Úno 23

Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 Brings Lots of Improvements

Source: bitcoin


With the Bitcoin block size debate in full effect to this very day, development of the Bitcoin protocol has to carry on regardless of political agendas. The Bitcoin Core developers have released their new client, which offers a ton of significant additions and features. It is important to stick to a particular schedule, regardless of the block size debate. These new changes pave the way for full focus on increasing the block size through Segregated Witness come April.

Also read: D+H: Making the Case for Private Blockchains

The Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 Release Notes

After thoroughly testing various release candidates for the Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 release, the development team has finally released the new client to the public. A lot of hours and work has been put into bringing these updates and features to the Bitcoin community, and the list of significant improvements is rather lengthy.

One of the biggest updates comes in the form of faster signature validation, a process that has been sped up by 700%. Decoupling OpenSSL from Bitcoin Core was not an easy feat; and the simpler and more focused alternative brings additional advantages to this client. Libsecp256k1, as this solution is called, has been in development for five years, and will validate ECDSA signatures at a much faster pace than OpenSSL will be able to.

Bitcoin Node users will be pleased to hear they will finally be able to limit the upload traffic generated by the software client. This is an issue to some users, whereas others are not encumbered by bandwidth caps put in place by their ISP. Offering a function to limit bandwidth usage is a great way to invite more people to run a Bitcoin node in the future, as they won’t have to worry about monitoring bandwidth.

Low transaction fees can leave bitcoin transfers stuck for an extended period, as they are not prioritized by the miners. Paying a fee that is too high is not a solution either, as it will result in a draining of funds. Opt-in Replace-by-Fee is a new feature that lets senders configure transactions which can be replaced later on with a transfer that includes a higher fee. In a way, this will minimize senders fee while maximizing chances of transfers getting included in the next block.

The feature a lot of people have been looking forward to is the integration of Tor in Bitcoin Core. Bitcoin Nodes will detect if Tor is running, and create hidden service if this is the case. Moreover, the Bitcoin Nodes will connect to other nodes in the Tor network, without requiring any manual configuration by the Bitcoin Core user.

Other new features include fixes that will prevent the Bitcoin Core from crashing, relay transactions in a more efficient way, and reduce disk usage for wallet users. Additionally, miners will be able to assemble blocks a lot faster, and Applications can subscribe to Bitcoin Core notifications.

Taking The Fight To Bitcoin Classic

This release of the new Bitcoin Core client comes at an opportune time, as the discussion regarding the block size debate is heating up once again. Bitcoin Classic seems to be gaining a lot of support from the mining community, although it is still far too early to cry victory.

With all of these improvements made to the Bitcoin Core client, running a Bitcoin Node has become a lot more simple and efficient. Whether or not this will result in more network nodes over the coming months, remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure, though: Bitcoin Core developers can now focus on Segregated Witness and the upcoming hard fork.

What are your thoughts on the new Bitcoin Core client? Are you excited about its features? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Bitcoin Core

Images courtesy of Bitcoin Core, Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 Brings Lots of Improvements

Úno 15

Running A Bitcoin Node On Synology Disk Station Manager

Source: bitcoin

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There are plenty of opportunities for users looking to run a full Bitcoin Node. Technological advancements make even the tiniest of hardware powerful enough to read the entire blockchain and process Bitcoin transactions. A recent post on the Bitcoin.com forums shows how one can even run a Bitcoin Node on Synology Disk Station. Needless to say, more Bitcoin nodes are always welcome.

Also read: PBOC Governor Speaks About Digital Currencies

Synology Disk Station As a Bitcoin Node

It doesn’t take much to transform existing technology into something that can be used for Bitcoin Node purposes. As long as the device has internet connection capabilities, and enough disk space to store the entire Bitcoin blockchain, you are almost set. Even a Raspberry Pi 2 can become a working Bitcoin Node with very little effort, which just goes to show how far the world has come due to technological advancements.

For those people who use Synology Disk Station Manager – and run the latest version – they may have noticed how support for Docker has been enabled. While most people will never use Docker for anything, this opens up exciting opportunities for those people looking to experiment with a Bitcoin Node.

All one needs to do is install the Docker package, and complete the process. Once the installation of Docker has been finalized, a search box will appear at the top of the screen, where users need to search for “bitcoinclassic”. Two results will appear, with the top on mention “Bitcoin Classic node” in the description. The other result is something entirely different, which can be ignored for now.

