Monero scheduled protocol upgrade to CryptoNight-R
The new Monero major release is due to the March 9th network update, which in turn adds a new PoW based on Cryptonight-R, adds a new block weight algorithm, and introduces a slightly more efficient RingCT format.
General information about the Monero scheduled network upgrade
Approximately the 9th of March there will be a scheduled network upgrade on the Monero network. To be sufficiently prepared, a user, service, merchant, pool operator, or exchange should run CLI v0.14.0.0 or GUI v0.14.0.0. The scheduled network upgrade introduces four major changes. First, somechanges to the dynamic block size algorithm to fix the big bang attack. Note that, consequently, the daemon (monerod) has to perform a database conversion. Fortunately, however, this conversion should be relatively fast and only take 5-10 minutes. Second, a third PoW tweak (CryptoNight-R) to curb the ASICs currently present on the network and further preserve ASIC resistance. As a result, miners will have to update their miners (i.e. mining software) as well. Third, a dummy encrypted payment ID is now added to each transaction to improve transaction homogeneity. Fourth, the development team simplified amount commitments by shrinking the size of amount encodings and using deterministic masks. These changes were deemed safe to apply by the Monero Research Lab. Additionally, the changes essentially entail the transaction format being upgraded to a v2 format.
More information about the third PoW tweak can be found here:
Due to variance the scheduled network upgrade will take place on or around the 9th of March. There is, however, no specific date as the hard fork will be triggered by a specific blockheight. The specific blockheight for the hard fork can be found here. That is:
// version 10 starts from block 1788000, which is on or around the 9th of March, 2019. Fork time finalised on 2019-02-10.
Note that there technically will be two hard forks (i.e. one on approximately the 9th of March and one on the approximately the 10th of March). This provides a grace period on the network where transactions in the transaction pool that still use the v1 transaction format are allowed to be included in a block by miners. Fortunately, running v0.14.0.0 ensures that one is sufficiently prepared for both hard forks.
This text and all the information included are taken from the official Monero Reddit post: