Bitcoin Core released new software – version 22.0 (they dropped the zero at the beginning of the name).
The new version added support for the Taproot update, expanded the ability to use hardware wallets with a graphical interface, added support for the Invisible Internet Project (an alternative to Tor), and expanded the number of keys for multisigned addresses to 20.
The second Bitcoin Core update for 2021 was released on Monday September 13th. The developers have abandoned the use of the number “0” at the beginning of the version name. According to the old template, the update should have been called 0.22.0. Work on the new version took about eight months. Approximately 100 people contributed their suggestions and improvements to the code.
Taproot update support
The new version has support for updating Taproot. In the previous version of Bitcoin Core 0.21.1, the Taproot activation logic was added, which is scheduled to launch in November.
And in the current update of Bitcoin Core 22.0, the support for Taproot itself is added, that is, now the validation of transactions can be carried out according to new rules, and the creation of addresses of new versions is also available. Complex smart contracts will appear later.
“An update will be activated in November and all Taproot transactions will be validated against the new protocol rules,” commented journalist Aaron van Wirdum.
The Taproot update will increase the bandwidth of the Bitcoin network by 25%, save on transaction costs, add privacy, reduce the likelihood of spam attacks, increase network security and increase the efficiency of complex smart contracts.
GUI hardware wallet support
A hardware wallet is a special device designed to keep private keys secure. Its peculiarity is that the private key does not leave the device during the signing of the transaction, and therefore the attacker cannot get it in any way.
The Bitcoin Core 22.0 client has full support for hardware wallets in the GUI. The hardware wallets themselves have been supported since version 0.18.0, but the connection had to be made via the command line. In version 0.20.0, the graphical interface was added only partially, the command line was still required to sign transactions. Now the graphical interface is already fully supported without any problems, and users can easily connect the desired hardware wallets.
Invisible Internet Project support
Invisible Internet Project (I2P) support is another element of the Bitcoin Core 22.0 update. I2P is a decentralized peer-to-peer network for anonymous connection to Internet services. Previously, users had the opportunity to use the Tor network to hide the IP address of their nodes, but now there is an alternative solution.
Large multisignature support
And another important point in the update is support for large multisignatures. Using multisigned addresses, the user can manage their coins using several private keys at once. It is convenient to use in some cases, for example, when the address in the Bitcoin blockchain is corporate (that is, it belongs not to a separate individual, but to a company) and several people have access to it at once.
Prior to Update 22.0, Bitcoin Core software supported multisignature addresses, but up to 16 keys could be used, although there are no such restrictions in the Bitcoin protocol itself. In the new version of the software, the number of keys was increased to 20. Not to say that this is too large an extension, but still, for some, the usability of the Bitcoin Core software has increased.