Welcome to Issue #13 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 0.12.0 official release
The official release of Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 is now available on Github and the bitcoin.org website. 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. It is recommended that full node operators upgrade to this new version to take advantage of the improvements that have been included in this release, including:
- 7x Faster Signature Validation
- Ability to Limit Upload Traffic
- Crash Prevention via Memory Pool Limits
- Option to Send Transactions That Can Be Fee-Boosted
- Improved Rules for Transaction Relaying
- Automatic Usage of Tor When it’s Running
- Ability for Apps to Subscribe to Notifications With ZeroMQ
- Massively Reduced Disk Usage for Wallets
- Much Faster Block Assembly for Miners
You can find instructions for upgrading your Bitseed node to Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 here.
Bitcoin Roundtable conclusion – consensus forming?
A group of Bitcoin developers, miners, and business representatives recently met in Hong Kong to discuss how the Bitcoin protocol can continue to evolve. This follows months of intense debates about how to scale scale Bitcoin, and shows signs that a consensus is emerging about what the path forward will be. Redditor BobAlison provided a helpful summary of the agreement:
- SegWit will continue to be developed as a soft fork. Expected release date is April 2016.
- A hard fork update will be developed “based on the improvements in SegWit.” Expected release date is June 2016.
- The hard fork will expand non-witness block space (regular block space) to 2 MB. The combination of SegWit and the hard fork will expand effective block size to up to 4 MB.
- The hard fork may contain other, unspecified, changes.
- Members agreed to run only “Bitcoin Core-compatible” systems for the “foreseeable future.”
- Hard fork activation is expected to happen around July 2017.
Not everyone agrees with this proposal. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, whose company is advised by Bitcoin Classic developer and former Bitcoin Core maintainer Gavin Andresen, published a blog post replying to the Bitcoin Roundtable Consensus announcement stating that the proposal is “too little, too late.” Only time will tell what – if any – scaling solution a majority of miners and economic nodes will come to agreement on.
The Future of Bitcoin – Many Blockchains, One Cryptocurrency?
Twenty years from now, long after the block size debate has been resolved and engineers have turned their focus towards building new applications on the blockchain, what will the cryptocurrency landscape look like? Will there still be hundreds of cryptocurrencies competing in the marketplace? Or will bitcoin be used by most people exclusively, with a variety sidechains each implementing features that were previously only found in altcoins? In his latest blog post, Bitseed co-founder John Light predicts that there will continue to be one cryptocurrency that garners most of the market share. He describes how the logic of network effects and the economics of cryptocurrency will lead liquidity and resources in the market to consolidate around the strongest blockchain – and today that blockchain is Bitcoin.
Chain of Things interview with Bitseed co-founder Mike Doty
For the past several years, there have been an increasing number of companies and products in the “Internet of Things” category, which may one day grow to include trillions of devices and sensors connected together to automate and optimize various tasks on behalf of their owners. Chain of Things is a new research lab with membership from all over the world, with a focus on finding and developing blockchain solutions for the Internet of Things. Bitseed co-founder Mike Doty recently gave an interview to Chain of Things about how blockchains can be used to secure the Internet of Things, offering a preview of how Bitseed might fit into this growing ecosystem of devices.
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.