Hitting the ‘Download” button will start an image transfer process, which can take up a bit of time depending on one’s Internet connection speed. As soon as the download has been completed, it will become selectable, and users will need to highlight it to launch it through the internal software wizard. Several steps will need to be completed, including whether or not resources need to be limited, and if they want to create a desktop shortcut for the Bitcoin node.

Not A Perfect Solution

The entire process takes a few minutes to complete at most. However, additional steps might be needed to make the Bitcoin Node accessible to other people, such as forwarding port 8333 on one’s router. While this concept is very simple to complete, there are still some issues that need to be worked out.

For example, using this method will not show the number of active network connections from the Synology Disk Station management software itself. Additionally, rebooting the machine may result in having to download the entire blockchain again, which could be a pain in the rear. However, as more people use this solution to set up their Bitcoin node, those issues might be resolved sooner or later.

What are your thoughts on creatively using Synology Disk Station software to run a Bitcoin Node? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Bitcoin Forum

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Synology

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Running A Bitcoin Node On Synology Disk Station Manager

Led 08

Microsoft SIM Project Could Bring Thousands of Full Bitcoin Nodes To The Network

Source: bitcoin

Microsoft SIM Project Could Bring Thousands of Full Bitcoin Nodes To The Network

Bringing more devices online which run the Windows operating system opens up interesting opportunities for bringing additional Bitcoin Nodes to the network. Especially when that principle is being facilitated by a major player such as Microsoft, who are apparently planning to roll out their own contract-free mobile data plan. The full extent of the Microsoft SIM plans are still shrouded in mystery right now, but it surely opens up interesting opportunities.

Also read: No Bitcoin Teller Machines Affected By Recently Arrested ATM Malware Crime Group

The Microsoft SIM Project

Microsoft is a company known for trying out many different things, not all of which play out in a successful manner. That being said, the company is very innovative, as was recently displayed by their efforts to offer blockchain-as-a-service on their Azure platform.  But it looks like the company has major plans for another major project, in the form of offering a contract-free mobile data plan.

With the Internet of Things initiative in full effect, it becomes more important than ever to allow devices to connect to the Internet in some capacity. By focusing on the SIM market, Microsoft is leaving the door open for just about any device to do so. However, the company’s plans do mention how the SIM service will only work on select devices, excluding those used to make phone calls.

Getting online through one and the same SIM card in roughly fifty countries around the world would be a major step forward for consumers and businesses alike. No more SIM swapping needed, as users of the Microsoft card would have access to domestic and international data wherever they go.

None of this would be possible without a collaboration between Microsoft and Transatel, as the latter company acts as an international mobile virtual network operator. From what we can gather, the plan is to use this service to bring more Windows 10 devices online, which could indicate tablets would be able to use this functionality.

Even though the Microsoft SIM plans will be limited to certain types of devices – none of which are known at the time of publication – there is no reason to see that as a hindrance. It will all depend on whether or not Microsoft makes the software open source, as doing so would give developers a chance to port its functionality to other devices.

Potential Use Cases In the Bitcoin World

As far as the Bitcoin ecosystem is concerned, getting more Windows 10 devices connected to the Internet would be a positive trend. This would also allow for more full Bitcoin Nodes to be added to the network, and create near plug-and-play solutions for users with little to no technological background.

BTCC recently added hundred new Bitcoin nodes to the Bitcoin network, which is a great move. That being said, just over 5,000 nodes is not sufficient to keep the Bitcoin Network afloat once mass adoption occurs. It will all come down to his this SIM card will work, and how much data volume is included.

What are your thoughts on the Microsoft SIM cards project? Will it help bring more Bitcoin nodes to the network? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Engadget

Images courtesy of Microsoft, Shutterstock

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Microsoft SIM Project Could Bring Thousands of Full Bitcoin Nodes To The Network

Led 07

New BTCC Bitcoin Nodes Are Hosted on Amazon Web Services

Source: bitcoin

New BTCC Bitcoin Nodes Are Hosted on Amazon Web Services

People who have been following the Bitcoin news recently will remember how Chinese exchange BTCC recently deployed an additional 100 nodes on the network. By spreading out these nodes all over the world, the Bitcoin network became a bit more decentralized than before. However, all of these Bitcoin nodes are hosted on Amazon Web Services, which is kind of centralizing the effort a bit.

Also read: Will Egypt’s Banking Institutions Create Increased Bitcoin Popularity?

Amazon Web Services For Bitcoin Nodes

Regardless of how all of these Bitcoin nodes were deployed by BTCC, it is important to keep in mind the Bitcoin network is only as strong as the number of nodes actively broadcasting transactions. By spreading out these Bitcoin Nodes all over the world, the network becomes more decentralized, and taking down Bitcoin becomes even less possible.

