I'm following instructions to install Bitcoin Client in Andreas Antonopoulous' Mastering Bitcoin. In Chapter 3, the author details options of installing the bitcoin core from bitcoin.org or compiling it from the source code. From a practical perspective, what is the difference?

What do I lose by just installing it from bitcoin.org? (Since that seems easier than making sure that I have all required dependencies in Linux)


The main advantage of building from the source is that you have the option of manually inspecting the code to make sure you trust that no one has inserted any nasty logic (in practice this won't be feasible unless you are already familiar with the code).

A second advantage is that if you want to get the latest and greatest improvements for your bitcoin software. The releases on bitcoin.org occur approximately every two months so if there was a change you'd like to use before the official release and building from source will let you do that.

If you were to checkout the source on branch 0.15 and tag v0.15.0.1 and build that then theoretically you'd be running the equivalent logic to the latest release (as of 23 Sep 2017).

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