Saturday , March 6 2021

Version 0.21.0 of the popular Bitcoin Core client has been released

An updated version of the Bitcoin Core client was released on January 14th. Added support for Tor Network V3 addresses, description wallets, bug fixes, and performance improvements. The work was carried out by 100 developers for six months.

Graph wallets

These wallets use scripts instead of keys, allowing for flexibility in the background system. Scripts can contain private keys, which is common with traditional wallets, but are not limited to them.

Description wallets allow users to classify unused event outputs (UTXO) based on the conditions required for their use. For example, you can use one wallet to receive UTXOs, confirmed with a signature, and another – multi-signature. The innovation anticipates the future integration of hardware wallets.

The change is primarily aimed at developers who create software on top of the Bitcoin kernel. This does not affect users who already have a Bitcoin Core wallet. For those planning to launch the node, the option to select a descriptive wallet will now appear. By 2023, traditional wallets can be completely replaced with a new one.

Filtering blocks

The publication introduced a new block filtering system for lightweight customers who do not store the entire history of Bitcoin transactions and only load a certain part of the block chain using the so-called Bloom filters. The latter request information from relatively random nodes, but can reveal all user addresses.

To solve the problem of Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 took an alternative mechanism, called a client-side small-sized filtering (BIP 157/158). Instead of lightweight wallets creating filters to be sent to complete nodes, the latter do it for each block and send them to lightweight customers on request.

Another threat to user privacy was event retransmission settings that were performed every 15 minutes before being included in the block. Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 reduces the frequency at which it attempts to resubmit events to a single activity every 12 to 36 hours. This makes it difficult to analyze the identification of a particular transaction.

Tor V3 support

As part of a recent update to the Tor protocol, V3 addresses were introduced. Compared to the previous version, they have more secure encryption and fewer exposures. By October 15, 2021, developers will release new client versions that will disable V2 addresses.

Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 added support for a new address format that allows nodes to connect when connected to private networks.

Schnorr / Taproot update

The Schnorr / Taproot update is the first in the Bitcoin protocol since the launch of Segregated Witness (SegWit) in August 2017. The timing of the update activation is unknown, but the code has already been added to Bitcoin Core 0.21.0. This means that no more changes will be made to it. Application developers can start building software around the upgrade.

What are Schnorr signatures? What is Taproot?

Customers do not yet have the activation logic required for execution. It may be included in one of the smaller Bitcoin Core releases in the coming months. In December, Taproot upgrade support reached 91% of the total Bitcoin hashrat.

New test network

The Bitcoin network has also received a new Signet test network. It differs from its predecessors with centralized control, which increases reliability.

As a reminder, ForkLog has published a translation of Aaron van Wyrdum’s article on Taproot’s operations and explained why this solution makes Bitcoin stronger.

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