There are different release branches of GnuPG, modern, stable and classic.
Three different versions of GnuPG are actively maintained:
GnuPG "modern" (2.1) is the latest development with a lot of new features. This announcement is about the first release of this version.
GnuPG "stable" (2.0) is the current stable version for general use. This is what most users are currently using.
GnuPG "classic" (1.4) is the old standalone version which is most suitable for older or embedded platforms.
GnuPG Classic and Stable
GnuPG 1.4, Classic is based on the old monolithic core and will still be patched for some time, but will not receive new features and algorithms. In Debian (and derivatives), it's available as the
gnupg package and
gpg binary. GnuPG 2.0 is the current stable release. The Debian package name for it is
gnupg2, the binary is installed as
GnuPG 2.1 called modern is more the "experimental" release, with features to be tested in practice, and other applications relying on GnuPG do be fitted to it. It is available for Debian, but as of 2016-01-07 not in the stable repositories, only in Debian Sid (unstable). See "How to install some packages from "unstable" Debian on a computer running "stable" Debian?" on how to install packages from a different release branch, but be aware of the caveats. I'm successfully running GnuPG 2.1 for quite some time now from Unstable/Sid, while having the Debian testing branch installed.
Be aware ECC cryptography in OpenPGP is not yet widely spread and supported, so you might have compatibility issues when communicating with others. If you want to use ECC curves, anyway, remember to use the
--expert flag to be able to create ECC keys.
In a lecture at 32C3, GnuPG maintainer Werner Koch announced GnuPG 2.2 will probably be released (rather soon) this year and inherit GnuPG 2.0's stable status, which will probably also result in being included in Debian Testing rather soon, maybe already for Debian 9. Sadly, there's nothing I can cite, the lecture was neither recorded nor are the slides available.
The Debian package
libgpgme11 requires GnuPG 2 which is also fulfilled when using GnuPG 2.1. Applications using GPGME should automatically pick up GnuPG 2.1 when available instead of GnuPG 2.0 (and you can't have both through Debian's package manager, anyway).