What is Bitcoin Core?

Qué-es-Bitcoin-Core
9 min read

In the crypto universe, many often confuse the word Bitcoin with bitcoin and sometimes with Bitcoin Core. That is why today we want to clarify this doubt and tell you what Bitcoin Core is and why it is so important for the first and most famous crypto in history.

Bitcoin Core refers to the original and complete implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. 

Bitcoin core is a full client application, a free open source software, fundamental to the functioning of the bitcoin network and also a free Bitcoin wallet, called Bitcoin Core Wallet and used by nodes operating in the Bitcoin network to validate transactions. 

Initially, the software was that of Satoshi Nakamoto, released under the name ‘Bitcoin’ and later renamed ‘Bitcoin Core’ to distinguish it from the network name. For this reason it is also known as the ‘Satoshi Client’.

History of Bitcoin Core

The birth of Bitcoin Core dates back to January 9, 2009, parallel to the release of version 0.1.0 by Satoshi Nakamoto. 

At this stage the Bitcoin software was in its primordial phase and was a very rudimentary application that nevertheless managed to run the first version of the Bitcoin network.

Thanks to Nakamoto’s great work, bitcoin software began to attract the attention of several developers and the community of those who would be called Cypherpunk gradually grew larger. This same group was in charge of improving the original software created by Nakamoto until it reached a more formal image with the publication of the code of version 0.1.5 in the development repository on GitHub.

Since then, the development of Bitcoin Core grew exponentially and focused on resolving major issues and adding new features. This was mainly taken care of by Nakamoto and Gavin Andresen, a professional software developer.

In 2010 Satoshi Nakamoto left the project in the hands of Gavin Andresen and this decision made the quality of Bitcoin Software evolve in a very obvious way, as the new leader rewrote more than half of Nakamoto’s original code.

Another major contribution was made by Amir Taaki who on August 19, 2011 presented the Bitcoin Improvements Proposal scheme, known by its acronym BIP.

This proposal was inspired by the design of the well-known PEP (Python Enhancement Proposals) in order to include a similar structure that allowed developers from all over the world to freely introduce enhancements to the Bitcoin Core protocol, with the only condition that they had to demonstrate the usefulness and applicability of their enhancements. 

Later, developer Wladimir J. van der Laan created the official Bitcoin graphical interface, Bitcoin-QT. Since then the development of Bitcoin Core started to progress without limits.

Bitcoind, SegWit and Lightning Network

With the development of Bitcoin Core, Gavin Andresen, having certain powers to manage the software code, wanted to improve the scalability of Bitcoin and therefore proposed to increase the Bitcoin block size but did not receive the expected support from the community. In 2014, after his attempt to change the code without community consensus, he was relieved of his position and denied access to the development repository. 

Thus the leadership of Bitcoin Core passed to Wladimir J. Van der Laan, an IT expert and cypherpunk from Amsterdam who, until recently, maintained the role of project leader, until announcing on January 21, 2021, that he would have started, for personal reasons, to cover a more secondary role in the development of Bitcoin Core.

In 2014, after some attempted security breaches of the OpenSSL project, Van der Laan suggested changing the OpenSSL library, used in Bitcoin, to one of his own. Despite community disagreement, Van der Laan’s proposal won and the Bitcoin project officially abandoned the OpenSSL library to use its own library, today called ‘Bitcoind’.

In 2016, the bitcoin scalability problem was discussed again, an issue that led the community to seek an alternative solution and introduce SegWit which prepared the network for an additional feature, the Lightning Network, which would have solved the scalability problem.

This decision provoked a strong dissent that resulted in the division of the community that, until then, supported Bitcoin Core and in the birth of several projects such as Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Cash. 

Fortunately the development of Bitcoin Core continues to grow incredibly and also BTC, the most important cryptocurrency in history, continues to develop excellently and is growing non-stop.

Features of Bitcoin Core

Qué-es-Bitcoin-Core

As mentioned at the beginning, Bitcoin Core consists of a “full node” software to fully validate the blockchain and a bitcoin wallet. 

Below we will show you all the features that characterize Bitcoin Core:

  1. First of all, Bitcoin Core Software allows you to download part or all of the Bitcoin blockchain, turning your computer into a complete node of the Bitcoin network;
  2. The software is open source, which means that anyone can review the code and suggest changes in the development part;
  3. Bitcoin Core comes with its own library, called Bitcoind, and has a graphical interface that allows easy navigation or access to the wallet;
  4. It allows the creation of a highly secure wallet of any type (single or multi-signature), as it automatically generates a key tree that the user can access using a 12- or 24-word phrase based on the tree, called security seed.
  5. Although the wallet does not charge any fees, there are some costs that do apply to the user. These include transaction fees and the cost of bandwidth.

Bitcoin Core: Advantages and disadvantages

Like any technology, Bitcoin Core has its advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of Bitcoin Core

  • Protects privacy for incoming and outgoing transactions. Offers enhanced privacy through the use of rotating addresses and the option to use Tor as a proxy to protect anonymity;
  • It is an open source wallet that allows for constant improvements by the developer community;
  • It offers commission recommendations, giving you full control over the rates by virtue of the commission suggestions;
  • Gives the user full control over their cryptocurrencies;
  • Being a complete node that validates transactions and forwards them on the Bitcoin network, the wallet does not require third parties to verify transactions;
  • Allows you to verify your own transactions.

 Disadvantages of Bitcoin Core

  • The initial download requires a lot of time and data. As a full Bitcoin client, Bitcoin Core takes up a lot of space (over 140 GB), and requires a download capacity of 500 MB per day or 15 GB per month and an upload speed of 5 GB per day to run;
  • If we have bandwidth limitations from our Internet service provider, we may encounter problems running the client;
  • It is not easy to use. It requires some technical knowledge and is not available to everyone;
  • At the moment, the Bitcoin Core wallet can only be run on a PC, laptop or ARM devices.

ALTERNATIVE TO BITCOIN CORE WALLET

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Bitcoin Core is surely one of the most secure software to implement but, taking into account the limits we have listed above, if you need another option to store your bitcoins safely, keep in mind that there are other alternatives that offer a high level of security and are much lighter and easier to use when downloading and running the application.

One of the best options on the market is undoubtedly our Bitnovo Crypto Wallet.

It is a free App, available for both Android and iOS devices. The Bitnovo Crypto Wallet allows you to send and receive bitcoins and Dash (and also use Dash Text and Instant Send technology), view details of transactions made, redeem cryptocurrency coupons and receive bitcoins directly to your own wallet, with no hidden fees.

And, above all, Bitnovo Wallet features BIP39 technology and allows you to create your wallet through a recovery phrase or Security Seed.

It is a key composed of 12 words that is created when you generate your wallet and that will allow you to restore it in any other device or wallet.

By using this technology, with the Bitnovo Crypto Wallet you are the sole custodian and owner of your cryptocurrencies.

Now you know… with Bitnovo crypto wallet saving your bitcoin has never been easier and safer! And if you haven’t done it yet, what are you waiting for?

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