Hefty Heimdall 4.0.0 — Loki

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Today we are announcing the release of our next Loki hardfork, Hefty Heimdall. This hardfork will include a number of updates for both Loki Messenger and Loki Core, including:

  • Service Node Checkpointing
  • Loki Storage Server (Stores Loki Messenger messages on Service Nodes)
  • Internode testing (Blockchain and message storage)
  • Loki Messenger alpha release

The testnet binaries will be released on June 26, so you can start testing these changes in just a few weeks.

There will be a mandatory upgrade period starting July 10.

The Hefty Heimdall hardfork will happen on July 24, with Checkpointing being enabled but not enforced.

We will start enforcing Checkpointing on September 12, completely preventing double spends after 12 blocks of confirmation.

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As you may have already heard, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Loki Messenger alpha on the mainnet. This is a huge step forward for us and for the community, with Loki Messenger being the first Loki Service to make it out of the labs. We can’t wait to get it into your hands so that with your feedback, we can start to rapidly iterate on the design and feel of it in anticipation of the full launch later this year. We should make it very clear that the Loki Messenger alpha will not have the privacy properties that will be present in the final version. This alpha will primarily be for testing and feedback purposes.

The Hefty Heimdall release will include an alpha version of Loki Messenger, which operates entirely on the Service Node network. Loki Messenger will be the first ever system which enables users to achieve both online and offline messaging in a fully decentralised, redundant and scalable way. The encryption used in Loki Messenger, which is also used in Signal, means your messages are only readable by you and the person you send them to. You can read more about the excellent security properties of this kind of end-to-end encryption in this article: http://www.alexkyte.me/2016/10/how-textsecure-protocol-signal-whatsapp.html

The Loki Messenger doesn’t connect to a central server like other messengers. Instead, groups of cooperative Service Nodes — called “Swarms” — store your messages while achieving a high rate of redundancy, meaning that if a Service Node goes offline, your message isn’t lost. Because Loki Messenger doesn’t use any central server, it’s extremely hard for malicious actors to shut the network down since the storage network is distributed across the world over hundreds of nodes.

However, we’ll stress again that the Loki Messenger alpha will not have many of the privacy qualities that the final version will have. Lokinet still has a while to go before it can be deployed on the Service Node network. The Loki Messenger alpha will allow you to communicate securely with your friends and family over a decentralised network while still having a comparable user experience to the chat apps you already know. And when used in conjunction with other network anonymisation tools, the Loki Messenger alpha will also have some reasonable privacy properties.

Offline Messages (Asynchronous Mode)

The process below assumes your messenger client has never connected to the Loki Service Node network before, and you want to send a message to a user who is offline.

Online Messages (Synchronous Mode)

As you can see from the above descriptions, the Loki Messenger alpha provides reliability, censorship resistance and encryption, however it does not provide protection against metadata collection. It’s important to understand this when participating in the Loki Messenger alpha, since — depending on your threat model — you could be leaking metadata that could be used to draw inferences about your use.

The Hefty Heimdall hardfork is a particularly large one — we hope you’re all as excited as we are! Please help us improve Loki Messenger for everyone by downloading and testing the alpha — your reports make all the difference. Keep an eye out for further updates as we approach the hardfork date.

Originally published at https://loki.network on June 5, 2019.

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Creating digital tools to help you build the secure, decentralised future of the internet.

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