New Bitcoin Core Upgrade (version 0.17.0) Expected on September 8
The first and original Bitcoin client is expected to receive a highly anticipated update with several new features in its upcoming version next week.
A new ‘language’ for cryptographic keys, amongst other exciting features for the Bitcoin Core client, are coming in Bitcoin’s next big software upgrade next week. Even with consumer-friendly tools, using Bitcoin is hard and running its core infrastructure is even harder. However, developments will keep taking place to change that.
Bitcoin Core is the first ever Bitcoin full-node client and wallet. A full-node client hosts and runs the entire Bitcoin blockchain. Most individuals use easy-to-use wallets like Mycelium, Jaxx, and Coinbase.
Bitcoin Core to release version 0.17
Bitcoin Core, the first Bitcoin client, has concluded plans to release the next big software upgrade. This upgrade will come with some of the most anticipated changes.
The software’s default wallet is one of the changes the community is looking forward to, as it stores user’s Bitcoin private keys
A new ‘language’ for addresses was first proposed by Bitcoin contributor Pieter Wuille. The account system has proved problematic for the community, which has led to the creation of the new language. The aim of this language is to add important information to keys in order to make the client smarter.
With the new language, users will be able to name their different accounts without any confusions. Users will also be able to move keys from one wallet to another with relative ease, something that is almost impossible now.
The new language has been designed in such a way that each key is tagged with a label which describes exactly what it can unlock. This move will completely change the way users view and use wallets.
Even though this is just the first step, there is an expectation amongst developers that the language will find its way through the codebase in future software upgrades.
Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBT) also highly anticipated
Asides the new language, the next software upgrade also comes with other interesting changes. One of them is the Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBT).
For transactions that have been initiated but not fully signed, PBST is a new format that allows them to be passed around until they are finally broadcasted.
The PBST could end up having an impact on several types of users. Currently, we have several hardware wallets in the market.
However, each one is unique in terms of how it engages with the software. This means they aren’t compatible with all software wallets at once.
For this reason, hardware wallets are left online and connected online to a software wallet when there is a need for a transaction. Despite that, usually, each hardware wallet only includes support for one or two software wallets.
The fact that Trezor is compatible with software wallet Electrum and not Bitcoin presents a problem for users who want to use the wallet for Bitcoin.
BIP 174, however, offers a solution for that as it is a standard that every wallet can make use of. PSBT has been designed to make it easier for Bitcoin Core to support hardware wallets and have better offline air-gapped wallet setup.
Bitcoin Core contributor Andrew Chow pointed out that as soon as Bitcoin Core supports hardware wallets, users can make use of it instead.
Unlike SPV wallets that need the permission of the third party to do the blockchain verification, Bitcoin Core is a full node that doesn’t.
He also noted that the code change will likely boost the smart contract and privacy features of Bitcoin.
Other features also available
Asides the new language and PSBT, this code change is coming with other upgrades to the network.
The dynamic wallet creation feature is one of them. This feature will enable the developers to load, unload, and create wallets when the software is already running.
Coin Selection is another feature that is expected to improve the network’s scalability in general while also reducing the transaction fees. The code for this feature has already been incorporated but will receive a small privacy boost in this upgrade.
The other changes will be fully covered in the final release notes, which will be released at the same time as the final, tested code.