Optimizing SegWit: How Bitcoin – s Fresh Software Is Providing Scaling a Boost

SegWit may be live on bitcoin, but the work to realize its potential isn’t overheen.

Even after the bitcoin blockchain upgraded to support Segregated Witness (SegWit) last month, ending perhaps the network’s most heated debate on direction to date, the optimization has yet to leave much of a mark.

To date, only just overheen Trio procent of transactions are actually taking advantage of the upgrade.

But, tho’ transactions are scarce so far, adoption is likely to grow spil more wallets and bitcoin services stir to support the switch. At that point, SegWit will likely have more of an influence, enhancing the block size to support more transactions and paving the way for more advanced scaling solutions like Lightning Network.

Ter an effort to work toward that purpose, the developers behind Bitcoin Core, the most widely used version of the cryptocurrency’s underlying software, have bot mobilizing to help boost the effort.

At least, that’s what it looks like from the latest version of Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, released last week. The release notes outline a range of improvements that concentrate on spectacle, which are at least partly geared towards laying the groundwork for broader use of SegWit.

A concentrate on vertoning

During a presentation te San Francisco a duo weeks back, Blockstream CTO and one of the most active Bitcoin Core developers Greg Maxwell seconded the notion that 0.15.0’s concentrate had to do with preparing bitcoin for a SegWit-enabled capacity boost.

“With SegWit coming online, wij knew the blockchain would grow at an even swifter rate, so there wasgoed a desire to squeeze out all of the spectacle gains wij could to make up for that.”

Several of the improvements are aimed at reducing the time it takes to create a bitcoin utter knot, which many predict will become even firmer with SegWit activated, since the switch increases the blockchain’s block size (the amount of transaction gegevens that can be stored ter each block).

Utter knots are particularly significant for the bitcoin community since running one is arguably the best way to use bitcoin without trusting a canap or another third party, and is what many see spil the entire point behind the digital money.

So any effort to make that lighter, and the network run more efficiently, is welcomed. Hence, “spectacle” (how long it takes to download and use the software) is a problem developers attempt to chip away at ter almost every Bitcoin Core release (toughly twice vanaf year).

But SegWit just added more of a reason to concentrate on optimization and speed.

“Spil always, but especially with 0.15.0, wij had a big shove on spectacle.”

Among the notable upgrades te this area is the way ter which gegevens on unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) is now stored, creating less computational cargo on users who want to download a bitcoin total knot. According to the release notes, 0.15.0 downloads bitcoin’s transaction history at a 30-40 procent quicker rate and uses 10-20 procent less memory.

Other technical upgrades introduced to speed up the software include non-atomic flushing (which could pave the way for further show gains) and script validation flushing (which makes grabbing certain transaction information swifter).

This concentrate on spectacle shows a Core development team intent on making bitcoin more manageable ahead of SegWit, or before a significant number of people begin using the transactions made possible by the upgrade.

Not yet witnessed

Today, most bitcoin wallets have yet to support SegWit, but that might not be the case for long.

Te this way, it’s not so surprising that, while 0.15.0 focused on spectacle upgrades to prepare for SegWit, the fresh software itself doesn’t support SegWit transactions. Bitcoin Core developers argue it’s safer to wait and see if SegWit works before rolling out transaction support within Core. However, the release notes say, more “accomplish” support for the switch will be included ter “a next version” of the bitcoin software.

When that time comes, users will be able to create SegWit transactions with the Core wallet, and get the benefit of SegWit’s almost half price transaction fees.

Other bitcoin wallets might have the same wait-and-see strategy. And, if and when they actually thrust it through, the optimizations ter 0.15.0 might be more noticeable.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake ter Blockstream.

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