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Litecoin Core v0.17.1 Release

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Adrian Gallagher

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We are pleased to release Litecoin Core 0.17.1. This is a new major version release, including new features, various bugfixes and performance improvements, as well as updated translations. It is recommended for all users to upgrade to this version.

If you are running an older version, shut it down. Wait until it has completely shut down (which might take a few minutes for older versions), then run the installer (on Windows) or just copy over /Applications/Litecoin-Qt (on Mac) or litecoind/litecoin-qt (on Linux).

If your node has a txindex, the txindex db will be migrated the first time you run 0.17.1 or newer, which may take up to a few hours. Your node will not be functional until this migration completes.

The first time you run version 0.15.0 or newer, your chainstate database will be converted to a new format. This will take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour depending on the speed of your machine.

Note that the block database format also changed in version 0.8.0 and there is no automatic upgrade code from before version 0.8 to version 0.15.0. Upgrading directly from 0.7.x and earlier without redownloading the blockchain is not supported. However, as usual, old wallet versions are still supported.

The chainstate database for this release is not compatible with previous releases, so if you run 0.15 and then decide to switch back to any older version, you will need to run the old release with the -reindex-chainstateoption to rebuild the chainstate data structures in the old format.

If your node has pruning enabled, this will entail re-downloading and processing the entire blockchain.

Litecoin Core is extensively tested on multiple operating systems using the Linux kernel, macOS 10.10+, and Windows 7 and newer (Windows XP is not supported).

Litecoin Core should also work on most other Unix-like systems but is not frequently tested on them.

From 0.17.1 onwards macOS <10.10 is no longer supported. 0.17.1 is built using Qt 5.9.x, which doesn’t support versions of macOS older than 10.10.

Known issues

  • Upgrading from 0.13.2 or older currently results in memory blow-up during the roll-back of blocks to the SegWit activation point. In these cases, a full -reindex is necessary.
  • The GUI suffers from visual glitches in the new MacOS dark mode. This has to do with our Qt theme handling impacting older versions of Litecoin Core, but is expected to be resolved in 0.17.1.

The listtransactions RPC account parameter has been renamed to label.

When litecoin is configured with the -deprecatedrpc=accounts setting, specifying a label/account/dummy argument will return both outgoing and incoming transactions. Without the -deprecatedrpc=accounts setting, it will only return incoming transactions (because it used to be possible to create transactions spending from specific accounts, but this is no longer possiblewith labels).

When -deprecatedrpc=accounts is set, it’s possible to pass the empty string “” to list transactions that don’t have any label. Without -deprecatedrpc=accounts, passing the empty string is an error because returning only non-labeled transactions is not generally useful behavior and can cause confusion.

  • -includeconf=<file> can be used to include additional configuration files. Only works inside the litecoin.conf file, not inside included files or from command-line. Multiple files may be included. Can be disabled from command- line via -noincludeconf. Note that multi-argument commands like -includeconf will override preceding -noincludeconf, i.e.

as litecoin.conf will still include relative.conf.

  • Block storage can be limited under Preferences, in the Main tab. Undoing this setting requires downloading the full blockchain again. This mode is incompatible with -txindex and -rescan.

The -wallet=<path> option now accepts full paths instead of requiring wallets to be located in the -walletdir directory.

If -wallet=<path> is specified with a path that does not exist, it will now create a wallet directory at the specified location (containing a wallet.dat data file, a db.log file, and database/log.?????????? files) instead of just creating a data file at the path and storing log files in the parent directory. This should make backing up wallets more straightforward than before because the specified wallet path can just be directly archived without having to look in the parent directory for transaction log files.

For backwards compatibility, wallet paths that are names of existing data files in the -walletdir directory will continue to be accepted and interpreted the same as before.

Previously, wallets could only be loaded or created at startup, by specifying -wallet parameters on the command line or in the litecoin.conf file. It is now possible to load, create and unload wallets dynamically at runtime:

  • Existing wallets can be loaded by calling the loadwallet RPC. The wallet can be specified as file/directory basename (which must be located in the walletdir directory), or as an absolute path to a file/directory.
  • New wallets can be created (and loaded) by calling the createwallet RPC. The provided name must not match a wallet file in the walletdirdirectory or the name of a wallet that is currently loaded.
  • Loaded wallets can be unloaded by calling the unloadwallet RPC.

