August 18, 2020
The next network upgrade will take place on 17th October 2020. Network upgrades are technically hard forks and require all participants in the Monero network to update their software. The new software will be released one month before the network upgrade: 17th September.
This network upgrade will introduce important new features like the new ring signature construction CLSAG, which will reduce the typical transaction size by ~25% and improve typical verification performance by ~10%. Basically, every transaction will be lighter and faster. The complete list of changes and improvements will be released along with the new binaries.
The logs of the meeting where the dates of the network upgrade were decided are available on this website.
Q: Hard fork? Does this mean there will be a split and a new coin will be created?
A: No. Hard forks in Monero are made to improve the base protocol, and are non-contentious. There will be no split and no new coin will be created.
Q: What do I have to do to be prepared for this upgrade?
A: A new release will be announced before the network upgrade (around 17th September). You will only have to be using the updated software by the time the network upgrade occurs (17th October). To the end user, it will be like a simple software update.
Q: How do I update my wallet/node?
A: Detailed instructions will be posted along with the software update, but basically users will need to simply replace their previous software (monerod, monero-wallet-cli, monero-wallet-gui) with the new version. That's it.
Q: If I have my coins on a paper wallet, do I have to do something?
A: No. You will simply have to use an updated version of the Monero software when you will decide to move your coins.
Q: Will there be any changes to the PoW algorithm?
A: No. The PoW algorithm will not be affected. Mining will work as before and miners won't need to update their software.