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Neo Global Development (NGD) Shanghai has released a TestNet upgrade notice, alerting users that the Neo TestNet will be temporarily paused while consensus node operators perform a software upgrade. The upgrade will last from 6:00 AM (GMT) on June 1st to 9:00 AM (GMT) on June 2nd.

The latest update for the Neo2 version of neo-cli, v2.10.3-neox-preview1, provides two important new pieces of functionality; a new state root feature, and support for the Secp256k1 curve in Neo’s cryptography module.

Following the update, a state root will be generated for every block through the use of a Merkle Patricia trie. This enables rapid verification of state, guaranteeing correct execution of transactions for nodes.

Implementation of a state root also adds support for Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) on Neo2, a technique first described by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original Bitcoin whitepaper that uses Merkle roots to allow clients to validate transactions without running a full node.

More information regarding the state root implementation can be found in Neo News Today’s Road to Neo3 feature on the topic.

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum use the Secp256k1 curve for creation of public/private keypairs, unlike the Secp256r1 curve used on Neo2. Adding support for the curve to Neo will allow Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions and addresses to be verified with NeoVM, and provides Neo developers and users with an alternative curve to use.

Together, these two features provide the functionality required for the first implementation of NeoX, a cross-chain protocol first announced in the original Neo whitepaper that is designed to allow the transfer of assets between different blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The mechanism may also prove to be an important piece of infrastructure for the migration from Neo2 to Neo3. Both blockchains are planned to operate in parallel to allow users time to transfer assets following Neo3’s release, intended to occur in Q4 2020.