This is why there remains an interest in making Bitcoin Core a bit more friendly to new users.
To useBitcoin Core, users need to download a copy of the entire transaction history of the digital currency, a process that can take days and this is only becoming more burdensome as bitcoins transaction history increases.
So, if bitcoin is already pretty difficult to use with these more user-friendly wallets, why use a wallet that only makes it more difficult? And why are developers still making updates when sleeker offerings are available?
But even if Bitcoin Core is behind other wallets in terms of features, it has seen some progress, including the latestsoftware releases migration to ahierarchical deterministic wallet, which provides an easier way to backup private keys.
Thats a big privacy leak, in my opinion, Schnelli said.
Thats going to be the next big problem in my opinion, he continued.
If you have $50,000 in bitcoin, would you really trust the vendor to upload the correct source code? Schnelli asked.
The reason Bitcoin Core lacks many features, developers say, is because the wallets are expected to safeguard bitcoin on the bitcoin blockchain, not in a startups private reserves. (Schnelli said that compared to other open-source projects hes worked on, including hardware walletDigital Bitboxand libcurl, Bitcoin Core is extremely restrictive about adding changes).
There is merit to this assertion, as users of SPV wallets can spill a lot of information about their wallet structure to other parts of the network, like the nodes that validate transactions. For example,researchhas uncovered that by tapping bloom filtering, used in SPV nodes, its possible to piece together a graph of every transaction an address has ever made.
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Since the wallet was first developed, many easier-to-use wallet programs emerged, many of which are packed with innovative features (thinkinstant messaging add-onsor easy cold storage). But, none of them quite embody the principles of decentralization, security and privacy, he says.
The worry is that when uploading other wallet apps to a third-party website (Schnelli offered Apples app store as an example), the code might betampered withbefore its officially posted. Bitcoin has already seen its fair share ofhacksandheists, which Schnelli pointed to in his argument.
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When it comes to user experience, the longest-running bitcoin wallet is hardly an iPhone 7.
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What is a Decentralized Application?
Im pretty sure there will be more problems with stolen funds if we dont increase privacy and security, Schnelli said.
Its relatively complex. Just having the option to verify doesnt mean that people will verify, said Schnelli.
These are powerful tools, and they arguably could help protect consumers.
All in all, BitGo platform lead Ben Chan offered a summary of why someone might use bitcoins oldest wallet, despite its age.
Not to mention, with so many projects related to the peer-to-peer network to work on, bitcoins developers seem less interested in focusing their energy on the wallet.
The trade-off is that its not easy for normal people to verify cryptographically that their software comes from the right place.
In addition, the Bitcoin Core wallet automatically creates a new address for each new transaction (which means all of your transactions cant necessarily be linked together with one address), and it supports the use of Tor so that other users cant link payments to the IP address.
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A little strange how trust is still very much present in a trustless world, isnt it?
But one reason the wallet should continue to be prioritized and developed, according to Schnelli, is that it offers more privacy than the popular alternatives.
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Wallet developerand National University of Singapore computer science PhD student Loi Luu explained that what Bitcoin Core lacks in user experience, it makes up in utility.
This means that unlike other, flashier, VC-funded consumer wallets (thinkCoinba搜索引擎优化rCircle) or open-source efforts like Mycelium, Bitcoin Core doesnt fit on a smartphone, but its still used for essentially the same functions sending and receiving bitcoins.
With Bitcoin Core, users have the cryptographic tools to verify themselves if the correct software was uploaded to the website (at least in the unlikely event that theyre tech-savvy enough toverify release signatures). So, users technically have more peace of mind about the software theyre using.
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And although Schnelli said that Bitcoin Core probably wont make it to smartphones everywhere (at least within the next couple of years), future updates may further help to bridge security and user-friendliness.
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Like bitcoin itself, its original wallet is designed so that less trust is required for a third party to deliver on their end of the deal.
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To some, the modern-day version of the client designed by bitcoin creatorSatoshi Nakamotoremains just as relevant to the overall health and vitality of the network itself.
Other wallets may be open source, but in the end, if a user only needs basic features, then using Bitcoin Core would offer the peace of mind without having to review the code or reputation of alternative wallet software, Chan explained.
For one, the Bitcoin Core wallet offers an alternative thats arguably similar to bitcoins original value proposition, according to Bitcoin Core contributor Jonas Schnelli.
Put another way, Luu said that the Bitcoin Core wallet gives you optimal control over your money.
Schnelli mentioned that his latest proposed changes to bitcoin, BIPs (150and151), could set the stage for a mobile wallet that can connect to a Bitcoin Core wallet, so that users arent forced to use it from their desktop or laptop.
Does the Original Bitcoin Wallet Still Matter?
No other wallet can give you that amount of privacy and security. Thats why people still stick with Bitcoin Core.