Raising the Block Size Limit with a Soft Fork

Soft Fork

It's generally thought that the only way to raise the block size limit is through a hard fork. But is this really true?


How to Clear a Stuck Bitcoin Transaction

World Cash

A Bitcoin transaction can fail to confirm, or become “stuck,” for a number of reasons. Stuck transactions are usually confirmed after several days, but sometimes waiting isn't an option. Fortunately, many stuck transactions can be cleared using nothing more than a Web browser. This article shows how.


Moving the Bitcoin Core Data Directory


Bitcoin Core runs as a full network node and maintains a local copy of the block chain. This data independence improves wallet privacy and security. Unlike some SPV wallets that transmit addresses to peers, Bitcoin Core stores all transactions locally. With local access to the complete set of headers and transactions, Bitcoin Core can use full verification to tell when peers lie about payments.

However, dealing with the block chain comes at a price. An ever-growing data set causes smaller hard drives to fill up quickly. Furthermore, a new wallet can't be used until the full block chain is downloaded and processed, which can take several hours on mid-range equipment.

These problems can be solved by moving and copying Bitcoin Core's data directory. This article describes two approaches that can be used with either a new or existing Bitcoin Core 0.10.0 installation.


Offline Installation of Armory on Tails and Ubuntu Linux


Armory supports cold storage through offline transaction signing. This technique allows funds to be spent without exposing private keys to network-based attacks. Offline signing requires two computer systems - one with an Internet connection, and one without.

Installing Armory on an Internet-connected computer is relatively easy, but installation on an offline computer is much more difficult. The problem comes down to dependencies; online computers can automatically download them, but offline computers must be given dependencies as files on a removable medium. Armory offers an offline bundle designed to simplify the process of offline installation on Ubuntu 12.04. However, some users, including myself, ran into problems using it. Moreover, some situations call for installing Armory on other Linux systems.

What's needed is a simple procedure for creating an Armory offline bundle on arbitrary Linux systems. This article gives procedures for Ubuntu 14.04 and Tails 1.3.


Bank Notes without Banks or Borders

Bitcoin Bill


Anticipating Bitcoin

Milton Friedman on e-cash


Blockchain.info Paper Backup Stores Private Keys in the Browser History

The first step in using any Bitcoin wallet should be to create a backup and store it securely. A Blockchain.info Web wallet supports backups through its Paper Backup feature. Use of this feature was found to store an unencrypted copy of the wallet’s private keys in the browser history. This unencrypted backup survived browser and system restarts. The first disclosures of this behavior appear to have been made more than six months ago on Bitcointalk and the Bitcoin subreddit.


Opening Bitcoin URIs on Mac OS X

Put Payments Here

Wouldn't it be nice if making a Bitcoin payment were as easy as clicking on a link? In principle, this is already supported with Bitcoin URIs. Clicking a Bitcoin URI should launch a preferred wallet, pre-populating a payment transaction with data pulled from the link. Clicking one button would approve the transaction. Copying addresses or payment amounts would be unnecessary.

In practice, support for Bitcoin URIs by software wallets has been patchy at best, particularly on OS X. This article describes a solution that can be immediately implemented by any Mac owner using any downloadable wallet.


OP_RETURN and the Future of Bitcoin

Golden Gate

The Bitcoin network bundles transactions together into a distributed database known as the block chain. When viewed from within the network, transactions simply represent electronic cash payments. Outside the Bitcoin network, more complex interpretations are possible. Adding application-specific data to transactions opens the door to using Bitcoin not just for electronic cash payments, but new kinds of financial, property, and legal transactions. Questions around how - and even whether - to support these uses have been hotly debated for years.

The 0.9.0 release of Bitcoin Core took the first step toward settling the debate through the standardization of a new transaction type. This article reviews the problem of extending the block chain, and the importance of a solution.


Who Needs Bitcoin Change Addresses Anyway?

Coin Jar

Few topics in Bitcoin cause more confusion, anxiety, and loss of money than change addresses. They seem counterintuitive and unnecessary. They're a major contributor to wallet software complexity. When used improperly, they can de-anonymize not just the payer but other parties as well.

Given the many problems with change addresses, why do they exist in the first place? This article explains what change addresses are, why they're essential to Bitcoin, and how to protect your money and privacy.