April 24th 2013
In December 2012 I (Jim) created an acronym for the main items of work that I wanted to add to MultiBit. 'CCEESHH' was the acronym, so let's see how far we have progressed:
C - Change is spendable.
In early versions of MultiBit you could not spend your change until the next block arrived. Now you can spend change much earlier, normally within a few seconds.
C - Currency support.
Bitcoin is a great currency but most of us still think in terms of dollars, euros and yen etc. For ease of use you want your bitcoin amounts shown in your local currency. Also you want to be able to enter a fiat amount and have it converted automatically. This is all now available.
E - Exchanges.
Bitcoin is a distributed currency so there is no single exchange rate. The user wants to choose their exchange rate from their favourite exchange. Thanks to the excellent work by the XChange team, you can now choose from several exchanges in MultiBit. One of these, OpenExchangeRates.org, gives the user access to practically every fiat currency on planet Earth.
E - Encryption.
Private keys are the most precious information in Bitcoin. They allow you to spend your bitcoin - you want to be able to encrypt this sensitive information. Now in version 0.5.9 you can. Your private keys can be encrypted with a password that only you know.
Public Safety Announcement: Do not forget your password. There is no password reset.
S - Speed.
Thanks to the sterling work of the bitcoinj and bitcoind teams MultiBit has had a major speed up. Matt Corralo has implemented bloom filters which not only speeds up synchronising but also reduces network traffic.
H - Hierarchical wallets. (Planned for Summer 2013)
Hierarchical wallets are a mouthful to say but will be a significant improvement on the existing MultiBit wallets. Similar to Electrum wallets, you can generate a seed phrase to generate all your wallet keys. You only have one phrase to backup. Another great thing about hierarchical wallets is that they will be a standard across practically all Bitcoin clients.
H - Hardware wallets. (Planned for Summer/ Fall 2013)
A hardware Bitcoin wallet is a small device that plugs into your USB port on your computer. It stores your Bitcoin private keys to keep them safe. MultiBit plans to support the Trezor Bitcoin hardware wallet.