Loki has announced their upcoming hardfork dubbed “Hefty Heimdall”. The hardfork packs several updates to Loki Core and Loki Messenger. The timeline of events will begin with the release of testnet binaries on June 26, followed by a mandatory upgrade starting on July 10, and finally the hardfork on July 24.

Some of the new features Hefty Heimdall will introduce include Service Node Checkpointing, an alpha release of the Loki Messenger, Loki Storage Server and Internode testing.

Although the hardfork will happen in July, Checkpointing will not be enforced until September 12. Secondly, Loki Messenger alpha which is the first service to make it out of Loki labs will initially not have the privacy features scheduled for the final release.

Talking about Loki Messenger, the service will enable users to send and receive messages both online and offline in a decentralized and scalable way. Messages are encrypted for privacy and are only readable by the sender and receiver. The Messenger uses a group of cooperative Service Nodes called “Swarms” to store messages and achieve a high rate of redundancy.

The Loki Messenger alpha will allow you to communicate securely with your friends and family over a decentralized network while still having a comparable user experience to the chat apps you already know. And when used in conjunction with other network anonymization tools, the Loki Messenger alpha will also have some reasonable privacy properties.