The Ethereum foundation has announced the release of Homestead – the second major version of its blockchain protocol. Homestead is meant to be a more secure and safer release, as well as include changes that make network protocol upgrades easier in the future.
Jeffrey Wilcke, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, said this in Homestead’s unveiling:
We felt it was extremely important to clearly communicate to our users how we felt about the security of the network. 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.
Homestead is the second major version release of the Ethereum platform, and includes protocol changes and a networking change promulgated by developers’ Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIPs), namely EIP-2 – the main hardfork changes, EIP-7 – a hardfork Ethereum Virtual Machine update, and EIP-8 Devp2p communication protocol update.
In terms of features, Ethereum has different tracks of releases with different features. For example, Ethereum Homestead is release 1.3.4 and includes the above mentioned changes to the protocol and network. Following the release of Homestead, the development team will release version 1.4, a big feature release that includes months of work. The reason for keeping Homestead and the big feature release separate is to keep the Homestead release changes to an absolute minimum, making debugging easier when required. The C++ version of Ethereum for Homestead will be version 1.2.0. Apart from the protocol and network changes, it also designed to be compatible to the Homestead Go client.
Over the next couple of weeks, the Ethereum development teams will come together to “pave the road for future development on both the Ethereum protocol as well as a roadmap for the clients and sub-protocols such as Swarm and Whisper.”