a cryptocurrency significantly. Miners from all over the world connected to the network free of technical glitches or any other complications. Thus we can say for sure that the announcement of Frontier was a complete success.
Working on Homestead, Ethereum team has envisaged several protocol changes including the EIP-2, EIP-7 and EIP-8. Taking into consideration all the consensus bugs and network issues, successfully collaborating with the community to solve issues experienced by its users and miners, the team has resolved all technical challenges and came up with Homestead. The newly released client (1.3.4) will be followed by 1.4 release which will finish introducing the new features and functions developed in the past few months.
“Today, we’re incredibly proud to announce that we are finally ready to remove the scratched out word “safe” from our website as move into a new phase: Homestead. The Homestead block will be 1.150.000 for the main network which means the Homestead transition will be roughly around midday on Pi day and the Homestead block for the Morden network will be 494.000.”
It hasn’t been long since Ethereum released Serenity PoC2, the first python proof of concept release of Serenity. The news was published by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s inventor. The additional two months of work resulted in the presentation of the product, if not a testnet-ready client, but definitely a production-ready one.
Serenity PoC2 reflects a number of significant improvements that have been made. The most important to mention – PoC2 aimed at implementation of the complete protocol, including the basic corner cases (slashing bets and deposits). The Ethereum team took into account every detail of the protocol and tested it even if only in a highly restricted trial environment.
The first version of Serenity, PoC1, included the bare minimum functionality needed to make Casper and EIP 101 run, while the second version PoC2 includes essentially the full Casper/Serenity protocol plus EIP 101 and 105.
The Ethereum team admits that the protocol decisions made in Serenity PoC2 version are by no means final and many of them are still actively being debated within the research channels. There will definitely be some more rounds of PoC releases step by step making Ethereum closer to final Serenity node implementation.