Overseen by the main maintainer of Bitcoin Core, Wladimir van der Laan, this latest major release was developed by over a hundred contributors in a period of about eight months.
Resulting from around 800 pull requests (suggested changes), Bitcoin Core 22.0 is the first major release of Bitcoin Core to support the upcoming Taproot protocol update, while offering several other improvements over previous versions of Bitcoin Core.
As an aside, this is also the first Bitcoin Core release to strip the main 0 from its version number: it’s Bitcoin Core 22.0 – not Bitcoin Core 0.22.0.
Below are some of the most notable changes.
Hardware wallet support in the graphical user interface
Hardware wallets are devices designed to keep private keys secure, which can sign transactions without the private keys leaving the device. Still, to carry out transactions, hardware wallets often need to be used in combination with a software wallet. Several software wallets have the compatibility needed to do this, but the Bitcoin Core wallet for some time has not been one of them.
This started to change a few years ago: Bitcoin Core is compatible with hardware wallets since version 0.18.0. However, users initially had to use the command-line interface (CLI) to use this feature. As of Bitcoin Core 0.20.0, users could also partially use the graphical user interface (GUI), but this still required some manual copying and pasting to sign transactions.
Bitcoin Core 22.0 is the first Bitcoin Core release to offer full GUI support for hardware wallets. Using Hardware Wallet Interface (HWI) software as a kind of add-on, Bitcoin Core users will be able to use the Bitcoin Core wallet seamlessly in combination with Ledger, Trezor, BitBox, KeepKey and Coldcard devices.
Invisible Internet Project (I2P) Support
One way to deanonymize Bitcoin users is to analyze the Bitcoin network and track from which nodes specific transactions originate. The IP addresses associated with these nodes can be linked to real-world identities.
To protect their privacy, Bitcoin Core users were already able to connect to the Bitcoin network through the anonymous Tor network. But Tor isn’t the only anonymous network.
The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is another decentralized, point-to-point, anonymous communication network layered over the normal Internet. Like Tor, it allows users to communicate by routing messages across a network, using different layers of encryption for each step in the transmission chain to mask the message itself, as well as the IP addresses of the sender and recipient.
(The difference between Tor and I2P is subtle and beyond the scope of this article. But in summary, I2P is said to have a more distributed solution for mapping the network, which is needed for message routing. It would also be better oriented towards supporting hidden services, such as websites that are only available on the I2P network itself. Tor, on the other hand, has better support for outbound nodes, which allow users to communicate with the normal Internet.)
Bitcoin Core 22.0 now also supports connecting to the Bitcoin network via I2P. After Tor, this makes I2P the second anonymity network that Bitcoin Core users can use to protect their IP address from their peers on the Bitcoin network, allowing them to better protect their privacy.
Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 was the first Bitcoin Core release to include activation logic for the upcoming Taproot protocol update, which will be activated in November of this year. Bitcoin Core 22.0 is now the first major release to support the update.
Obviously, this means that Bitcoin Core 22.0 will fully validate the new Taproot rules. From the moment the update is activated in November, all Taproot transactions will be checked for validity according to the new protocol rules.
In addition, the Bitcoin Core wallet will support the creation of basic Taproot outputs (“addresses”). Bitcoin Core users will be able to accept payments for Taproot outputs that can be spent with a single private key, but which is protected using Taproot logic.
Of course, this doesn’t offer many benefits (if any) compared to what was possible with Bitcoin Core wallet software before; the more complex types of smart contracts that Taproot supports will presumably be supported in future versions of Bitcoin Core.
Behind the scenes, Bitcoin Core will also support the creation of Taproot-specific descriptors, which identify Taproot outputs as such. This categorization can benefit applications that rely on Bitcoin Core software, such as (external) wallets.
Update in mempool
Packet relay is an ongoing project to update the way transactions are transmitted over the Bitcoin network. Currently, transactions are only retransmitted if they include a rate high enough to be included in the memory pool (mempool) of the Bitcoin nodes. If a transaction does not include a high enough fee, it is not accepted by one node and is not forwarded to other nodes in the Bitcoin network.
This logic differs somewhat from how transactions are selected for inclusion in a new Bitcoin block, however. To determine whether a transaction is included in a block, the fee for a transaction is not only considered by itself, but it is also taken into account whether that transaction would help to get confirmation from other transactions. In this case, the combination of transaction fees is considered.
This allows users to get a transaction with a low rate that is waiting in the “unlocked” mempool, re-spending the coins on a new transaction with a high rate to compensate. To get the second (higher) rate, miners will want to accept both transactions at the same time. This trick is called Child-Pays-For-Parent (CPFP) and can be particularly useful in the context of some Layer Two protocols such as Lightning Network.
The policy difference between mempool inclusion and block inclusion can, in some cases, frustrate the CPFP solution. If the first transaction does not include a rate high enough to be accepted into mempools in the first place, a new transaction to re-spend the higher rate coins will not be accepted in a block because it needs the first transaction confirmed before it is considered valid.
To solve this, packet retransmission would allow transactions to be transmitted over the Bitcoin network in packets. Instead of considering transactions and their fees individually, transaction combinations would be considered for mempool inclusion, just as they are for block inclusion.
Bitcoin Core 22.0 includes a step to perform packet relay: applications connected to Bitcoin Core can test whether transactions would be included in their own mempools by sending multiple transactions as a single packet. However, transmission or acceptance of such packets over the peer-to-peer network is not yet supported in this release.
