Segregated Witness (SegWit) is special. And it’s not just because the bitcoin code change is focused on scaling the network (it is), or that it paves the way for a new layer for the tech that’s potentially faster and cheaper (it does).

Finally activated last August after months of controversy, SegWit is now spurring developers to put together a more structured, “themed” release for the software, an unusual development for the team behind the world’s oldest and most valuable cryptocurrency network. Most of the time when Bitcoin Core introduces new changes to the cryptocurrency’s code, the loose group of volunteer developers simply combine disparate optimizations together.

But this coming code release, 0.16.0, the sixteenth “major release” since bitcoin began, is a bit different. Set to launch in the coming days, the updates all revolve around SegWit – most of the optimizations focus on making it easier to send SegWit-style transactions from the software’s default wallet.

So, while the first software rollout of SegWit was about making sure the network understood the new rules, 0.16.0 is all about making it possible to send and receive transactions that can take advantage of their benefits. Bitcoin Core contributor Andrew Chow told CoinDesk: “The primary change is the addition of SegWit in the wallet.

This lets users to easily create SegWit addresses.” Toward that goal, Chow explained that SegWit features have been added to both the command line set and the wallet user interface, so both programmers and non-programmers can use it. Read more from…

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