With the release of Lisk SDK 3.0.2, the tasks listed in the Security and Reliability phase (Lisk BFT consensus algorithm) have been successfully implemented and the Betanet 3.0.0 has been launched.
LiskHQ has already started the development of Lisk SDK 4.0.0, which implements the Network Economics and Network Consensus phases (a new dynamic fee system and a new DPoS consensus algorithm). As those two phases require some time to be implemented but are easier from the coding point of view, LiskHQ decided to implement them at the same time and skip one whole quality assurance cycle and one further betanet.
Once the Network Longevity phase is concluded (SDK 5.0.0, a new ID system) and all proposed protocol changes are implemented, the last Lisk Core candidate (3.0.0-beta.x) moves into the RC stage (3.0.0-rc.x) and then it moves into the Production stage, which corresponds to the launch of the software in the Lisk Mainnet blockchain.
To be clear, the Alphanet is a temporary, internal-only testing network of a Lisk alpha candidate; the Betanet is temporary and public, running the beta candidate; the Testnet is the official testing network of Lisk, running the release candidate and the Mainnet runs the production candidate.
The protocol features implemented in SDK 3.0.0 include a robust peer selection and banning mechanism (LIP0004), remove redundant properties in transactions (LIP0012), mitigate transaction replay on different chains (LIP0009) and change consensus protocol to add block finality (LIP0014). This last object corresponds to the biggest protocol improvement for this phase and adds block finality to the Lisk blockchain through a Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus algorithm, making it a critical requirement for future Lisk sidechains.
Other improvements are related to the upgrade to NodeJS12 and Typescript 3.7; an improvement to increase the transmission speed of blocks sent between individual nodes on the network and a scalability improvement that removes nonces from being broadcasted, making the data transmission more efficient.
Read the Lisk Core 3.0.0 documentation and monitor the list of active Betanet nodes via the Lisk Explorer for the Betanet.
If you are interested to setup a Betanet delegate, remember that in Lisk Core 3.0.0-beta.0 LiskHQ did not implement the punishment for BFT violations (LIP0024), but LIP0014 is already active: the previous versions of Lisk protocol allowed delegates to enable forging on multiple nodes, but now this behavior could lead to double forging and here this is considered a protocol violation. In case you want to switch nodes, disable forging on both nodes and enable it again on the desired node.