The description of Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 on Github promises “new features, various bugfixes and performance improvements” of which SegWit support is the conspicuous headliner.
Demand for SegWit technology, which for the end user will mean reduced transaction processing wait times, has exploded since its launch in August 2017.
Major Bitcoin wallet providers and payment processors have conversely been slow to implement it, leading to anger from consumers who considered they were paying — and waiting — over the odds, when on a technological level this was unnecessary.
As a popular option for helping scale the Bitcoin network, SegWit is being joined by increasing interest in so-called ‘Layer 2’ solutions, principally the Lightning Network.
Last week, Microsoft threw its weight behind the latter option, at the same time decrying alternative ‘on-chain’ scaling methods such as bigger block sizes as “degrading decentralization”…