Bitcoin Core Version 0.17.0 Released
The Bitcoin Core developer team, which oversees development of the Bitcoin (BTC) codebase, has put out a new version, 0.17.0. The release adds new features developers believe will make Bitcoin easier to use, while also hopefully avoiding adding new bugs that could crash the network in the future.
Subscribe to the Bitsonline YouTube channel for great videos featuring industry insiders & experts
Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions Have Arrived
The release notes posted to the Linux Foundation website say that 0.17.0 is a “new major version release, including new features, various bugfixes and performance improvements.” There were 138 contributors to this version of Bitcoin, which took around seven months to complete.
Bitcoin Core 0.17.0 Released https://t.co/ciwCREngon
— Bitcoin Core Project (@bitcoincoreorg) October 3, 2018
One of the main developments in 0.17.0 is the addition of Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 174, which adds support for Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBTs). This creates a standard format that makes it easier for users to pass around and sign multi-signature transactions.
With the integration of BIP 174, users who are offline–such as those using hardware or air-gapped wallets–will be able to sign transactions. It is touted as making Bitcoin more secure and leading to increased adoption of multi-sig transactions and wallets.
Coin Selection Changes and Wallet Functionality Improvements
There were several other changes in version 0.17.0 as well. There is improved wallet functionality, including a new wallet format, a way to pull in external wallet files, and the ability to load and create wallets while the Bitcoin client is up and running.
There is also a new coin selection system. Previous versions of Bitcoin Core allowed separate payments received in a wallet to be spent separately. This is problematic from a privacy front, as third-party observers could link up otherwise separate address. In the new version, a ‘-avoidpartialspends’ flag has been added which, when enabled, can force a wallet to always spend existing unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) to the same address together, even if it results in higher fees.
Bitcoin Core Looking to Put Bug Discovery Behind It
The roll-out of 0.17.0 comes after a challenging month for the Bitcoin Core development team. On September 18th, version 0.16.3 was released, which was a patch of a serious vulnerability that could have crashed a substantial portion of the Bitcoin network and led to monetary inflation. Though no malicious parties were able to exploit the bug, an observer called it one of the three or four most serious bugs in Bitcoin’s history.
To add insult to injury, the person who spotted and reported the bug was a Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Unlimited contributor who goes by the pseudonym Awemany. After the bug was patched, Awemany wrote a blog post that was critical of the development process of the Bitcoin Core team. He or she criticized them for failing to properly warn other altcoin projects based on the Bitcoin code which shared the same vulnerability, among other complaints.
Have your say. Which of the developments in version 0.17.0 are you most interested in?
Images via Pixabay