Today we're excited to announce the next step for Bitcore, our full node Bitcoin and blockchain development platform. We have released a preview of version 5.0 which makes it possible to build and run a Bitcoin application on any implementation of the Bitcoin protocol.

In all previous versions of Bitcore, your Bitcore instance depended on a custom extension of the Satoshi Bitcoin software. This meant that any updates to the Bitcoin protocol would require an additional Bitcore release to add support. Now you can change your Bitcoin client, upgrade it or downgrade it, whenever and however you want. As long as your client can talk to the Bitcoin network, Bitcore can use it.

Run Bitcore on any Bitcoin implementation

By default, Bitcoin now runs on a node of Bcoin, a fully Node.js-based Bitcoin client implementation. This default to Bcoin will provide more of the functionality which Bitcore developers love about Bitcore, with easy extensibility to create new Bitcore services. With Bcoin, your Bitcore instance also now automatically supports Segregated Witness (Segwit).

Bitcore's Bcoin implementation makes deploying a block explorer simple. Spin up a bcoin-based Bitcore full node and block explorer in two easy steps:

npm install -g bitcore@beta

Requirement: You will need to be running Node.js v8.2.0+.

To switch underlying Bitcoin implementations, you can point Bitcore to any full node which supports the Bitcoin P2P protocol, even another fork of Bitcoin. And since you won't need to fork Bitcore's codebase to do it, switching implementations is easier than ever. You can choose which Bitcoin transaction validation rules you want to use, whether Segwit or different block sizes.

Get more transaction information coverage with new mempool indexes

Bitcore version 5.0 adds new indexes for querying the Bitcoin network's mempool – the transactions which have not yet been added to blocks.

Previously we relied on bitcoind's mempool for Bitcore services and for our own Insight block explorer. During the recent uptick in unconfirmed transactions and confirmation times on the Bitcoin network, we received user feedback noting the large number of transactions which get excluded from queries as a result.

Now Bitcore's mempool coverage is more permissive, allowing for more unconfirmed mempool transactions to show in Bitcore-based block explorers like Insight.

Make your Bitcoin application ready for prime time

We created Bitcore to provide a powerful platform for enterprises to build services that interact with the Bitcoin blockchain. These are the tools we've used to build BitPay, including the BitPay wallet, the Copay wallet, and our Insight block explorer.

Now those services have a layer above the Bitcoin implementation which adds even more flexibility for developers. We've already field tested many of Bitcore's most important features in BitPay's own products, and we're excited to see what you can do with them.

Remember that this preview version of Bitcore is still in beta. We're standing by to respond to feedback and bugs.