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Bitcoin Core v26 goes live as 1% of nodes upgrade on launch day

Bitcoin Core v26 goes live as 1% of nodes upgrade on launch day

Bitcoin Core version 26.0 was released yesterday, Dec. 6, and 1% of Bitcoin nodes have been upgraded within the first 24 hours. This latest update to the primary software used to interact with the Bitcoin network introduces key enhancements aimed at improving security and network performance.

Bitcoin Core, often likened to the operating system for Bitcoin, ensures the rules and standards for how transactions and blocks are handled. With 99% adoption among node operators, it is the backbone of the Bitcoin network, allowing users to interact with the Bitcoin blockchain. While it hasn’t supported mining since 2016, it plays a crucial role in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Full nodes are computers that run the Bitcoin software and maintain a copy of the entire Bitcoin blockchain. They validate transactions and blocks and relay this information to other nodes and miners, ensuring the network stays in sync. Miners, on the other hand, who create new blocks in the Bitcoin blockchain, use specialized mining software such as CGMiner.

The release of a new version of Bitcoin Core is always a significant event. However, it’s up to each node operator to decide when to upgrade. Some might upgrade immediately to take advantage of new features or improvements, while others might wait to see if any bugs or issues emerge.

The v26.0 update comes with several optimizations that improve networking connectivity and initial blockchain syncing speeds for nodes. Key features include preliminary support for a new network data transport protocol, increased resilience against eclipse attacks, faster node bootstrapping with UTXO snapshots, and a variety of RPC (Remote Procedure Calls) enhancements.

Looking ahead, developers have indicated that the forthcoming v27 update may address the alleged ‘issues’ caused by Bitcoin Ordinals—unique satoshis that have led to blockchain bloat, mempool congestion, and elevated transaction fees. However, proponents of Ordinals, including MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, argue that removing Ordinals would “discourage application development [… and] would also be destroying the Bitcoin mining network.”

Bitcoin Core developer Dashjr, a major critic of Ordinals, stated:

“Bitcoin Core has, since 2013, allowed users to set a limit on the size of extra data in transactions they relay or mine (`-datacarriersize`). By obfuscating their data as program code, [Ordinals] bypass this limit.”

Further, given that 44% of Bitcoin nodes are currently running on…

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