News/Upcoming major Riecoin 0.20 upgrade

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Published on 2020-07-15 by Pttn.

A new major Riecoin upgrade is planned, and includes a hard fork. Below is a summary of the changes so far and the hard fork improvements. Feel free to ask Pttn on BitcoinTalk or on Discord if you have questions regarding the update.

The first step of this upgrade was to update the base code to Bitcoin’s 0.20, which is done. You can find the experimental code at the Github repository. Experimental binaries can also be downloaded here. Despite their prerelease status, they should work fine, though please backup your wallets if you plan to use 0.20, just in case.

Pool operators and other advanced Riecoin users should start looking into the changes and update their software accordingly, as well as closely follow the Riecoin Core development.

Here is a list of notable changes from

  • There were inconsistencies regarding the nTime and nBits positions in the Block Header. This is now fixed, with nTime always coming before nBits like for Bitcoin. Note that rieMiner needs an update to Solo Mine with 0.20, which is already available;
  • Testnet was reset. Additionally, the constellations for Testnet are no longer sextuplets, but quadruplets, and the minimum Difficulty was raised to 600. If you want to run a public Testnet node, please use the bootstrap found here and share your node IP;
  • The “getnetworkhashps” command was replaced by “getnetworkminingpower” and uses a new metric, standardized such that 1 correspond to mining a minimum difficulty block (Difficulty 304 in Mainnet or 600 in Testnet) every 150 s;
  • The GetBlockTemplate’s “primes” field is replaced by “patterns”, which gives a list of accepted constellations patterns for mining. The “segwit” rule is now mandatory;
  • The “getprimes” RPC call is replaced by “getresult” and gives directly the base prime number, instead of all the prime numbers;
  • Generated addresses are now Bech32 by default;
  • The RegTest is now properly implemented (the PoW here is simply prime numbers). Most of the test units were ported to Riecoin;
  • And of course, all the Bitcoin features and bug fixes since 0.17 are now included in Riecoin. Read the Bitcoin Core change logs for more information.

The next step will be the hard fork, in order to improve Riecoin in multiple ways. Here is the list of planned changes.

  • The constellation pattern will be changed from sextuplets to septuplets (quintuplets in Testnet). Both possible patterns will be accepted, so the blockchain will provide more diverse results. One of them will have a chance to be a 8-tuple or longer, which would help a lot to beat records and improve the Riecoin’s scientific usefulness. Moreover, longer tuples are more practical as PoW;
  • The Superblock system will be removed. While records have indeed been broken this way, it also has significant drawbacks, like freezing the network during an hour every week and a complicated implementation that also confuses a lot of people;
  • The Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm will be updated to improve the network’s robustness and make the adjustment more dynamic. No particular algorithm has been chosen yet and the discussion is open;
  • The nOffset encoding will be updated in order to allow more efficient mining.

Once the development is advanced enough, a date will be chosen for the hard fork. Testnet will be hardforked first to ensure the well functioning of the implementation. Stay tuned!