The Chia blockchain and consensus algorithm aims to provide a more environmentally friendly, decentralized, and secure alternative to proof of work or proof of stake, while maintaining some of the key properties that make Nakamoto consensus desirable. The full description of the algorithm can be reviewed in the Chia Network Green Paper.
This is an alpha quality code release so that means that things may behave strangely and not all of the current technology choices or protocols will remain the same as we move towards mainnet. Our release notes have a good overview of some of the things that we know will change. This is a good way to really get a handle on proofs of space and proofs of time and how they are going to interact in the real world. Our next major milestone will be merging the Chia blockchain with Chialisp and Ledgersim transactions.
Proofs of space and proofs of time can be considered beta quality software as they both have had testing in our existing competitions. We expect to continue competitions and incorporate new enhancements.
We want you to try out and participate in the testnet. We especially welcome pull requests and enhancements as you start taking this software to different platforms and environments.
Questions about installation, farming, plotting or running a Timelord should be addressed to our Keybase channel #testnet.