New Bitcoin Core Release: 0.15.1 Comes Amid Fork, Price Turmoil
Two months after releasing version 0.15, Bitcoin Core developers have released a new “minor” 0.15.1 update with various fixes and improvements, including a “safety precaution against blockchain forks”. The release comes in the wake of a canceled hard fork to double transaction block sizes, and extreme price movements that saw BTC drop from over $7,000 to below $6,000.
Also read: Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Released With ‘Fee Bumping’, Multiple Wallets
Latest changes concern mainly the way Bitcoin Core handles peer connections and invalid blocks, according to the official release notes on Bitcoin.org. Developers said this adds extra protection against blockchain forks — perhaps more relevant in the current era, with multiple proposals floating around.
New Bitcoin Core Release Has Anti-Fork, Bad Peer Protection
Blocks with less works than the minimum-chain-work won’t be processed, even if they have more work than the chain tip (which happens occasionally). Peers who provide low-work chains during an initial block download (IBD) will also be kicked off the network. The notes read:
For a given outbound peer, we now check whether their best known block has at least as much work as our tip. If it doesn’t, and if we still haven’t heard about a block with sufficient work after a 20 minute timeout, then we send a single getheaders message, and wait 2 more minutes. If after two minutes their best known block has insufficient work, we disconnect that peer. We protect 4 of our outbound peers from being disconnected by this logic to prevent excessive network topology changes as a result of this algorithm, while still ensuring that we have a reasonable number of nodes not known to be on bogus chains.
Other Changes in 0.15
Other 0.15 changes include a prohibition on opening multiple copies of the same wallet file, backups of GUI settings even after a reset, and removal of an old option for miners to limit by block size instead of block weight.
Users running Core are advised to shut the old version down completely before upgrading. Windows users can run an installer, Mac and Linux users can just copy the bitcoin-qt application over from the download.
0.15 introduces a new format for the chainstate database. Anyone wishing to downgrade from 0.15 after installing needs to follow special instructions supplied in the release notes.
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Images via Bitcoin Core, Pixabay