Voting is open for a new IC release - b5a1a8c

Hello there!

after the holiday break, we are happy to announce that voting is now open for a new IC release .
The NNS proposal is here: IC NNS Proposal 100821.

Here is a summary of the changes since the last release:

* Consensus: feat(consensus): Do not relay ECDSA support messages
* Consensus: fix(consensus): Purge checkpoints only below CUP height
* Crypto: Redirecting merge_maturity to stake_maturity.
* Crypto: chore(crypto): Add error log if secret key is missing locally
* Crypto: chore(crypto): Rename crypto metrics enum variants for proper snake_case conversions
* Crypto: chore(crypto): clean-up modeling of time for key rotation
* Crypto: chore(crypto): remove obsolete errors for old interactive DKG
* Crypto: chore(crypto): reserve unused field `key_id_to_csp_secret_key`
* Crypto: feat(crypto): Strip off timestamps in all return values of `PublicKeyStore`
* Crypto: fix(crypto): Do not panic in NodePublicKeyData::current_node_public_keys
* Crypto: fix(crypto): Initialize metrics to zero
* Crypto: fix(crypto): fix race condition also for other key generation methods
* Crypto: fix(orchestrator) Make orchestrator metrics endpoint available before attempting to register node
* Crypto: perf(crypto): Add a cache for BLS signature verification
* Crypto: perf(crypto): extend ic-certification to allow cached verification of BLS signatures
* Execution: chore: Remove add_cycles function from cycles account manager
* Execution: chore: delete ic-btc-validation crate
* Execution: fix: Do not schedule heartbeats or timers for stopped canisters
* Message Routing: Get rid of bottlenecks in bi-directional canister-to-canister communication.
* Message Routing: More checks for message type accounting in QueueWithReservation.
* Message Routing: Reduce the ingress history memory capacity to 4GB
* Message Routing: Ensure that we don't remove a checkpoint when any CheckpointLayout still exists
* Message Routing: Enforce Tip CheckpointLayout doesn't leave Tip Channel
* Message Routing: Remove CheckpointRef
* Message Routing: fix(): don't hold mutex when removing files
* Networking: Return proper JSON output from ic-admin firewall commands
* Networking: [h2 migration][unit tests][Refactor] Create constants representing TransportMessage types and separate legacy/h2 test cases
* Networking: fix: Avoid message serialization when creating advert from artifact
* Networking: fix: Re-introduce the MetricsHttpEndpoints
* Networking: fix: Remove the ingress filter
* Networking: fix: [H2 Migration][Unit Tests] Check for 'Some' when unwrapping event handler next request
* Networking: fix: [H2 Migration][Unit Tests] Stricter check on receiving messages in drain queue  test cases
* Networking: fix: add latency tracking to P2P/Gossip events
* Networking: fix: fix transport h2 flakiness and problems with the code
* Node: Change detection and use of "system drive"
* Node: Remove readonly and backup keys from SetupOS template
* Node: Set a default to avoid script failure
* Orchestrator: feat(): ic backup - better init command
* Orchestrator: feat(orchestrator): a mock signer used to test the node registration
* Orchestrator: fix(consensus): Fix protobuf serialization for ECDSA data payload
* Orchestrator: fix(orchestrator): print the node id on a successful registration
* Runtime: Add accumulated priority metrics
* Runtime: Make `PageAllocatorRegistry` a regular object
* Runtime: Memory barrier for store operators
* Runtime: Rework sandbox process eviction
* Various tech-debt management: code refactoring, docs, bug fixes, test updates

And a complete list of changes can of course be found on GitHub.
Please reply to this message if you have any questions or comments.