New Bitcoin Core Software Makes SegWit Optional for Miners

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A new software update has been published by the Bitcoin Core open-source development community.

Released on Saturday, version 0.14.1 largely builds on the group’s March 0.14.0 release, incorporating a series of fixes to bugs and other tweaks to the code. Bitcoin Core is the standard software for bitcoin, though it has faced new pressure from alternative implementations of late.

As such, one notable inclusion in the release focuses on Segregated Witness, the scaling upgrade debuted in late 2015 at the Scaling Bitcoin conference in Hong Kong, and that has provoked a now months-long debate over network development.

The update to ‘getblocktemplate’, or the mining protocol that underlies the bitcoin network, effectively enables those operating hardware needed to secure the blockchain to upgrade to 0.14.1 without having to explicitly opt in to SegWit.

As Core maintainer Wladimir van der Laan wrote in a release statement, the change enables miners who aren’t running SegWit-compatible software to keep operating normally if the upgrade is adopted network-wide.

Van der Laan went on to explain:

“In this version, it now supports non-segwit clients even after activation, by removing all segwit transactions from the returned block template. This allows non-segwit miners to continue functioning correctly even after segwit has activated.”

The release also comes at a time when the litecoin network, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by volume, is on the verge of implementing the SegWit code upgrade.

Computer work image via Shutterstock

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