The Aleph Zero team has just released a new version of Aleph Node featuring ink! 4.0.0-beta smart contracts, among other upgrades. The preparation process involving all external validators begins today, with the update itself scheduled for January 19th. The update will be performed to test the newest version of ink! 4.0 beta on the testnet, which puts us closer to releasing smart contracts on the mainnet.

The most optimistic scenario is that ink! 4.0 beta proves smooth operations on the testnet for a number of weeks, and we will be able to push it to the mainnet. However, as this is still a beta version and not a production release, different challenges are not out of the equation. The core Aleph Zero team is in close contact with most of the ecosystem developers and seeks to ensure that the ecosystem applications can launch on a platform that’s ready to accommodate their needs. We expect and are getting ready for intense testing of ink! 4.0 beta over the next weeks.

Please note that we will only release the smart contracts on the mainnet if they are up to our and our developers’ community’s highest standards.

Depending on the Parity Technologies timeline and the level of comfort of Aleph Zero use case teams, we will launch the smart contracts in ink! 4.0 beta after the testnet integration, or after the final release which is currently scheduled for February 2023.

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