After almost a year of work the 0.18.1 release candidate (RC1) is finally here. Adrian Gallagher the projects lead developer wrote of the announcement:
“We are pleased to release Litecoin Core 0.18.1 release candidate. This is a new major version release, including new features, various bug fixes, performance improvements and updated translations.”
Among the changes are refinements to block and transaction handling, the network code and P2P protocol, GUI, wallet and build system along with the typical plethora of new RPC’s and depreciation of many others. Over 100 changes have made their way into this major release. A full list of changes in greater detail can be found in Gallagher’s Blog post
Being a release candidate, it is likely there may still be issues, so those looking to help out and test the build before a final public release, should do so with caution and backup any wallet.dat files. The Github link for testing can be found here.
In his post Gallagher also touched upon future plans, releases and their timeline, notably including leap-frogging 0.19 and skipping straight forward skip to v0.20 writing:
“Since version 0.16.0, Litecoin Core’s built-in wallet has defaulted to generating P2SH-wrapped segwit addresses when users want to receive payments. These addresses are backwards compatible with all widely-used software. Starting with Litecoin Core 0.20 (expected about a year after 0.18), Litecoin Core will default to native segwit addresses (bech32) that provide additional fee savings and other benefits.”
Core currently accounts for just over 90% of the entire network according to data provided from Blockchair, with the latest build 0.17.1 making up around 50%. It also appears that just over half of the network is ran from the US, Germany and France although this does not account for all available connections or TOR enabled nodes where these countries are popular exit points.
Core is the backbone of the network which allows businesses to fetch and handle data as well as day to day operations. Updates like these are vital to the health and advancement of the network and users who choose to run a full node help signal their vote in the direction of the project by verifying their own instance of the blockchain and setting the rules. The latest Core release is available to download via Litecoin.com.