Yesterday Chia Network released a beta version of the Chia Blockchain 1.3 and there are a lot of changes. Chia is recommending that people not replace their main farming node with this version yet, so I did not. But I think I will soon. It is a big improvement.
I have traditionally not been kind to Chia’s software quality. I find it slow and unwieldly, and very difficult to use at scale. I am generally in the camp of people that think writing this in Python is a mistake, and that a more performant compiled language should be used for the netcode and RPC interface at least. That being said, this version does not change any of that but manages to bring big improvements to the table. The process to sync a full node is significantly faster and uses the CPU far better for a shorter time to get up to speed, which in my mind is a more efficient design. Syncing a node on a fast computer will no longer take days, but about 13 hours on a good system.
And even better than that, the wallet sync is no longer tied to the full node sync. So even when running in farming mode you get your wallet synced up very quickly and can start using XCH without waiting for the entire node to sync. And because it is a single integrated software package, it supports keyring encryption the same as the recent versions of the main Chia Blockchain software. This is a very big deal, and has been one of my main private issues with the light wallet, as it was the main node software before. But it was already a solved problem and I knew it would come in an update. And now it has. Switching between modes is quick and easy, and will be a real quality of life improvement for anyone who sometimes uses full node functionality and sometimes only light wallet functionality, like a developer.
To my great relief it seems that they have also fixed the “pending transaction” bug when two people try and accept the same offer. I tried to accept some of Freddie’s 1mojo.trade offers and I was a smidge too late, but instead of tying up my coins forever the offers are failing and releasing my XCH back to me. Sad I didn’t get the offers, but at least I didn’t have to delete the database anymore. This is great.
For no other reason than supporting key encryption I highly recommend that anyone who is using a light wallet upgrade to this version. This includes organizations relying on CAT transactions, like Stably and Space Marmots. Now that this build exists it is at least somewhat secure to have a hot wallet for dealing in CATs, and I for one am grateful. I do suspect that there will be issues that crop up from this build, and I doubt all the issues I outlined with the Light Wallet or Full Node before have been resolved. But at first glance it seems to be much improved. Next step, main farm upgrade.