Bitcoin Core Upgrades to Version 0.20.0; 117 Devs Contributed to the Protocol Changes

The latest Bitcoin core upgrade, 0.20.0, has been released marking the 28th one since the first protocol was rolled out by Satoshi. In the new upgrade, a number of features were removed while others were added in a bid to fix underlying bugs and improve the performance of Bitcoin’s ecosystem. A blog update by Bitcoin Core reads that the release,

“includes new features, various bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as updated translations.”

Tweeting on June 3, the Bitcoin Core team said that this new upgrade is now available for download on its website.

Source; Twitter

According to Jameson Lopp, a BTC veteran, this milestone is a result of a combined effort by 117 people over a period of 6 months. Notably, the contributing number of developers was 102 higher than in the previous upgrade, 0.19.1.

Bitcoin Core 0.20.0 Updates

The new update for Bitcoin’s protocol sets out to make the nodes more stable and efficient. As a result, the developers came up with Autonomous System Numbers to serve as a new configuration in Bitcoin’s IP mapping. While it does guarantee full efficiency in node connectivity, the 117-developer team is optimistic of more responsive BTC nodes going forward.

Another major change is the removal Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 61 which had been deployed under the 0.19.0 update. This feature would allow BTC node operators to broadcast ‘reject messages’ to other network participants in the case where a block or transaction is rejected. Ideally, this should help sort out throughput challenges faster but it appears it did not work as expected. Marco Falke, a Bitcoin Core contributor highlighted that,

“[n]odes on the network can not generally be trusted to send valid (“reject”) messages, so this should only ever be used when connected to a trusted node.”

Bitcoin’s open software library, OpenSSL has also been removed in the new core upgrade. London Bitcoin Devs, Michael Folkson, who contributed ‘a little’ in this upgrade has echoed that the OpenSSL was a source of bugs. In fact, this feature began being phased out as early as 0.12.0 with BTC developers favoring secp256k. According to Folkson, the complete elimination of OpenSSL in the 0.20.0 upgrade offers more security and “reduces attack surfaces”.

It is quite noteworthy that there are more underlying changes other than the ones highlighted. Folkson emphasized that,

“more significant things happening below the surface that users won’t see.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

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