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Bitcoin Network Software Gets Much Needed Updates, Security and Other Changes
March 20, 2014
Amanda Marie
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When we reported previously about the troubles at Mt. Gox, it was clear at that time that they were indicating part of the blame was related to a software problem cited as a malleability issue. They were unable to account for a specific programming issue in the way that their Bitcoin works which allowed cyber attackers to dupe them with a scheme similar to receipt fraud. A quick check on GitHub now reveals that the open-source Bitcoin network software, which was formerly known as Bitcoin-QT, has undergone some major updates and changes and a new version has just been released and rebranded as Bitcoin Core.

The release notes for the latest version of Bitcoin Core, version 0.9.0, indicates that this is a new major version release which brings both new features and fixes known bugs in the previous version. They explain that the name change is to reduce confusion between the Bitcoin network and software.

In the new release, there are 5 fixes/changes that deal with the transaction malleability alone and 23 fixes for RPC (remote procedure call). Under wallet, there are 10 fixes/changes, 3 for mining, 15 for protocol and network, 8 for validation, 7 for the build system, 21 for the GUI and 4 are listed under miscellaneous.

In the Bitcoin Blog, a change for payment requests was described as, “Payment requests are Bitcoin invoices. They were introduced (in BIP 70) to solve the limitations of Bitcoin URIs and provide a safe and flexible payment solution. For example a refund address is automatically provided to the merchant to be able to refund the order when something goes wrong. Payment requests can be also be cryptographically signed to make sure that the payment goes to the intended recipient.

The payment requests can be sent by a website (as a link) but also sent over mail or any other communication medium that supports file attachments.”

Wladimir van der Laan, Bitcoin Core Dev Team, states in the blog that “The name “Core” also highlights the purpose of the software to run the core infrastructure of the Bitcoin network. It also describes the near-future direction of the project to encompass the core functionality instead of trying to be everything for everyone.” According to the Bitcoin team, this is a milestone development, one that has been in the works for quite some time.

This good news is welcomed by the Bitcoin community which has seen its share of more than enough bad news lately. Full instructions on how to upgrade, along with downgrading warnings, are provided in the release notes.

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