At the same time, some community members are worried about the deployment by BTCC itself. As it turns out, a lot of these nodes have been distributed throughout the world, which is the proper decision. But at the same time, it looks like just about all of BTCC’s new Bitcoin Nodes are running on Amazon Web Services, which is a bit of a strange decision.

Not that there is anything wrong with using Amazon Web Services to deploy Bitcoin Nodes though. The web platform built by Amazon is very powerful, versatile, and scalable. In fact, AWS can be used to host a variety of different services, and they offer quite powerful hardware that is more than capable of running a full Bitcoin Node 24/7.

As one would come to expect, using AWS for hundred different Bitcoin Nodes will not come cheap, although BTCC has not unveiled any financial details regarding the deployment. Some community members feel that using AWS for this type of Bitcoin network strengthening is not the same as “actually” deploying 100 Bitcoin nodes around the world.

This all depends on how one envisions a true deployment of Bitcoin Nodes. Should individuals and companies install a bunch of plug-and-play nodes in various locations throughout the world? Or is using an online service such as AWS more than sufficient? The latter option gives it a sense of centralization though, as one company is in control of all of these additional Bitcoin nodes.

Who Will Follow BTCC’s Lead?

The big question remains who will be the next company or Bitcoin industry expert to deploy even more nodes around the world? According to the statistics provided by 21 Inc, there are slightly over 5,000 nodes in the world right now, which is still a very low number. if Bitcoin adoption is to grow around the world, the number of nodes will need to scale as well.

Now that more and more companies are focusing their efforts on creating plug-and-play bitcoin node solutions, there is no reason as to why this number will not grow over time. Even a cheap device, such as a Raspberry Pi 2, can be turned into a full Bitcoin node once provided with additional storage capabilities.

What are your thoughts on BTCC using AWS for these 100 additional Bitcoin nodes? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: 21

Images courtesy of BTCC, Shutterstock, AWS

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New BTCC Bitcoin Nodes Are Hosted on Amazon Web Services

Pro 30

Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

Source: bitcoin

Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

As much as most people would like to think otherwise, the Bitcoin block size debate is far from over. Various new proposals have been suggested in the past, and another interesting concept was posted on Reddit earlier today. According to this user, a small block size increase should be done first, followed by the integration of Segregated Witness. Addressing the key issue as soon as possible should be the top priority for all Bitcoin developers.

Also read: Moe Levin on TNABC Miami 2016, Patrick Byrne Speaking This Year

Two Separate Block Size Solutions Combined Into One

Based on the findings of the Reddit in question, Segregated Witness should not be the first and foremost solution to settling the Bitcoin block size debate. The reason for this is simple: Segregated Witness would split block data into two streams, which will both be stored on the user’s hard disk. As a result, Bitcoin Nodes will still be dealing with an increased block size, making this less of a favorable solution for some users.

Even though the user strongly feels Segregated Witness has its merits, Bitcoin developers have been showing a level of hypocrisy when talking about this solution. When everything’s said and done, bandwidth and disk space requirements will still increase for all parties involved, albeit in slightly smaller sizes compared to other previous proposals. By addressing this solution as a “soft fork”, Bitcoin developers hope to sway the mind of community members into making this the preferred solution.

In addition, it looks like Segregated Witness is more about fixing the transaction malleability system than having to do with the Bitcoin block size debate. While it is important to address transaction malleability sooner rather than later, a solution has to be found to solve the block size debate at the same time, without resorting to the semantic game.

There is no reason a small block size increase can’t be done – it takes a minor alteration to the existing code – and implement Segregated Witness afterward. Keeping in mind how a small block size increase has nearly identical disk footprint requirements compared to segwit, and can be implemented in a much shorter time frame, this approach seems to have a certain merit.

Segregated Witness Needs To Be Tested And Vetted

Even though Segregated Witness is a valid solution, testing and vetting the code base will take weeks, if not months, to complete. Increasing the Bitcoin block size itself is a more pressing matter, as this issue has been kicked around for far too long already. Increasing the block size soonish, and implementing segwit after the vetting process seems to be a smart approach.

Based on the Reddit feedback so far, a lot of Bitcoin community members see the benefits of this two-pronged approach. After all, decisions like these rely on reaching consensus among the bitcoin community. Whether or not the Bitcoin developers will keep this proposal in mind, remains to be seen, though.

What are your thoughts on this block size proposal? Are you in favor of doing things in two different phases? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reddit

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Peak Usability

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Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal