When we first announced pre-orders for Bitseed v2 (Core and Lite) in April 2015, we promised our customers a new app that would give them more control over their Bitcoin nodes. We delivered on our promise, releasing version 2.0 of the Bitseed web interface for Linux when we began shipping Bitseed v2 pre-orders in August 2015.
Since releasing Bitseed 2.0, we have been working to give our customers even more control of their nodes. Today we are excited to release Bitseed 2.1, the latest major release version of the Bitseed web interface for bitcoind.
New features that have been added since the 2.0 release:
- Set a limit on the size of the mempool
- Set the minimum fee Bitcoin transactions must carry to be relayed
- Reduce the amount of data the node will upload to peers on the Bitcoin network
- Connect to the Bitcoin network over IPv4, both IPv4 and Tor, or only Tor
- Automatic download and installation of important software updates
Mempool Size Limit
The mempool is a set of transactions stored by Bitcoin nodes that have been verified but not yet confirmed. Since Bitcoin Core 0.12.0, the default size of the mempool has been 300 MB. Bitseed users can now adjust the size of the mempool on the Settings page. Read more about this feature on the Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 release notes here.
Minimum Relay Transaction Fee
The minRelayTxFee setting allows Bitcoin full node operators to select the minimum fee rate (satoshis per kilobyte) required for transactions to be included in the node’s mempool and relayed to other nodes. Raising the minRelayTxFee rate can help filter out low-value transactions that some users may consider spam or otherwise low-priority transactions. Bitseed users can now adjust the minRelayTxFee of their node on the Settings page.
Reduce Upload Traffic
Starting in Bitcoin Core 0.12.0, Bitcoin full node operators can set an upload traffic threshold that will prevent their nodes from uploading historic block data older than one week, significantly reducing total upload traffic. The default threshold value is set to “0” meaning that the node will serve all block data requested by its peers. Bitseed full node operators now have the ability to adjust this parameter to conserve upload bandwidth on limited connections. Once the node hits the upload threshold set by the operator e.g. 144 MB the node will only serve blocks less than a week old to peers. Read more about this feature in the Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 release notes here.
Since first publishing instructions about how to run Bitseed node traffic over the Tor network, we have been working to make this functionality easier to use for Bitseed full node operators. Our work recently crossed paths with the Bitcoin Core project when Core developers added a feature to Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 that automatically creates a Tor hidden service when the Bitcoin Core software detects that Tor is running on the same machine. It is now easier than ever for Bitcoin full node operators to run their nodes over Tor.
Bitseed has enabled three different network modes for full node operators to select from:
- IPv4-only: Bitcoin traffic is sent over the “clearnet” IPv4 network, exposing the node’s IP address and Bitcoin network traffic to the operator’s ISP and all connected Bitcoin peers.
- IPv4-Tor-hybrid: Bitcoin traffic is sent over both the “clearnet” IPv4 network and the Tor network. This mode turns the Bitseed node into a valuable “bridge” between the IPv4 and Tor networks, providing connectivity between IPv4 Bitcoin nodes and Tor Bitcoin nodes.
- Tor-only: Bitcoin traffic is sent over the Tor network, hiding the node’s IP address and Bitcoin network traffic from the operator’s ISP and all connected Bitcoin peers.
Read more about this feature in the Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 release notes here.
Maintaining up-to-date software is one of the most important ways that users can ensure the security of their computer systems. Bitseed has made it easier for Bitseed full node operators to keep the software on their devices up to date by adding the option to subscribe to automatic updates. After the operator checks this box on the Settings page, the Bitseed node will check the Bitseed website for updates once per day. If any updates are available, the node will download and install the updates.
Note: only enable automatic updates if you do not plan to install any custom software on your Bitseed node. Installing custom software after subscribing to automatic updates may cause updates to brick the device. Bitseed will not be responsible for fixing or replacing devices that are bricked due to user error.
Bitseed v1 owners should contact us for help before upgrading. Bitseed v2 owners who have installed anything other than official Bitseed updates on their nodes should also contact us before attempting to upgrade.
Install Bitseed 2.1 by accessing the node via SSH and entering the following commands:
com/bitseed-org/bitcoin-box/ master/setup/admin2.1-upgrade. sh sudo bash admin2.1-upgrade.sh
The node will reboot and bitcoind will run automatically. Allow 15 minutes for bitcoind to start up, then open a web browser and enter the internal IP address of the node to use the new Bitseed web interface.
Bitseed 2.1 is free software released under the MIT license. This license was inherited from the Bitcoin Node Admin software that Bitseed derives much of its codebase from. We welcome all contributions to help document and improve this software. Please open an issue or send us a pull request if you have any ideas that would help us improve Bitseed.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported Bitseed so far! We will be publishing more app documentation and sharing more about our vision for Bitseed in the weeks and months ahead. Want to be among the first to get our updates? Subscribe to the Bitseed Broadcast newsletter for the latest Bitseed news.