The new version of bitcoin core has been released with loads of improvements and fixes. The latest major release of bitcoin version 0.14.0 was developed by almost one hundred contributors over the course of six months. Traders in the industry must be eager to know about this major release which carries new features, performance improvements, updated translations as well as different bug fixes. Most of the improvements happen under the hood, that’s why may not be very obvious to average users.
To make the Bitcoin core work smoothly on different operating systems, this has already been tested on multiple operating systems including macOS 10.8+, Linux kernel, Windows Vista and later. Those who are concerned about Windows XP support should be aware that Microsoft has finished Windows XP support on April 8, 2014. That’s why no attempt was made to test the new bitcoin core release on Windows XP. So any issues should not be reported if found while using the software on Windows XP.
Bitcoin core version 0.14.0 should also operate on other operating systems that are similar to UNIX. However, the release has not been tested on such OS frequently.
Performance has been improved in several areas, however, network propagation and validation speed performance both have been improved to a great extent. This leads to much shorter initial block download and sync times.
- In some instances, compact blocks are transmitted before being completely authorized according to BIP152.
- The new version has re-implemented the script signature cache as s ‘cuckoo cache’. This allows faster lookups and additional signatures to be cached.
- After the latest update, the UTXO cache claims fresh mempool memory. This improvement really expedites early block download as UTXO lookups are major blockages there.
- P2P network is refactored with a deep focus on throughput and concurrency. Furthermore, the network operations are no more bottlenecked by validation. Thus, block fetching has become many times faster than previous bitcoin releases in several cases.
- This new release also introduces the assumed-valid blocks that let script validation to be missed for ancestors of the known good blocks, without altering the security model.
ZMQ on Windows
The ZeroMQ notification system was not present for the Windows OS in the past. This unavailability was because of different issues with ZMQ. The new bitcoin core release fixes these problems upstream and finally the ZeroMQ can easily be used on Windows.
Previously the alert system was deactivated and denounced in Bitcoin update 0.12.1 and removed in bitcoin 0.13.0. This alert system was quitted with a maximum arrangement final alert which causes some nodes assisting the alert system to show a static hard coded ‘Alert Key Compromised’ notification which too avoids other alerts from superseding it. This final alert is hard coded in the latest bitcoin core release so that all the previous nodes get the final alert.
Graphical User Interface Changes
- After a user has reset all options by clicking ‘Reset Options’ button appearing in the options dialog, he will be prompted to select the data directory once again. This has been done to make sure that the custom data directories will be reserved after the option reset which wipes out the custom data directories set through the ‘select datadir dialog’.
- The bottom-right corner of the main window now shows an indicator in order to signify whether the wallet being utilized is an HD wallet. If the wallet turns out to be a non-HD wallet, then the icon will become gray with an ‘X’ on top.
- The debug window can now be used to choose several peers from the list of peers. This permit user to disconnect or ban multiple peers instantaneously instead of forbidding them one at a time.
P2P Connection Management
- New connections that are used to manually add peers can now perform more quickly.
- Peers that have been added manually through the ‘Addnode’ RPC or ‘-adnode’ option now get their own limitation of 8 connections which doesn’t contest with other outbound or inbound connection usage. This is not subject to the limits levied by the ‘-max-connections’ option.
Low level RPC Changes
- The ‘importprunedfunds’ just takes two needed arguments. Some versions receive an optional 3rd arg, which has always been ignored in the past.
- RPC command ‘getmininginfo’ misses the ‘testnet’ field in courtesy of the extra generic ‘chain’.
- The first Boolean argument to the ‘getaddednodeinfo’ has now been removed. This is said to be an incompatible change.
- Another fresh RPC command ‘preciousblock’ has been included which easily marks a block as valuable. A precious or valuable block will be dealt as if it was accepted earlier than an opposing block.
- A new RPC command known as ‘importmulti’ has been included which gets a collection of JSON objects demonstrating the intention of importing a dedicated private key, a public key, script/p2sh and an address.
Author: Adil Adeel – Data Analyst at CoinBanks