Neo Global Development (NGD) has announced the public release of Neo3 Preview2, bringing with it a range of performance optimizations and new features for smart contracts. The new build is hoped to accelerate the development of Neo3 tools, providing community development groups with a foothold for migrating existing tools and infrastructure to the new blockchain.

In its press release, NGD noted that the release is primarily aimed at Neo developers looking to make SDKs, wallets, explorers, and other tools currently available for Neo2 compatible with Neo3. Additionally, the announcement offers a summary of the various improvements and functionality changes included in the Preview2 build.

The Neo3 Preview2 node may be downloaded here.

Performance upgrades

Neo3 Preview2 brings with it several performance enhancements. These include considerable upgrades to NeoVM, with an instruction performance increase of up to 16 times, and TPS improvements achieved through the removal of LINQ queries, caching of calculation data, and the optimization of Neo’s transaction validation mechanism.

Furthermore, a new data compression function and other enhancements to the communication protocol are also expected to assist with raising network throughput. To reduce the time taken for a node to catch up with the latest block, a new index-based block synchronization mechanism has also been implemented. Initial tests show up to a 7 times reduction in sync time.

Smart contract improvements

Accompanying the core protocol and NeoVM improvements are a laundry list of changes to the Neo smart contract system, designed to make it more powerful and developer-friendly.

Improvements include the new contract IDs, removing the need for data migration during contract updates, permission controls at the manifest and contract levels, and new methods offering utilities for in-demand functionality such as JSON parsing and GAS balance requests.

Additionally, NGD also highlighted that preparations are underway for the implementation of light nodes. Requiring the integration of a state root, light nodes allow users and developers to run a Neo node to verify and perform transactions without needing to store the entire blockchain or trust third-party RPC servers.

Related materials

Developers looking for a summary of changes in order to begin the development or migration of tools to the new chain are recommended to view the Neo3 Development Guide. The guide includes detailed information regarding changes to the NeoVM, wallet specification, and other components.

Readers interested in a more in-depth look at new features under implementation for Neo3 are recommended to explore Neo News Today’s Road to Neo3 coverage. At the time of writing, introductions to the built-in oracle solution, contract identifiers, state root persistence, and index synchronization are available.

The original Preview2 announcement by NGD may be viewed at the following link: