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3 Things to Know about Bitcoin Confirmations (2020 Updated)
Gridcoin 18.104.22.168-Mandatory "Fern" Release
https://github.com/gridcoin-community/Gridcoin-Research/releases/tag/22.214.171.124 Finally! After over ten months of development and testing, "Fern" has arrived! This is a whopper. 240 pull requests merged. Essentially a complete rewrite that was started with the scraper (the "neural net" rewrite) in "Denise" has now been completed. Practically the ENTIRE Gridcoin specific codebase resting on top of the vanilla Bitcoin/Peercoin/Blackcoin vanilla PoS code has been rewritten. This removes the team requirement at last (see below), although there are many other important improvements besides that. Fern was a monumental undertaking. We had to encode all of the old rules active for the v10 block protocol in new code and ensure that the new code was 100% compatible. This had to be done in such a way as to clear out all of the old spaghetti and ring-fence it with tightly controlled class implementations. We then wrote an entirely new, simplified ruleset for research rewards and reengineered contracts (which includes beacon management, polls, and voting) using properly classed code. The fundamentals of Gridcoin with this release are now on a very sound and maintainable footing, and the developers believe the codebase as updated here will serve as the fundamental basis for Gridcoin's future roadmap. We have been testing this for MONTHS on testnet in various stages. The v10 (legacy) compatibility code has been running on testnet continuously as it was developed to ensure compatibility with existing nodes. During the last few months, we have done two private testnet forks and then the full public testnet testing for v11 code (the new protocol which is what Fern implements). The developers have also been running non-staking "sentinel" nodes on mainnet with this code to verify that the consensus rules are problem-free for the legacy compatibility code on the broader mainnet. We believe this amount of testing is going to result in a smooth rollout. Given the amount of changes in Fern, I am presenting TWO changelogs below. One is high level, which summarizes the most significant changes in the protocol. The second changelog is the detailed one in the usual format, and gives you an inkling of the size of this release.
Note that the protocol changes will not become active until we cross the hard-fork transition height to v11, which has been set at 2053000. Given current average block spacing, this should happen around October 4, about one month from now. Note that to get all of the beacons in the network on the new protocol, we are requiring ALL beacons to be validated. A two week (14 day) grace period is provided by the code, starting at the time of the transition height, for people currently holding a beacon to validate the beacon and prevent it from expiring. That means that EVERY CRUNCHER must advertise and validate their beacon AFTER the v11 transition (around Oct 4th) and BEFORE October 18th (or more precisely, 14 days from the actual date of the v11 transition). If you do not advertise and validate your beacon by this time, your beacon will expire and you will stop earning research rewards until you advertise and validate a new beacon. This process has been made much easier by a brand new beacon "wizard" that helps manage beacon advertisements and renewals. Once a beacon has been validated and is a v11 protocol beacon, the normal 180 day expiration rules apply. Note, however, that the 180 day expiration on research rewards has been removed with the Fern update. This means that while your beacon might expire after 180 days, your earned research rewards will be retained and can be claimed by advertising a beacon with the same CPID and going through the validation process again. In other words, you do not lose any earned research rewards if you do not stake a block within 180 days and keep your beacon up-to-date. The transition height is also when the team requirement will be relaxed for the network.
Besides the beacon wizard, there are a number of improvements to the GUI, including new UI transaction types (and icons) for staking the superblock, sidestake sends, beacon advertisement, voting, poll creation, and transactions with a message. The main screen has been revamped with a better summary section, and better status icons. Several changes under the hood have improved GUI performance. And finally, the diagnostics have been revamped.
The wallet sync speed has been DRASTICALLY improved. A decent machine with a good network connection should be able to sync the entire mainnet blockchain in less than 4 hours. A fast machine with a really fast network connection and a good SSD can do it in about 2.5 hours. One of our goals was to reduce or eliminate the reliance on snapshots for mainnet, and I think we have accomplished that goal with the new sync speed. We have also streamlined the in-memory structures for the blockchain which shaves some memory use. There are so many goodies here it is hard to summarize them all. I would like to thank all of the contributors to this release, but especially thank @cyrossignol, whose incredible contributions formed the backbone of this release. I would also like to pay special thanks to @barton2526, @caraka, and @Quezacoatl1, who tirelessly helped during the testing and polishing phase on testnet with testing and repeated builds for all architectures. The developers are proud to present this release to the community and we believe this represents the starting point for a true renaissance for Gridcoin!
Most significantly, nodes calculate research rewards directly from the magnitudes in EACH superblock between stakes instead of using a two- or three- point average based on a CPID's current magnitude and the magnitude for the CPID when it last staked. For those long-timers in the community, this has been referred to as "Superblock Windows," and was first done in proof-of-concept form by @denravonska.
Network magnitude unit pinned to a static value of 0.25
Max research reward allowed per block raised to 16384 GRC (from 12750 GRC)
New CPIDs begin accruing research rewards from the first superblock that contains the CPID instead of from the time of the beacon advertisement
500 GRC research reward limit for a CPID's first stake
6-month expiration for unclaimed rewards
10-block spacing requirement between research reward claims
Rolling 5-day payment-per-day limit
Legacy tolerances for floating-point error and time drift
The need to include a valid copy of a CPID's magnitude in a claim
10-block emission adjustment interval for the magnitude unit
One-time beacon activation requires that participants temporarily change their usernames to a verification code at one whitelisted BOINC project
Verification codes of pending beacons expire after 3 days
Self-service beacon removal
Burn fee for beacon advertisement increased from 0.00001 GRC to 0.5 GRC
Rain addresses derived from beacon keys instead of a default wallet address
Beacon expiration determined as of the current block instead of the previous block
The ability for developers to remove beacons
The ability to sign research reward claims with non-current but unexpired beacons
As a reminder:
Beacons expire after 6 months pass (180 days)
Beacons can be renewed after 5 months pass (150 days)
Renewed beacons must be signed with the same key as the original beacon
Magnitudes less than 1 include two fractional places
Magnitudes greater than or equal to 1 but less than 10 include one fractional place
A valid superblock must match a scraper convergence
Superblock popularity election mechanics
Yes/no/abstain and single-choice response types (no user-facing support yet)
To create a poll, a maximum of 250 UTXOs for a single address must add up to 100000 GRC. These are selected from the largest downwards.
Burn fee for creating polls scaled by the number of UTXOs claimed
50 GRC for a poll contract
0.001 GRC per claimed UTXO
Burn fee for casting votes scaled by the number of UTXOs claimed
0.01 GRC for a vote contract
0.01 GRC to claim magnitude
0.01 GRC per claimed address
0.001 GRC per claimed UTXO
Maximum length of a poll title: 80 characters
Maximum length of a poll question: 100 characters
Maximum length of a poll discussion website URL: 100 characters
Maximum number of poll choices: 20
Maximum length of a poll choice label: 100 characters
Magnitude, CPID count, and participant count poll weight types
The ability for developers to remove polls and votes
[126.96.36.199] 2020-09-03, mandatory, "Fern"
Backport newer uint256 types from Bitcoin #1570 (@cyrossignol)
Implement project level rain for rainbymagnitude #1580 (@jamescowens)
Upgrade utilities (Update checker and snapshot downloadeapplication) #1576 (@iFoggz)
Provide fees collected in the block by the miner #1601 (@iFoggz)
Add support for generating legacy superblocks from scraper stats #1603 (@cyrossignol)
Port of the Bitcoin Logger to Gridcoin #1600 (@jamescowens)
Implement zapwallettxes #1605 (@jamescowens)
Implements a global event filter to suppress help question mark #1609 (@jamescowens)
Add next target difficulty to RPC output #1615 (@cyrossignol)
Add caching for block hashes to CBlock #1624 (@cyrossignol)
Make toolbars and tray icon red for testnet #1637 (@jamescowens)
Add an rpc call convergencereport #1643 (@jamescowens)
Implement newline filter on config file read in #1645 (@jamescowens)
Implement beacon status icon/button #1646 (@jamescowens)
Add gridcointestnet.png #1649 (@caraka)
Add precision to support magnitudes less than 1 #1651 (@cyrossignol)
Replace research accrual calculations with superblock snapshots #1657 (@cyrossignol)
Publish example gridcoinresearch.conf as a md document to the doc directory #1662 (@jamescowens)
Add options checkbox to disable transaction notifications #1666 (@jamescowens)
Add support for self-service beacon deletion #1695 (@cyrossignol)
Add support for type-specific contract fee amounts #1698 (@cyrossignol)
Add verifiedbeaconreport and pendingbeaconreport #1696 (@jamescowens)
Add preliminary testing option for block v11 height on testnet #1706 (@cyrossignol)
Add verified beacons manifest part to superblock validator #1711 (@cyrossignol)
Implement beacon, vote, and superblock display categories/icons in UI transaction model #1717 (@jamescowens)
Bitcoin Core 0.10.0 released | Wladimir | Feb 16 2015
Wladimir on Feb 16 2015: Bitcoin Core version 0.10.0 is now available from: https://bitcoin.org/bin/0.10.0/ This is a new major version release, bringing both new features and bug fixes. Please report bugs using the issue tracker at github: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues The whole distribution is also available as torrent: https://bitcoin.org/bin/0.10.0/bitcoin-0.10.0.torrent magnet:?xt=urn:btih:170c61fe09dafecfbb97cb4dccd32173383f4e68&dn;=0.10.0&tr;=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80%2Fannounce&tr;=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%3A80%2Fannounce&tr;=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.ccc.de%3A80%2Fannounce&tr;=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969&tr;=udp%3A%2F%2Fopen.demonii.com%3A1337&ws;=https%3A%2F%2Fbitcoin.org%2Fbin%2F Upgrading and downgrading How to Upgrade If you are running an older version, shut it down. Wait until it has completely shut down (which might take a few minutes for older versions), then run the installer (on Windows) or just copy over /Applications/Bitcoin-Qt (on Mac) or bitcoind/bitcoin-qt (on Linux). Downgrading warning Because release 0.10.0 makes use of headers-first synchronization and parallel block download (see further), the block files and databases are not backwards-compatible with older versions of Bitcoin Core or other software:
Blocks will be stored on disk out of order (in the order they are
received, really), which makes it incompatible with some tools or other programs. Reindexing using earlier versions will also not work anymore as a result of this.
The block index database will now hold headers for which no block is
stored on disk, which earlier versions won't support. If you want to be able to downgrade smoothly, make a backup of your entire data directory. Without this your node will need start syncing (or importing from bootstrap.dat) anew afterwards. It is possible that the data from a completely synchronised 0.10 node may be usable in older versions as-is, but this is not supported and may break as soon as the older version attempts to reindex. This does not affect wallet forward or backward compatibility. Notable changes Faster synchronization Bitcoin Core now uses 'headers-first synchronization'. This means that we first ask peers for block headers (a total of 27 megabytes, as of December 2014) and validate those. In a second stage, when the headers have been discovered, we download the blocks. However, as we already know about the whole chain in advance, the blocks can be downloaded in parallel from all available peers. In practice, this means a much faster and more robust synchronization. On recent hardware with a decent network link, it can be as little as 3 hours for an initial full synchronization. You may notice a slower progress in the very first few minutes, when headers are still being fetched and verified, but it should gain speed afterwards. A few RPCs were added/updated as a result of this:
getblockchaininfo now returns the number of validated headers in addition to
the number of validated blocks.
getpeerinfo lists both the number of blocks and headers we know we have in
common with each peer. While synchronizing, the heights of the blocks that we have requested from peers (but haven't received yet) are also listed as 'inflight'.
A new RPC getchaintips lists all known branches of the block chain,
including those we only have headers for. Transaction fee changes This release automatically estimates how high a transaction fee (or how high a priority) transactions require to be confirmed quickly. The default settings will create transactions that confirm quickly; see the new 'txconfirmtarget' setting to control the tradeoff between fees and confirmation times. Fees are added by default unless the 'sendfreetransactions' setting is enabled. Prior releases used hard-coded fees (and priorities), and would sometimes create transactions that took a very long time to confirm. Statistics used to estimate fees and priorities are saved in the data directory in the fee_estimates.dat file just before program shutdown, and are read in at startup. New command line options for transaction fee changes:
-txconfirmtarget=n : create transactions that have enough fees (or priority)
so they are likely to begin confirmation within n blocks (default: 1). This setting is over-ridden by the -paytxfee option.
-sendfreetransactions : Send transactions as zero-fee transactions if possible
(default: 0) New RPC commands for fee estimation:
estimatefee nblocks : Returns approximate fee-per-1,000-bytes needed for
a transaction to begin confirmation within nblocks. Returns -1 if not enough transactions have been observed to compute a good estimate.
estimatepriority nblocks : Returns approximate priority needed for
a zero-fee transaction to begin confirmation within nblocks. Returns -1 if not enough free transactions have been observed to compute a good estimate. RPC access control changes Subnet matching for the purpose of access control is now done by matching the binary network address, instead of with string wildcard matching. For the user this means that -rpcallowip takes a subnet specification, which can be
a single IP address (e.g. 188.8.131.52 or fe80::0012:3456:789a:bcde)
a network/CIDR (e.g. 184.108.40.206/24 or fe80::0000/64)
a network/netmask (e.g. 220.127.116.11/255.255.255.0 or fe80::0012:3456:789a:bcde/ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff)
An arbitrary number of -rpcallow arguments can be given. An incoming connection will be accepted if its origin address matches one of them. For example: | 0.9.x and before | 0.10.x | |--------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------| | -rpcallowip=192.168.1.1 | -rpcallowip=192.168.1.1 (unchanged) | | -rpcallowip=192.168.1.* | -rpcallowip=192.168.1.0/24 | | -rpcallowip=192.168.* | -rpcallowip=192.168.0.0/16 | | -rpcallowip=* (dangerous!) | -rpcallowip=::/0 (still dangerous!) | Using wildcards will result in the rule being rejected with the following error in debug.log:
Error: Invalid -rpcallowip subnet specification: *. Valid are a single IP (e.g. 18.104.22.168), a network/netmask (e.g. 22.214.171.124/255.255.255.0) or a network/CIDR (e.g. 126.96.36.199/24).
REST interface A new HTTP API is exposed when running with the -rest flag, which allows unauthenticated access to public node data. It is served on the same port as RPC, but does not need a password, and uses plain HTTP instead of JSON-RPC. Assuming a local RPC server running on port 8332, it is possible to request:
In every case, EXT can be bin (for raw binary data), hex (for hex-encoded binary) or json. For more details, see the doc/REST-interface.md document in the repository. RPC Server "Warm-Up" Mode The RPC server is started earlier now, before most of the expensive intialisations like loading the block index. It is available now almost immediately after starting the process. However, until all initialisations are done, it always returns an immediate error with code -28 to all calls. This new behaviour can be useful for clients to know that a server is already started and will be available soon (for instance, so that they do not have to start it themselves). Improved signing security For 0.10 the security of signing against unusual attacks has been improved by making the signatures constant time and deterministic. This change is a result of switching signing to use libsecp256k1 instead of OpenSSL. Libsecp256k1 is a cryptographic library optimized for the curve Bitcoin uses which was created by Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille. There exist attacks against most ECC implementations where an attacker on shared virtual machine hardware could extract a private key if they could cause a target to sign using the same key hundreds of times. While using shared hosts and reusing keys are inadvisable for other reasons, it's a better practice to avoid the exposure. OpenSSL has code in their source repository for derandomization and reduction in timing leaks that we've eagerly wanted to use for a long time, but this functionality has still not made its way into a released version of OpenSSL. Libsecp256k1 achieves significantly stronger protection: As far as we're aware this is the only deployed implementation of constant time signing for the curve Bitcoin uses and we have reason to believe that libsecp256k1 is better tested and more thoroughly reviewed than the implementation in OpenSSL.  https://eprint.iacr.org/2014/161.pdf Watch-only wallet support The wallet can now track transactions to and from wallets for which you know all addresses (or scripts), even without the private keys. This can be used to track payments without needing the private keys online on a possibly vulnerable system. In addition, it can help for (manual) construction of multisig transactions where you are only one of the signers. One new RPC, importaddress, is added which functions similarly to importprivkey, but instead takes an address or script (in hexadecimal) as argument. After using it, outputs credited to this address or script are considered to be received, and transactions consuming these outputs will be considered to be sent. The following RPCs have optional support for watch-only: getbalance, listreceivedbyaddress, listreceivedbyaccount, listtransactions, listaccounts, listsinceblock, gettransaction. See the RPC documentation for those methods for more information. Compared to using getrawtransaction, this mechanism does not require -txindex, scales better, integrates better with the wallet, and is compatible with future block chain pruning functionality. It does mean that all relevant addresses need to added to the wallet before the payment, though. Consensus library Starting from 0.10.0, the Bitcoin Core distribution includes a consensus library. The purpose of this library is to make the verification functionality that is critical to Bitcoin's consensus available to other applications, e.g. to language bindings such as [python-bitcoinlib](https://pypi.python.org/pypi/python-bitcoinlib) or alternative node implementations. This library is called libbitcoinconsensus.so (or, .dll for Windows). Its interface is defined in the C header [bitcoinconsensus.h](https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/blob/0.10/src/script/bitcoinconsensus.h). In its initial version the API includes two functions:
bitcoinconsensus_verify_script verifies a script. It returns whether the indicated input of the provided serialized transaction
correctly spends the passed scriptPubKey under additional constraints indicated by flags
bitcoinconsensus_version returns the API version, currently at an experimental 0
The functionality is planned to be extended to e.g. UTXO management in upcoming releases, but the interface for existing methods should remain stable. Standard script rules relaxed for P2SH addresses The IsStandard() rules have been almost completely removed for P2SH redemption scripts, allowing applications to make use of any valid script type, such as "n-of-m OR y", hash-locked oracle addresses, etc. While the Bitcoin protocol has always supported these types of script, actually using them on mainnet has been previously inconvenient as standard Bitcoin Core nodes wouldn't relay them to miners, nor would most miners include them in blocks they mined. bitcoin-tx It has been observed that many of the RPC functions offered by bitcoind are "pure functions", and operate independently of the bitcoind wallet. This included many of the RPC "raw transaction" API functions, such as createrawtransaction. bitcoin-tx is a newly introduced command line utility designed to enable easy manipulation of bitcoin transactions. A summary of its operation may be obtained via "bitcoin-tx --help" Transactions may be created or signed in a manner similar to the RPC raw tx API. Transactions may be updated, deleting inputs or outputs, or appending new inputs and outputs. Custom scripts may be easily composed using a simple text notation, borrowed from the bitcoin test suite. This tool may be used for experimenting with new transaction types, signing multi-party transactions, and many other uses. Long term, the goal is to deprecate and remove "pure function" RPC API calls, as those do not require a server round-trip to execute. Other utilities "bitcoin-key" and "bitcoin-script" have been proposed, making key and script operations easily accessible via command line. Mining and relay policy enhancements Bitcoin Core's block templates are now for version 3 blocks only, and any mining software relying on its getblocktemplate must be updated in parallel to use libblkmaker either version 0.4.2 or any version from 0.5.1 onward. If you are solo mining, this will affect you the moment you upgrade Bitcoin Core, which must be done prior to BIP66 achieving its 951/1001 status. If you are mining with the stratum mining protocol: this does not affect you. If you are mining with the getblocktemplate protocol to a pool: this will affect you at the pool operator's discretion, which must be no later than BIP66 achieving its 951/1001 status. The prioritisetransaction RPC method has been added to enable miners to manipulate the priority of transactions on an individual basis. Bitcoin Core now supports BIP 22 long polling, so mining software can be notified immediately of new templates rather than having to poll periodically. Support for BIP 23 block proposals is now available in Bitcoin Core's getblocktemplate method. This enables miners to check the basic validity of their next block before expending work on it, reducing risks of accidental hardforks or mining invalid blocks. Two new options to control mining policy:
-datacarrier=0/1 : Relay and mine "data carrier" (OP_RETURN) transactions
if this is 1.
-datacarriersize=n : Maximum size, in bytes, we consider acceptable for
"data carrier" outputs. The relay policy has changed to more properly implement the desired behavior of not relaying free (or very low fee) transactions unless they have a priority above the AllowFreeThreshold(), in which case they are relayed subject to the rate limiter. BIP 66: strict DER encoding for signatures Bitcoin Core 0.10 implements BIP 66, which introduces block version 3, and a new consensus rule, which prohibits non-DER signatures. Such transactions have been non-standard since Bitcoin v0.8.0 (released in February 2013), but were technically still permitted inside blocks. This change breaks the dependency on OpenSSL's signature parsing, and is required if implementations would want to remove all of OpenSSL from the consensus code. The same miner-voting mechanism as in BIP 34 is used: when 751 out of a sequence of 1001 blocks have version number 3 or higher, the new consensus rule becomes active for those blocks. When 951 out of a sequence of 1001 blocks have version number 3 or higher, it becomes mandatory for all blocks. Backward compatibility with current mining software is NOT provided, thus miners should read the first paragraph of "Mining and relay policy enhancements" above. 0.10.0 Change log Detailed release notes follow. This overview includes changes that affect external behavior, not code moves, refactors or string updates. RPC:
f923c07 Support IPv6 lookup in bitcoin-cli even when IPv6 only bound on localhost
b641c9c Fix addnode "onetry": Connect with OpenNetworkConnection
The Bitcoin.com mining pool has the lowest share reject rate (0.15%) we've ever seen. Other pools have over 0.30% rejected shares. Furthermore, the Bitcoin.com pool has a super responsive and reliable support team. Hence, the Bitcoin mining software will take care of the distribution of digital data into the network and process them into a complete information for you to be able to understand the statistics. You can then monitor the in and out of your miner device by displaying the information you want to show on screen. That includes hashrate, speed of the Bitcoin miner, fan speed and the temperature of ... Coinbase is a secure platform that makes it easy to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more. Based in the USA, Coinbase is available in over 30 countries worldwide. Learn everything there is to know about how Bitcoin confirms transactions in this in-depth post. ... Signature verification only applies to the rate at which nodes are able to download and verify the blockchain from the beggining and add new blocks as they arrive. Depending on whether or not you have assumevalid enabled or disabled, initial block download (IBD) time is potentially reduced by ... Click the large blue Download Bitcoin Core button to download the Bitcoin Core installer to your Downloads folder. Optional: Verify the release signatures. If you know how to use PGP, you should also click the Verify Release Signatures link on the download page to download a signed list of SHA256 file hashes. The 0.11 and later releases are signed by Wladimir J. van der Laan’s releases key w