Bitcoin Core 0.15.0

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 released. What’s new?

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, the fifteenth generation of the original Bitcoin client developed by Satoshi Nakamoto almost 9 years ago, was officially released today. The development was led by the main maintainer of Bitcoin Core, Vladimir van der Laan, and in total, about 100 programmers worked on the project for 6 months. Bitcoin Magazine revealed what new users can discover in Bitcoin Core 0.15.0.

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 contains performance and functionality improvements. In addition, the new client has several features that will help it adapt to the current state of the network..

Changed structure of Chainstate database

One of the most significant changes is the change in the way of storing information about the current state of the blockchain in a node. The “chainstate” or “UTXO set” is now stored in a separate database. Previously, they were categorized by transaction. If during one transaction bitcoins were sent to several outputs (“addresses”), all these outputs were stored in the form of one record in the database.

In Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, each of these outputs is stored as a separate record. If you send bitcoins to multiple addresses in a single transaction, each output is stored separately. Indeed, this method of storing information requires more space on the hard disk, but if one of these outputs is spent later, but processing such an operation will consume less computing power.

Those looking to do the initial sync of their Bitcoin nodes will find a clear benefit, as the initial sync time has dropped by about 40%. Moreover, simpler code does not require high memory usage. An issue that could cause Bitcoin Core nodes to crash has also been resolved..

Improved system for calculating fees

As it has become clear over the past year or two, not all Bitcoin transactions fall into the first block. Usually, miners first select transactions that have high fees attached. If the user wants his transaction to be processed faster, he pays more; if he is in no hurry, he pays less.

However, it should be understood that it is not always possible to guess how many transactions the miners are processing at the moment, which can lead to a mistake with the commission..

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 solves the uncertainty problem in part thanks to improved algorithms for calculating fees. The software uses more data in the calculation. This includes fees for previous confirmed transactions, as well as for unconfirmed transactions if, for some reason, the commission was not enough to quickly confirm them..

In addition, users were given the opportunity to more flexible customization of fees. For example, they may pay such a fee that their transaction will be processed for a week. The risk of transaction delays is also reduced in the event of a sudden influx of people who want to send bitcoins..

The “replace-by-fee” function is available right in the interface

The improved mechanism for calculating fees still does not guarantee that a transaction will be processed at a given time if the number of transactions increases sharply. Or, for example, the user could change his mind and now he wants his transaction to be processed faster.

In this case, some wallets allow users to add a “replace-by-fee” tag to the transaction. Nodes and miners will see this tag and will understand that the user wants to replace the real transaction with a new one with a higher fee. Basically, the user is pushing their transaction into the queue.

Bitcoin Core nodes have been supporting this feature for a year now, but it wasn’t easy to use. Now this option has been added to the wallet interface, and all Bitcoin Core users can easily increase their fees..

Multiple wallet support

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 introduces the ability to create multiple wallets for the first time. Each of these wallets has a separate address, private key and account. Users can use different wallets for different purposes: for example, one wallet for everyday spending, another for business, and the third for trading.

There are several advantages to this approach. First, it is easier for users to keep track of funds. Secondly, the level of anonymity increases, since these wallets are not connected with each other in any way. You can find other ways to use this function..

This option is not yet available to regular users. Only advanced users using the command line or connected applications can use it.

Other improvements

Among other things, a number of improvements have been integrated into Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 to improve node performance. Now blocks from the network are downloaded faster, less time is spent on launching nodes, the nodes themselves confirm transactions faster, along with which the speed of the network as a whole grows.

In the end, it’s worth noting that Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 will not connect to users using the software implementation of BTC1. This will help eliminate network outages if the SegWit2x hard fork does take place, since clients from different networks will not connect to each other..

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