Welcome to Issue #2 of the Weekly Broadcast, a weekly newsletter published by the Bitseed team to share important news for Bitcoin full node operators. We’ll be covering 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 0.11.2 released
Major changes for node operators include:
- BIP65 soft fork to enforce OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY (CLTV) opcode. CLTV makes it so that transaction outputs can be “locked up” until some specified point in the future. Example uses provided in BIP65 include recoverable multisig wallets, trustless PayPub schemes, and “Lightning Network”-style payment channels.
- Version 4 blocks. Once a node running this release sees that 951 out of 1001 blocks on the longest local chain are version 4 blocks, the node will no longer accept new version 3 blocks and will only accept version 4 blocks if they comply with the BIP65 rules for CLTV.
- Reject transactions which have a time greater than the GetMedianTimePast(), fixing the “perverse incentive” that miners have to earn more fees by lying about the time of their blocks. This changes begins enforcing the rules introduced in BIP113 on newly received transactions in preparation for acceptance of BIP113 by the network.
- Bug fix: corrupted UTXO database after unclean shutdown on Windows. Some users on Windows report having to reindex the whole blockchain if the Bitcoin Core or the computer itself experiences an unclean shutdown. Unclean shutdowns remain unsafe, but this change fixes a bug which increased the frequency of unclean shutdowns experience by Bitcoin Core users.
The Bitcoin Foundation recently organized a workshop for developers, with a focus on “building knowledge, widening understanding and deepening technical expertise to support the future development of Bitcoin.” This event featured expert speakers from standards bodies, nonprofits, and leading developers from the Bitcoin community. Videos from the workshop are now online and can be found in the YouTube link below.
Weekly Bitcoin Core development IRC meetings
Back in September, it was decided that the Bitcoin Core development team would have a weekly meeting on IRC to discuss code-related developments. 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. You can see G1lius’ notes from last week’s bitcoin dev IRC meeting here:
The full schedule of IRC meetings can be found here:
Summarizing Security Assumptions
Blockstream co-founder Dr. Adam Back started a great discussion on the bitcoin-dev mailing list summarizing the security assumptions and design requirements of Bitcoin. A highlight from the initial post was that Bitcoin depends on mining and validator decentralization for the network to remain secure. Since mining is currently more centralized than not, this means that it’s very important for the validator (full node) network to be decentralized. You can read the rest of Dr. Back’s insights and suggestions along with the ensuing discussion in the link below.
That’s it for today’s Weekly Broadcast! Subscribe to the Bitseed blog to get notified when we publish next week’s Broadcast, along with other important Bitseed announcements.