Bitcoin Core's 'v26.0' Upgrade Aims to Impede Eavesdropping, Tampering

The v26.0 upgrade contains experimental support for the v2 transport protocol as defined by Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 324 (BIP324).

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2023 at 5:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 6:20 p.m. UTC

The latest upgrade to Bitcoin Core, the primary open-source software for connecting the blockchain behind the world's largest cryptocurrency, is now live.

The v26.0 upgrade contains experimental support for the "v2" transport protocol as defined by Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 324 (BIP324), which seeks to encrypt communication between nodes reducing the risks of attacks via tampering with transactions.

"This proposal for a new P2P protocol version (v2) aims to improve upon this by raising the costs for performing these attacks substantially, primarily through the use of unauthenticated, opportunistic transport encryption," according to the proposal. A key benefit is that "encryption, even when it is unauthenticated and only used when both endpoints support v2, impedes eavesdropping by forcing the attacker to become active."

The existing V1 transport protocol remains supported. Users must enable V2 in order to start using it.

BIP324 was introduced by prominent Core contributor Dhruvkaran Mehta, who stepped away from the project in April this year to focus on a Bitcoin-related startup idea.

The upgrade also includes various changes to remote call procedures (RPCs), including those related to wallets and changes to Bitcoin's graphical user interface (GUI).


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.