Next Bitcoin Software on the Horizon

Executive Brief

With a new update to Bitcoin’s software fast approaching, new additions attract much interest, and when version 0.13.0 is released in the coming weeks, the biggest new feature found in the code is the solution for block size and increased transactions, Segregated Witness. Initially launched as a passive addition to ensure stability, the feature, that increases the transaction volume possible without increasing block size, will be enabled in version 0.13.1, assuming this rollout is successfully tested. At the same time, a threat to release a hacked version of the software has been revealed, along with ways to ensure that the version you obtain is the real one.

Read the full story below. 

An update to Bitcoin’s software will be released soon, and it promises to bring innovation and risk in equal measure. Referred to as the most significant code change since the digital currency was launched, version 0.13.0 adds code support for Segregated Witness, although it will not be active until the following version and is intended to smooth the rollout.

Segregated Witness was first proposed as a solution to the ongoing block size problem that has rumbled on for a while, the idea debuting last December with the promise of increasing transaction volume capability without increasing block size itself. While the new code for segregated witness has been tested extensively, the idea behind including it now in a deactivated mode is to allow broader testing on the Bitcoin testnet, giving more participants the chance to participate and to truly stress test the feature before activating it in the next software iteration. This, it is hoped, will allow for a smoother release with much less risk involved.

New features are not all that the release can bring though, with worries about hacking attempts prompting Bitcoin.Org to issue a warning to all their user base to take care when downloading the new software. The worry is that hackers will release infected code to the internet and users could inadvertently download that rather than the official release. To combat this an effort is being made to make users aware of the best places to find the official versions as the new release appears to avoid the possibility of obtaining infected code by mistake.

These two different views of the new software perhaps reflect the advances that the cryptocurrency industry has made, new versions of software with interesting new features that promise to improve the Bitcoin transaction process along the way is a real landmark in the growth of the digital currency. Meanwhile, threat of hacking is of course something that any internet based medium must deal with, especially for fiscal products. However, the mature approach from, the early warning of the possible attempt and a structured approach to dealing with it show a mature community and platform that is capable of maintaining its credibility and user safety in the realities of the digital space.

Author: Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is a writer and researcher with a love for the eclectic, family and the world we inhabit. He spends his spare time photographing the varied wildlife that surrounds us daily and contemplating why Firefly never made it past season one.

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