The next version of the Bitcoin core has been unveiled as v26. Bitcoin Core is the reference implementation of the Bitcoin protocol, and it is continuously updated to improve the network’s functionality, security, and performance.
Before this, Bitcoin Core 26.0rc2 was released in November 2023. It included experimental support for the v2 transport protocol, which aims to enhance security, and the AssumeUTXO feature, which allows users to create transactions without waiting for confirmations from previous transactions.
Other versions released are Bitcoin Core 25.1, in October 2023; Bitcoin Core 25.0, released in May 2023 which introduced new features and transaction use cases, such as the AssumeUTXO feature and the ability to create inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain; and Bitcoin Core 24.2, released in October 2023.
Bitcoin Core 26.0 is a major update for the Bitcoin network, introducing several new features and improvements. Some of the key features and updates include experimental support for the v2 transport protocol.
This update aims to enhance security by implementing the v2 transport protocol, which is a result of the widely discussed Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 324 (BIP324).
It also brings AssumeUTXO feature which aims to decrease the waiting period before users can start using Bitcoin as a currency. It allows users to create transactions without having to wait for confirmations from previous transactions.
Bitcoin has performed remarkably well in Q4 of 2023, reaching new all-time highs in the last 12 months and attracting more institutional and retail investors.
The price of one bitcoin (BTC) on January 1, 2023, was around $16,600 while on December 5, 2023, it rose to above $44,000 showing a percentage increase of more than 164% in the last twelve months.
The increase in applications for Bitcoin ETF is also another important event that has affected the Bitcoin market. Several asset management firms, including BlackRock, WisdomTree, and Valkyrie are part of the group awaiting approval.
Additionally, the approval of the first U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is eagerly anticipated by cryptocurrency investors, with experts suggesting that the first approval could come early in 2024.
Currently, U.S. investors can buy Bitcoin futures ETFs, which own Bitcoin futures contracts, or agreements to buy or sell the asset later for an agreed-upon price. The long-awaited Bitcoin spot ETF would invest in the digital asset directly.