In a video released by IamSatoshi on YouTube, Bitcoin core developer Mike Hearn has revealed a few different new features that are going to be pushed onto the Bitcoin protocol this year. There are many different upgrades that need to be made to the protocol to keep it secure, cheap, and stable, and the core developers have been working on a variety of different issues over the past few years. As the Bitcoin network continues to grow, it becomes more important to deal with the kinds of issues that could affect the basic integrity of the Bitcoin protocol. Here are some of the upgrades that Mike Hearn talked about in his presentation at the Coinscrum Networking Evening in London:
Bitcoin Wallets Will Be Standardized
While all Bitcoin wallets are able to talk to each other through the Bitcoin network, there are still some compatibility issues that can pop up from time to time. For example, if you’re trying to export a wallet from one Bitcoin client, it may not work when you try to import it into another. The Bitcoin developers are going to standardize the import and export processes to deal with these kinds of issues in the future. Hearn also discussed the importance of implementing these standards before the upcoming release of the TREZOR hardware wallets.
Attachments on Bitcoin Transactions
The first attachment mentioned by Hearn is a refund address for customers who are purchasing a good or service. Sometimes you don’t want to receive a refund at your original sending address, so this should prevent more lost bitcoins in the future. You will also be able to attach memos or messages to transactions, and receipts will also be implemented to offer some form of proof-of-purchase to Bitcoin users.
Transaction Fees Will Float
The current Bitcoin protocol has a minimum transaction fee, and that transaction fee is priced in bitcoins. This means that it has gradually become more expensive over time. You may have noticed that those nearly-free Bitcoin transactions are not so cheap these days. With floating fees, the market will be able to determine the appropriate transaction fee attached to each Bitcoin payment. Hearn also briefly mentioned the idea of the receiver paying the transaction fee rather than the sender.
Routing Traffic Through Tor
Hearn has written about the current issues when it comes to Bitcoin privacy, and it seems like he’s ready to tackle this lingering elephant in the room. It’s definitely important to prevent the prying eyes of government from seeing which individuals are behind certain Bitcoin transactions, but this kind of upgrade is also needed for general security from hackers and other bad actors. Everything about a Bitcoin transaction should be encrypted, and IP addresses should be masked as often as possible. There are some issues with providing “perfect” privacy with Bitcoin, but Hearn talks about some possible solutions near the end of his presentation.
If you’re interested in the implementation of more secure and anonymous transactions on the Bitcoin payment network, then you’ll definitely want to watch the whole video. Hearn goes into detail about the problems of preventing Sybil attacks when traffic becomes anonymous. After all, how do you know if you’re really talking to different users of the Bitcoin network if there are no true identifiers for the users? While other altcoins are attempting to implement exotic features that can grab your attention right away, the core Bitcoin developers are still focusing on the basic features of a secure payment network. These are the features that make the Bitcoin network more valuable than any of the other cryptocurrencies at this time.
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Last modified (UTC): April 20, 2014 18:28