In brief

  • The Bitcoin Development Kit has been updated to version 0.2.0.
  • The latest release comprises several new features and improvements such as the "branch and bound" alghorithm.
  • Developed as an open-source project, the BDK is designed to be “a solid foundation for cross-platform Bitcoin wallets.”

A new version of the Bitcoin Development Kit (BDK) was released yesterday, bringing with it several new features, bug fixes, and improvements. The BDK is a collection of tools and libraries designed to be “a solid foundation for cross-platform Bitcoin wallets.”

“The main point of this release is it's our first release with good test coverage and documentation published to [Crates.io] and [BitcoinDevKit.org]. This allows devs who want to use our library easily to include it as a dependency,” BDK contributor Steve Myers told Decrypt, adding, “The overall point of BDK is to make it easier for wallet developers to safely use common and advanced wallet features.”

Starting with version 0.2.0, the project—which was founded earlier this year by Alekos Filini—has officially changed its name from “Magical Bitcoin” to “BDK.”

The open-source effort is currently being developed by various contributors such as Steve Myers, Riccardo Casatta, Daniela Brozzoni, Mark Erhardt, Richard Ulrich, Justin Moon, Will Clark, and pseudonymous “eupn.”

One of the main new features in 0.2.0 is the addition of an algorithm called “branch and bound.” This allows developers to decrease the size of transaction data on the blockchain, lower fees, and improve privacy by minimizing extra outputs.

“‘Branch and bound coin selection’ is geared more to high volume wallets spending and receiving lots of transactions, it tries to find a combination of transaction inputs so that a spending transaction doesn't need to make any change, this makes spending transactions smaller and more private,” Myers explained.

Another new feature is the key generation which aims to streamline the process of creating new seed phrases and private keys.

“Key generation is a more basic feature that allows wallet devs to use BDK to simply generate random BIP32 extended private keys and BIP39 mnemonic seed words which you'd need to do if you're not using a hardware wallet in your wallet application,” Myers noted.

The update also introduced or improved such features as wallet descriptors templates and macros, generic key types, and others.