Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 Goes Live: Here Is What Happens in this Major Update


Bitcoin Core version 0.16.0 has formally been marked for release by developers, ushering in a host of improvements to the wallet software's codebase.

Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 Adds Full Support for SegWit

Since CCN reported the most notable change in 0.16.0 is the introduction of complete support for Segregated Witness (SegWit), a scaling solution that activated on the Bitcoin network last August.

Users had hoped that these changes could be included in the last release, Bitcoin Core version 0.15.1, but because update developers finally focused their attention on addressing perceived dangers associated with the controversial SegWit2x hard disk, which ultimately failed to activate on its scheduled launch date in December.

However, version 0.16.0 finally includes support for «native SegWit addresses,» which leverage the user-friendly bech32 address format and encourage SegWit payments automatically.

Collectively, this and other updated features allow users to take full advantage of SegWit, which reduces the size of trades and ultimately results in moderately-lower fees.

As more users send SegWit trades — and major Bitcoin exchanges and wallet services implement it too — the network's transaction capacity will increase, further enhancing the update's fee reduction.

Although this release is headlined by support for SegWit, it includes several other notable upgrades.

First, replace-by-fee (RBF) — which allows users to replace slow-to-be-mined transactions with new trades with higher fees — will be enabled by default.

After that, all newly-created Bitcoin Core wallets will be hierarchical, deterministic (HD), meaning they operate according to the BIP32 protocol and thus allow the introduction of child keys from parent keys.

Moreover, users will notice a slight change in the GUI, as the colloquial «pieces» has been added to the more technically-specific µBTC denomination.

Finally, there are numerous other tweaks to Bitcoin Core's remote procedure call (RPC) repository, but such changes will not alter the user experience for casual users.

Because of certain changes in the codebase, pockets made in versions 0.16.0 and afterwards will not be compatible with versions prior to 0.16.0, so users must keep this in mind if they ever choose to revert back to an older version.