A new version of Bitcoin Core, 0.16.1, has been officially released by a group of 19 Bitcoin Core developers on 15 June 2018. This is the first update to Bitcoin Core since 0.16.0 in February 2018 which implemented full support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) to fit more transactions into blocks and reduce transaction fees.
In this update, the “blockmaxsize” option has been removed, and now miners should use “blockmaxweight” if they want to limit block size. Several other bugs are fixed in addition to some policy and documentation changes which can be found in the PGP signed 0.16.1 release notes. Basically, there aren’t any major changes to Bitcoin Core with this release, but it is important to be running the latest software, so Bitcoin Core users should update to 0.16.1.
Bitcoin Core is the technology that actually runs the Bitcoin network, each computer that runs Bitcoin Core is considered a node, and the more computers that run Bitcoin Core the more decentralized Bitcoin becomes. Currently, 10,000 computers are running Bitcoin nodes in the entire world, a surprisingly low number.
Bitcoin Core is perhaps the best wallet software to use since it downloads the entire blockchain making it fully self-sufficient, so if a user has an internet connection with a fully downloaded Bitcoin Core, they will be able to transact bitcoins and don’t have to worry about 3rd party servers malfunctioning or going offline. It gives full control of the private key to users without storing the private key anywhere else, which is essential for keeping Bitcoin safe.
46% of nodes are running version 0.16.0, 22% are running 0.15.1, and 2.5% are running the newly released 0.16.1. Wallets running Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 and 0.16.1 are not backward compatible with earlier versions, so wallets created with this software will not work in older versions of Bitcoin Core. However, wallets created by older versions are not affected.
The Bitcoin Core developers that contributed to 0.16.1 include 251, Ben Woosley, Chun Kuan Lee, David A. Harding, e0, fanquake, Henrik Jonsson, Jeremy Rand, Jessy Cohen, John Newbery, Johnson Lau, Karl-Johan Alm, Luke Dashjr, Marco Falke, Matt Corallo, Pieter Wuille, Suhas Daftaur, Tamas Blummer, and Wladimir J. van der Laan.
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