Larger Multi Segwit Subscriptions
Multisignature outputs (multisig) are currencies that require signatures of multiple private keys to be spent. This could be, for example, two signatures of two different private keys, or three signatures of a set of five private keys, or even seven signatures of a set of eight private keys, and so on.
Multisig can be used for a variety of purposes. One example is securing funds using multiple devices so that even if one device is compromised or lost, the coins are still safe and accessible. Likewise, multisig can be used to share control over funds between multiple people, requiring cooperation between them to spend the coins. Also, multisig is used in some second-tier solutions.
Bitcoin Core software has so far supported the creation of multisig outputs for up to 16 keys in Segregated Witness (Segwit) outputs, although the Bitcoin protocol does not have such a limit. Bitcoin Core 22.0 now expands Segwit multisig capability to 20 keys.
For more details and other changes, see the Bitcoin Core 0.22 release notes.
Bitcoin Drops as China Declares Crypto-Businesses Illegal
- China declared that cryptocurrency-related businesses are illegal
- Bitcoin, Ether, and stablecoin Tether do not qualify as legal tender in China
- BTC drops in price as the announcement went out
Once again, China reiterated its antagonistic stance on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
In an announcement, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) mentioned that BTC, ETH, and USDT are not legal tenders in China. They added that these cannot be used in the currency market.
Additionally, the central bank deemed all crypto-related businesses as illegal. This includes overseas exchanges serving residents within China and derivative transactions.
Following the news, Bitcoin’s price fell by almost $2,000 as the news circulated. This has been a common pattern whenever China FUD comes out.
Earlier, China also reiterated its stance on crypto trading and mining while testing the Digital Yuan. According to the PBOC, it will continue releasing regulatory pressure over the crypto trading industry.
Despite the negative news, many analysts remain bullish on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. According to analyst Lark Davis, this is not new and will happen again in the future.
In a tweet, Davis mentioned that “The year is 2025, #bitcoin has just corrected from 400k to 250k on China banning BTC fears.”
Can Bitcoin Surpass $6,000,000? Ethereum and Polkadot Creator Details Possible Future of Crypto
Early Bitcoin developer and co-founder of Ethereum and Polkadot, Gavin Andresen, is outlining a future where BTC rises to a staggering $6,000,000 per coin.
Gavin Andresen, who took over as Bitcoin’s lead maintainer from founder Satoshi Nakamoto in 2011, just published a new blog post detailing how BTC’s theoretical evolution could look.
Andresen describes a “possible” scenario where Bitcoin hits a price tag of $6,000,000 by 2061, transaction fees 326x higher than they are now, and the blockchain is used chiefly by whales.
“Imagine: it is the year 2061. The BTC price is six million US dollars – equal to about a million 2021 dollars because of inflation.
Miners are being rewarded 0.006103515625 BTC per block, plus transaction fees of about 5 BTC for 4,000 or so transactions ($7,500 per transaction).
But most BTC transactions don’t happen on the BTC network. Most BTC is locked up in multi-signature outputs secured using multiparty computation and mirrored on another chain as ‘wrapped’ tokens.”
In his scifi scenario, Andresen says those who do remain on Bitcoin’s network will be incentivized to keep it alive.
“The transactions that do occur on the main BTC network are high-value, mostly between super-whale-size holders…
These whales maintain the BTC network forever. They are the miners and the transaction creators; they don’t care how high transaction fees go, because they receive as many fees as they pay.”
However, Andresen says that by 2100, even those users would likely leave the blockchain.
“In the year 2100 the whales notice that the mining reward is basically zero… Eventually, there are zero new BTC being produced on the BTC network, and zero BTC circulating on the BTC network. There is nothing left to secure, and the chain stops.”
Top Analyst Maps Bitcoin and Cardano Price Trajectories, Warns Best Entry Point for ADA May Be Gone
Top Analyst Maps Bitcoin and Cardano Price Trajectories, Warns Best Entry Point for ADA May Be Gone
Crypto trader Michaël van de Poppe is looking at what’s ahead for Bitcoin (BTC) and the smart contract platform Cardano (ADA).
The analyst tells his 420,000 Twitter followers that the best entry point for Cardano may be gone after the asset bounced off a key support level at $1.86.
“If you want to get into Cardano, this was the region where you would want to get into it, and the higher low that might be created.
So based on the daily timeframe, the best entry might be gone, but you’re still getting a better entry than the ones who have been buying around $2.80.”
Van de Poppe is now looking to see if ADA can turn resistance at the $2.37 level into support.
If the markets correct further, he is keeping an eye on the $2.15 level as a potential buy zone.
“When you’re looking at the four-hour time frame, I think you’re getting the exact same view as what you have right now on Bitcoin and [Ethereum], actually. So you’re going to look for an entry point which is around the fact of $2.15, so anything in this region might be a good entry point if we get a corrective move.”
Looking at the Bitcoin pair, van de Poppe thinks that ADA will most likely consolidate briefly after retesting support at its previous all-time high.
“We can see that we’ve had a beautiful retest of the previous high here too, and therefore some consolidation is most likely going to take place before we’re going to have new impulse waves.
So both the USDT and BTC pair are looking for continuation, and I think that’s just great, and I think that’s just what we want to see with the markets right now.”
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