Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 is the latest update to the official Bitcoin client, originally developed by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. It released last week on Saturday, introducing some minor changes which go a long way in healthy moderation of the network. From a technical standpoint, it is a minor update and brings about only a small number of improvements.
One of the major change is targeting the “misbehaving peers,” or the nodes that send invalid blocks as input. Invalid blocks could be due to an error in their mining methodology or an attempt to manipulate the blockchain. As of now, the users are not blacklisted or banned from the network but are tagged as “discouraged nodes”. This tag can then be read by the other nodes which may choose not to interact or exchange data with them. In a way, they are ostracized from the network and are likely to be banned if the unacceptable behaviour continues.
Being tagged as one could actually discourage the node from participating in an unacceptable manner and they may choose to fix the issue of invalid blocks. However, restarting the node is a quick way to get rid of the tag. Users with malicious intent can always choose to restart the node.
Another minor change within this version is a bugfix pertaining since the 0.19 version. Notifications are now generated even for those transactions that aren’t present on the mempool.
How Can Blockchain Developers Contribute to Bitcoin Core?
As Bitcoin Core is an open-source initiative, literally any blockchain developer could submit changes to the codebase at their Github repository. However, regular contributors are rewarded by the community to encourage them for recurring submissions. Crypto exchanges such as Bitmex have previously instituted such rewards for the most active developers.