Welcome to Issue #11 of the Weekly Broadcast, a weekly newsletter published by the Bitseed team to share important news for Bitcoin full node operators. We cover the latest in Bitcoin development, full node news, community events, and experimental projects that node operators may find of interest. If you have any news tips or insights you’d like us to share in a future edition of the Weekly Broadcast, send us a message and we’ll credit you if your submission is published. Here’s the latest:
Bitcoin Core v0.12.0 RC3
Release candidate 3 of Bitcoin Core v0.12.0 is now available on Github and the bitcoin.org website. This is a test version of the software. When no critical errors are found, then the development team will make it the official release. A lot of changes have been made since the last official release of the Bitcoin Core software. These changes are detailed in the changelog linked in the post announcing this release. If you would like to try out Bitcoin Core v0.12.0 before the official release, download and install this latest release candidate.
Methods for reducing Bitcoin full node traffic
One of the configuration parameters that will be included in the upcoming Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 release is the much-anticipated “maxuploadtarget” parameter, which allows node operators to limit upstream bandwidth usage. This will be useful for any full node operators whose ISP or data center caps bandwidth usage, ensuring that the cap is never exceeded. You can read more about the bandwidth limiting methods available in Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 in the link below.
Weekly Bitcoin development IRC meetings
Bitcoin developers have an open weekly meeting on IRC to discuss code-related developments. Everyone contributing code to an implementation of Bitcoin is welcome and encouraged to attend. Reddit user G1lius has been doing a great job keeping the community informed about these discussions by writing up a weekly summary from a layman’s perspective.
Of interest to node operators in the last meeting:
- Bitcoin Core developers are still working on refactoring Bitcoin’s codebase. This will make it easier to change some parts of the codebase without causing issues in other parts. There are several open issues (linked in the full meeting summary) which need to be reviewed for refactor work to continue.
- Greg Maxwell is going to change PR #7082 to only remove the privileging of localhost. This will resolve some issues introduced with the new automatic hidden service creation.
You can see G1lius’ complete notes from last week’s Bitcoin dev IRC meeting here:
The full schedule of IRC meetings can be found here:
How to Save Bitcoin’s Node Network from Centralization
Statoshi.info creator and software engineer Jameson Lopp recently published a post about why the number of Bitcoin full nodes has been decreasing over the years and what might be done to reverse this trend. He asserts that,
There are many facets that contribute to bitcoin’s decentralization, the most important of which is the network of nodes that comprise bitcoin’s infrastructure by holding copies of the blockchain and sharing block and transaction data across the network.
Is the only node that matters the one that you run to secure your own bitcoin transactions? Or should the network optimize for some large, as-yet-undefined number of full nodes to service the myriad use-cases for full nodes, including supporting the thousands of SPV wallets that rely on honest full nodes for the security of their own transactions? Lopp investigates these questions and more in this excellent analysis and expose on the current state of the Bitcoin full node network.
That’s it for today’s Weekly Broadcast! Subscribe to the Bitseed mailing list to get notified when we publish next week’s Broadcast, along with other important Bitseed announcements.