ARK announced in November of 2017 that, whilst the ARK Network demonstrated a fast and reliable network with a committed community, it was to completely overhaul the ARK core code after identifying key elements within the core design that could be improved.
The final testing phase for ARK core V2 is underway and it is nearly ready for public testing on the Devnet. It is not clear for how long it will remain in testing, or when it will reach the Mainnet, but once public, the public will be invited to hack, test it, review it, report bugs and suggest improvements they wish to offer.
The v2 core is fully compatible with the v1 protocol and in order to make the transition, a hard fork will be necessary and the new block height will be announced when ARK is ready. No further details on the matter will be released until then.
Block times will not be changed and there are no plans in place to decrease block creation times as the team sees no reason to do so. Block times are inherently linked to network latencies when establishing consensus, reducing the number of nodes, delegates and controlling the location of dedicated servers would undermine the premise of decentralization. Therefore, the number of delegates will remain at 51. Increasing this number would be expected to require a great deal of extensive testing and would increase latencies dramatically – most likely require decreasing TPS and increasing blocktimes.
Fee reduction has reportedly been a particularly requested topic from the community. ARK Core v1 presently has integrated flexible fees but this was unavailable at the client and block creation level. ARK Core v2 will enable this without the need for a hard fork, making ARK a DPoS Blockchain including a dynamic fee structure.
The new version will be fully backwards compatible for an easier transition to the new codebase. It is modularized, faster and more accessible for hackers, making it easier to use and contribute.