This feature is currently only available through the RPC interface.

Partial spend avoidance

When an address is paid multiple times the coins from those separate payments can be spent separately which hurts privacy due to linking otherwise separate addresses. A new -avoidpartialspends flag has been added (default=false). If enabled, the wallet will always spend existing UTXO to the same address together even if it results in higher fees. If someone were to send coins to an address after it was used, those coins will still be included in future coin selections.

The default minimum transaction fee -mintxfee has been lowered to 0.0001 LTC/kB after relaxing the minimum relay and dust relay fee rates in prior releases.

It is now possible for a single configuration file to set different options for different networks. This is done by using sections or by prefixing the option with the network, such as:

If the following options are not in a section, they will only apply to mainnet: addnode=, connect=, port=, bind=, rpcport=, rpcbind= and wallet=. The options to choose a network (regtest= and testnet=) must be specified outside of sections.

A new ‘label’ API has been introduced for the wallet. This is intended as a replacement for the deprecated ‘account’ API. The ‘account’ can continue to be used in V0.17 by starting litecoind with the ‘-deprecatedrpc=accounts’ argument, and will be fully removed in V0.18.

The label RPC methods mirror the account functionality, with the following functional differences:

  • Labels can be set on any address, not just receiving addresses. This functionality was previously only available through the GUI.
  • Labels can be deleted by reassigning all addresses using the setlabel RPC method.
  • There isn’t support for sending transactions from a label, or for determining which label a transaction was sent from.
  • Labels do not have a balance.

Here are the changes to RPC methods:

Source: https://blog.litecoin.org/litecoin-core-v0-17-1-release-7cf1207ee833?source=rss—-d41bceeb173b—4

Blockchain

The Countdown: Cardano (ADA) to Reach Full Decentralization on March 31st

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Less than a year after launching its IOHK-owned network of federated nodes, Cardano is on schedule to reach full decentralization at the end of March 2021. At that point, the already established network of over 1,800 community pools will be responsible for producing all new blocks.

Cardano Goes for Full Decentralization

With the approaching so-called D (=0) day, IOHK, the company behind the popular blockchain project Cardano, published a post highlighting the latest milestone in its development.

Cardano is on track to get out of the realm of centralization in less than a month. The post explained that upon the release of the Shelley update in July 2020, the developers built the network in a way that every block was produced by IOHK’s network of federated nodes.

This caused some confusion within the cryptocurrency community as such an approach was the “antithesis of decentralization.” However, the statement justified this somewhat controversial decision with enhanced security – “a wise approach for the near term while the stake pool operator (SPO) network got up and running.”

Furthermore, Cardano’s developers built in an automatic readjustment process, which reduced the parameter that governs what percentage of transactions are processed by the genesis nodes (referred to as d) at a rate of 0.02 per epoch. This means an increase by 2% in community block production every five days.

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Thus, the community received a more significant role in block production over time, which led to the current situation – only 12% of blocks are produced by federated nodes. The number will continue to gradually decrease until it reached zero (also known as D=0 Day) on March 31st.

Upon doing so, the network will become “fully decentralized,” as “D=0 pushes power to the edges.”

ADA Price Update

While the Cardano community is patiently anticipating the D=0 day, the native cryptocurrency has been on a roll since the start of the year, despite the recent retracements.

ADA entered 2020 at about $0,18 before it skyrocketed to a new all-time high just shy of $1.5. Following this 730% surge, the asset retraced slightly intact with last week’s market crash but has remained well above the $1 tag.

Naturally, ADA’s price surge impacted the market capitalization as well. As such, ADA surpassed other altcoins like Binance Coin and Ripple and is currently the 3rd largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/the-countdown-cardano-ada-to-reach-full-decentralization-on-march-31st/

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Ripple’s CEO: SEC Lawsuit Did Not Affect Business in Asia Pacific

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Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Reuters in an interview today that the company is still conducting and growing its business in the Asia Pacific region despite the SEC legal case against Ripple and its executives. 

