In an attempt to bring several improvements over the older version, the Bitcoin core development team has released the latest version of their main Bitcoin implementation, the core version 0.11.0.
The announcement was made on July 12th, confirming that the new version is already available for download. The team suggested that this new version will be much easier to use and adoptable to current network needs. Users can also upgrade the previous version in order to get a taste of the new features and fix some bugs.
How to upgrade to the new version
In order to upgrade to the new version, just uninstall or stop the previous version and run the new installer (compatible with Windows and Mac). Users may face some compatibility issues if they decide to downgrade to older versions due to the parallel block download features and the headers-first synchronization.
One important feature of this latest version is the block file pruning option. Users can run a full node after getting rid of their version of the Bitcoin core and after deleting all unnecessary data. In other words, you won’t have to locally store the whole blockchain anymore, you will only need a minimum of 550 recent blocks. This is a life saver for users with limited hard drive spaces on their devices. Usually, the complete blockchain takes about 40 GB of space, but now it will only take about 550 MB maximum to save the latest 550 blocks. However, block file pruning service is still unavailable for Bitcoin Core wallet software users. No need to worry, though: future releases will be integrated with this feature.
One of the big issues of the previous version was the increased volume of transactions. Users were getting really frustrated over the increased verification time for each transaction. The new version will include some important updates to contemplate this problem.
The core development team has mentioned in a blog post that growth of the ‘mempool’ leads caused some problematic memory use on the node, but the new version comes with a few configuration options that promise to fix the problem:
- Minrelaytxfee – Increased minimum transaction relay fee of 0.00001. It will reject any transaction with a fee of less than BTC/kB, and thus ensuring less number of transactions piling up the ‘mempool’.
- Limitfreerelay – Restriction of the free transactions relay. This feature will decide the number of kB/minute (it defaults to 15) for the acceptance of free transactions. Reduction of this number decreases the growth speed of the ‘mempool’ caused by free transactions.
The software’s latest version has also improved privacy features to provide users with more security. One of the key functions is the more effective connectivity to the TOR network.
When TOR is activated, a different TOR circuit is used by the new Bitcoin software rather than using a unique TOR circuit to connect to different peers. In this process, the Bitcoin core considerably lowers the chances of picking up a malicious or banned P2P by branching out the number of connected TOR circuits.
Other features in the latest version involve transaction flooding, big endian support, and memory usage optimization. Bitcoin core’s next version is expected to be released at the beginning of 2016.