Bitcoin development is constantly evolving, and the Bitcoin Core developers are working around the clock to increase network security and stability. Now and then, a new version of the Bitcoin Core client is released, and the latest version focuses a lot on security and making the software easier to use for novice users.
Bitcoin Core V0.11.0 – Interesting New Additions
The Bitcoin Core client has come a long way since the original version was released by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. During the first few months, several bugs plagued the client, which would lead to random program crashes and lots of frustration. But in recent years, with a dedicated team of Bitcoin Core developers, changes have been swift, and new features have been added over time.
One of the most recent additions is the option to prune block files. To put this in layman terms, Bitcoin Core users can remove all data included in older Bitcoin blocks, which are not required in order to run a full network node. Additionally, storage of the blockchain becomes a more streamlined process, and Bitcoin Node users will no longer have to store the entire blockchain on their device, but rather the last 550 blocks.
Storage of Bitcoin blockchain data has been a thorn in the eye of many users in recent times, as the entire blockchain takes up nearly 40GB of data. Even though hard drive capacity has increased in recent years, people who want to dedicate an older piece of hardware to act as a Bitcoin Node were often disappointed to find out they needed to provide so much storage.
By only having to store the last 550 blocks, the required amount of storage is well under the 1GB threshold. As amazing as all of this sounds, it is important to keep in mind that block pruning is not yet available to Bitcoin Core Wallet users. However, the functionality will be coming in the near future, as the code has already been written and is currently included in the client.
The estimation of transaction fees has undergone several changes as well. In the past, adding a wrong transaction fee – or none at all – could lead to longer confirmation waits, which caused quite a bit of frustration. This new mechanism will give users an indication of the correct TX fee if they want to have the transaction processed with high priority.
Last but not least, there is the ever important feature of privacy. Todate, many people think of Bitcoin as an anonymous digital currency, while it is only pseudonymous. In fact, if you want to use Bitcoin for illegal or illicit activities, you will be exposed sooner compared to sticking to traditional financial tools.
However, the latest Bitcoin Core client will connect to the TOR network for additional user privacy. In order to use this feature, the user must have TOR installed and enabled on their machine. The Bitcoin Core client will diversify the number of TOR circuits it connects to, rather than using one and the same over and over again.
In about six months from now, the Bitcoin Core client v0.12.0 is expected to be released. This new Bitcoin Core client will – hopefully – include the block pruning option for users who want to run a Bitcoin Node. As has been the case with every major Bitcoin Core client update, further changes to increase performance and memory usage will be made as well.
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