geth is the the command line interface for running a full Ethereum node implemented in Go. It is the main deliverable of the Frontier Release. Frontier is the first in a series of releases that punctuate the roadmap for the development of Ethereum. Frontier will be followed by ‘Homestead’, ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Serenity’ throughout the coming year, each adding new features and improving the user friendliness and security of the platform.
By installing and running geth, anyone can take part in the ethereum frontier live network and
mine real ether
transfer funds between addresses
create contracts and send transactions
explore block history and much much more.
Geth is supported on Linux, Mac Os and Windows platforms. It is used to mine Ethereum's token (ETH) in Proof of Work (PoW) protocol. But, now team Ethereum is preparing to switch from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol. Release of Geth 1.6.1 is a step closer to the switch. Ethereum developer's team proposed for a smooth transition from PoW to PoS, there should be a Hybrid protocol that uses key features of both protocols and then with consensus, it can be taken forward to PoS.
For those who are planning to continue with Ethereum even after the switch from POW to POS, will have to download the upgraded software (geth) at their client. This upgraded software will inform every client that at some point in future, with consensus mechanism there will be the change from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake version. There will be the 'last block' of POW and the 'first block' of POS. It will be a kind of hard fork which has to be done based on consensus protocol. There may be disagreement on the 'last block' at the time POW blockchain fork but eventually one chain will win and everyone will agree on it. This will be finalized by the bonded validators of Proof of Stake.
Geth 1.6.1 released on May 4, 2017 is mostly a bug fix release adding various polishes throughout the codebase.
Highlights of the release are the capability to iterate over a contract's storage entries via the RPC; transitioning Whisper to protocol v5 along with bundled diagnostics tools; and shorthand connectivity to the Rinkeby test network.
debug_storageRangeAt RPC supports iterating over contract storage entries (#14350).
Switch Whisper to protocol v5 (#14387), ship diagnostic tool (#14414).
Add --rinkeby flag to quickly connect to the Rinkeby testnet (#14418).
Support disabling USB hardware wallet lookups (#14357).
GitHub faucet bot protection (#14339) and funding tiers (#14402).
Add explicit SSH server key management for puppeth (#14398).
geth init and geth removedb operate on both full and light chains (#14412).
For a detailed rundown, please consult the 1.6.1 milestone.
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