The moment for which crypto enthusiasts have been waiting for very finally seems to be coming true. Bitcoin developers have at last listened to the cries of these enthusiasts and have delivered what they wanted.
With the release of its 18th major upgrade, the world’s largest cryptocurrency will allow users to connect hardware wallets to bitcoin full nodes. The move, though sounds too technical, is a big step towards enhancing security for general users of Bitcoin. While full nodes give the users an option to verify whether the transactions were completed, hardware wallet, on the other hand, is touted to be the more secure mode to store digital assets like Bitcoin.
Therefore, converging Bitcoin full nodes with hardware wallets is immensely beneficial for users, who are ready to give up a little control over their Bitcoins, in return for additional security. While addressing reporters, Wladimir van der Laan, Bitcoin Core chief maintainer, stated that the new feature is the most awaited one, and they have been excited about for a long time.
The move to integrate full nodes with hardware wallets is a big step in making Bitcoin full nodes much more usable and accessible for general users too. Prior to this, only tech nerds were able to fully utilize them. For instance, one of the biggest personal key systems, Casa, recently launched a node which operates without many technical necessities. Bitcoin developers, too, are taking continuous efforts to reduce the data required on the users’ part for storing to run one node.
Lead developer and contributor of Bitcoin Core, Andrew Chow recently tweeted,
With this PR merged, the upcoming Bitcoin Core 0.18 release will be finally usable with hardware wallets by using HWI (https://t.co/rU3hxxDjXf). It's still command line only and manual, but it's a big step forwards. https://t.co/gQEW6g3Opz
— Andrew Chow (@achow101) February 14, 2019
Chow also admits the fact that it’s still only a command line, however, he claims it to be a big step forwards, as the basic functionality barrier is broken, and developers will constantly work on making it more user-friendly in times to come.
Cryptocurrency adoption is on a rise globally, with several new platforms emerging day by day. The user base now includes more and more people with lesser or no technical knowledge. In spite of the fact that the crypto space is expected to grow tremendously, developers and maintainers need to understand the user capabilities and accordingly plan upgrades which would make life less complicated.
Also, the other major concern for growth and expansion of digital currencies is security. Instances of hacks and cyber attacks have grown steadily over the past few years, with several crypto exchanges and digital wallets bearing the wrath of hackers. The most talked about development was the adoption of crypto wallets on smartphones, and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 was expected to lead the way. However, all dreams crashed when security researcher and ethical hacker posted a video on Imgur showing how vulnerable Samsung’s device was.
The expected move by Bitcoin Core will help tackle such obstacles and deliver a secure and user-friendly experience. Bitcoin Core contributor Sjors Provoost claimed that operating a full node is beneficial for a user to verify the authenticity of his or her Bitcoin.
But on the flip side, it takes away control from the user to provide security.
Affirming this fact, Samuel Dobson, who happens to be Bitcoin Core’s wallet maintainer, stated,
“At the end of the day, it comes down to the trade-off between convenience and trust.”
Many such initiatives are required for penetration of markets which have great potential but are more susceptible to fraud and hacks. For instance, in a country like India people would readily sacrifice a bit of control for added security, as the cyberspace is not as secured as it is in the US or Canada.