A new version of the Bitcoin Core client has been released which includes some minor upgrades and a reduction in upload traffic. With the current block size debate still going for many months now, any move in the right direction will help put Bitcoin back on track for recovery. All users are advised to upgrade to the new version as soon as possible.
Bitcoin Core v0.12.0 Has Arrived
As is the case with any major release of the Bitcoin Core client, updating sooner rather than later is the right course of action. This new release includes a few changes, though most users might not experience the full effect of these updates any time soon. One of the most notable changes in the option to use Tor services for added privacy and anonymity.
Replacement transactions may sound like an abomination in the Bitcoin world, but rest assured they cannot be used freely. There is one major prerequisite to deploying a replacement transaction, which comes in the form of paying a sufficient fee. Furthermore, this option will only work if the transaction to be replaced matches a specific set of input numbers.
Transaction signatures had been previously signed through the OpenSSL protocol, but a major change has been made in this regard as well. By integrating libsecp256k1, raw signatures validation will receive a major boost. This change was made after a long series of testing and validating libsecp256k1.
Perhaps the most interesting change comes in the form of integrating Tor support in the Bitcoin Core client. Users will now have the option to run hidden services through which Bitcoin Core can listen on if Tor is running in the background. Additionally, this change will also help users connect to additional .onion nodes, affecting the usage of these nodes.
Transaction fees are calculated in a completely different manner as well, as there will be no further transactions with less than the current minimum relay fee. Plus, users can now pay a predefined fee rate if they set this up in the Bitcoin Core client itself. However, floating fees will be used by default.
The final notable change features the removal of Merkle trees from every wallet transaction. Thanks to this change, less data is stored for every transaction present in the Bitcoin Core wallet log, as the feature was never used other than to perform a specific check. Most users won’t notice this change on the surface, but it is a nice update.
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