Welcome to Issue #9 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 RC1 release
Bitcoin Core lead developer Wladimir van der Laan has published binaries for Bitcoin Core 0.12.0rc1 on the bitcoin-dev mailing list. This is a test release, not a final release. Once it has been determined that no critical errors are present in the code, the release candidate will be finalized and released as 0.12.0. If you would like to install and test this release candidate software, you can find links to the binaries here (Bitseed users will want to download and install the “linux-x64” version).
Segregated Witness BIPs and testnet code published
As mentioned in previous issues of the Weekly Broadcast, the Bitcoin Core developers are currently working on a “soft-fork” proposal to implement a technique called Segregated Witness, which solves a number of challenges with the Bitcoin protocol. Since first unveiling their proposal at the Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong workshop, the Core developers have published several BIPs explaining the technical details of the proposal. They have also released code for a Segregated Witness test network so that the proposal can be thoroughly reviewed and tested before it is deployed on Bitcoin’s main network. You can review the BIPs and testnet code in the links below.
In-progress implementation of Lightning Network released
One of the exciting technologies that Segregated Witness will help enable is the Lightning Network, a technique for scaling bitcoin transaction capacity using Bitcoin payment channels. The Lightning Network developers have released their in-progress implementation on GitHub, which can be reviewed here.
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 developers are working on a mechanism called “versionbits” that would allow soft-forks to be implemented simultaneously and independently of each other. This will allow multiple soft-forks to be run on the main Bitcoin network at the same time without interfering with each other.
- Bitcoin developer Jorge Timon is working on modularizing Bitcoin’s codebase so that it is easier to work on non-consensus changes without fear of forking the network. The consensus-critical parts are being moved to a library called “libconsensus,” and there are several pull requests which require review before work on libconsensus can proceed any further.
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:
Why Bitcoin’s Decentralization Matters
Bitcoin Core developer co-founder Matt Corallo has published a blog post entitled “Why Bitcoin’s Decentralization Matters.” In it he explains “why decentralization is foundational to Bitcoin’s utility,” including mining and full node decentralization. If during the block size limit debate you’ve found yourself wondering why so many are concerned about how the block size limit affects the decentralization of the Bitcoin network, this post is for you.
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.