The new version of Bitcoin Core 22.0, the main client for managing Bitcoin network nodes that natively supports Taproot, has been released.
The software has been made available on bitcoincore.org, and its main innovation over previous versions is full Taproot support.
Bitcoin Core 22.0 and what is Taproot?
The Taproot update was approved a few months ago, but in order to be fully usable, its new features needed to be supported by nodes in the Bitcoin network.
The previous version of Bitcoin Core, 0.21.1, did not support the new features introduced with Taproot, but required a manual update which many node managers had not done.
Since Bitcoin Core is used on over 90% of Bitcoin nodes, this caused very limited upgrade support.
Now it is only a matter of updating the software to the latest version to make the node fully compatible. Since most node managers use the updated version of Bitcoin Core, it is safe to assume that the new 22.0 will be widely deployed.
Within a few weeks, it is possible that most Bitcoin nodes will natively support Taproot, making activation of the new protocol feasible without any major problems from November onwards.
Bitcoin Core 22.0: all new features
The new version also includes some bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as updated translations, and has been extensively tested on Linux, macOS 10.14+, Windows 7 and later versions. It should also work on most other Unix-like systems, but has not been extensively tested on these.
The list of changes is actually much more extensive than just adding Taproot’s native functionality, making this not a version update, but a new version (the 22nd).
More than a hundred contributors participated in the development of this new version and worked for about eight months under the supervision of Bitcoin Core’s main developer Wladimir van der Laan.
Bitcoin Core 22.0 is the first version of Bitcoin Core to offer full support for hardware wallets through a user interface, not a line of code, making it possible to use the Hardware Wallet Interface (HWI) with devices from Ledger, Trezor, BitBox, KeepKey and Coldcard.
In addition, Bitcoin Core 22.0 now offers the ability to connect via the Invisible Internet Project (I2P), as well as Tor, a decentralized, peer-to-peer, anonymous communication network.