The next major version of the Chia Blockchain software, version 1.3, has been released in beta form. This release brings a ton of much-anticipated features, but this is not a production release yet. Chia Network is not recommending that anyone running a production farm install this yet, but they are asking for people in the community to install it on non-production systems for testing.
The first big change you will notice is the GUI updates. The GUI has been updated to support Farming Mode and Wallet Only mode. This is the integration with the light wallet that we have been waiting for. I am hoping for some major improvements there. Along with the Light Wallet integration comes everything else that we have needed the light wallet for, including CAT transactions and Offer file creation / acceptance.
There are also some back end changes related to this, including use of the new Observer keys and a new CLI command tree for deriving all the XCH addresses from your private key. These will both help with some usability issues that arise from heavy use, or from using both the Full Node wallet and the light wallet on the same set of keys.
The really massive change, literally, is the updates to the database. With Chia Blockchain 1.3 Chia Network is releasing version 2.0 of their database format. The new release promises up to 45% space savings, which is simply incredible. This will make a huge change for everyone on lighter hardware, as the size of the database was starting to get a little ridiculous. With the great reduction in required disk space they are also promising a modest performance improvement, which will also help farmers on weaker hardware.
Let’s hope this is a short beta, and that there are not a ton of issues so that we can move away from the beta Light Wallet. This has been a problem for many people, yours truly included, so I have high hopes that this will improve the experience for all. You can download the beta here, and remember to provide the Chia Network team any feedback you have.