The last four months have been some of the toughest for Ripple after the company was slammed with a $1.3 billion lawsuit by the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The regulator alleged that Ripple and its executives, including Garlinghouse, conducted an unregistered securities offering using XRP. 

News of the lawsuit spurred panic, and some major crypto exchanges offering services to U.S. clients were quick to delist XRP from their platforms. Ripple’s partner Moneygram also pulled the brakes on its alliance with the company following the SEC fiasco.

The price of XRP suffered severely, and the once-third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap now ranks seventh on CoinMarketCap.

No Fallout In Asia

Despite the company’s mishap in the United States, Garlinghouse noted that Ripple has continued its operation without hassle across Asia, especially Japan, thanks to the regulatory clarity in the region. 

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“It (the lawsuit) has hindered activity in the United States, but it has not really impacted what’s going on for us in Asia Pacific. We have been able to continue to grow the business in Asia and Japan because we’ve had regulatory clarity in those markets,” Ripple’s CEO said during the interview.

Garlinghouse believes the lack of a clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the United States is a hindrance to innovation and the SEC lawsuit is an attack on all crypto. However, he said that Ripple will not let the regulator bully the industry.

An Attack On All 

The CEO, alongside Ripple’s co-founder Chris Larsen, recently filed two separate motions, calling for the dismissal of the lawsuit against them and the company. 

Garlinghouse described the SEC action as a “regulatory overreach.” Ripple and its executive want US regulators to treat XRP as a virtual currency just like Bitcoin and Ether, but the SEC continues to insist that it is a security. 

With a settlement very unlikely at this point, both parties have agreed to August 16, 2021, as the discovery phase deadline, during which they will present all evidence and argument.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripples-ceo-sec-lawsuit-did-not-affect-business-in-asia-pacific/

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Bitfury’s US Bitcoin mining subsidiary to go public via $2B SPAC merger

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Cipher Mining Technologies Inc. a subsidiary of blockchain development firm Bitfury has inked a $2 billion merger deal with Nasdaq-listed Good Works Acquisition Corp — a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Both companies have entered into a business combination agreement.

According to a press release issued on Friday the merger will see Bitfury’s U.S. Bitcoin (BTC) mining enterprise become a publicly-listed company under the banner Cipher Mining Inc.

In addition to the combined $2 billion valuation for Cipher, investors like Morgan Stanley-backed Counterpoint Group and Fidelity Management and Research company will also lead a $425 million funding round.

This additional cash influx will proceed via a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, funding round. Bitfury will also provide a $50 million investment-in-kind to add to the $170 million left over from the October 2020 Good Works initial public offering, thus setting the combined company’s gross cash holdings at $595 million.

Commenting on the merger, Cipher Mining CEO Tyler Page remarked that the deal was a significant step in the emergence of properly capitalized Bitcoin mining enterprises, adding:

“With this transaction, we will be able to combine the formidable skill sets and technologies developed by Bitfury Group over the past 10 years with what we believe will be a leadership position on the global cost curve, and thereby create a true leader in the Bitcoin mining industry.”

With the merger expected to close in Q2 2021, Cipher is looking to achieve a 745 megawatts mining capacity by end of 2025. The company says it hopes to cross the 445 MW milestone between the end of 2021 and Q2 2022.

Cipher is the latest Bitcoin mining establishment to pursue a public listing albeit via a merger with a SPAC entity. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Australian green energy Bitcoin mining outfit Iris Energy is set for a $39 million IPO in the summer.

With designs towards 745 MW in mining capacity, Cipher is also the latest example of the expanding Bitcoin mining outlay in North America. While China still dominates the BTC hash rate distribution, firms in the U.S. and Canada are reportedly increasing their inventory in the quest to dilute China’s control of the Bitcoin mining arena.

Meanwhile, Chinese miners are coming under significant regulatory pressure from municipal authorities. Earlier in March, reports emerged of crypto miners planning to exit Inner Mongolia amid energy consumption concerns.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitfury-s-us-bitcoin-mining-subsidiary-to-go-public-via-2b-spac-merger

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