The first Bitcoin update in the last four years has received approval from miners around the world. According to reports, the activation of update called Taproot will occur this November.
A major Bitcoin (BTC) Taproot update could be blocked in less than 24 hours. As miners exceeding the required minimum signal support for the soft fork.
According to the Speedy Trial method chosen for the upgrade, at least 90% of the blocks mined within one two-week period of difficulty, or 1,815 out of 2,016, had to contain the corresponding miner tag to start the activation process. The current difficulty period ends on Sunday. By this time 98% of the blocks will include the required signal.
Taproot has been the most anticipated Bitcoin update since Segregated Witness (SegWit) was activated in 2017. The previous upgrade aimed at increasing scalability, while Taproot will bring a new signature scheme to Bitcoin – Schnorr signatures. This small change opens up opportunities for increased privacy, a variety of multisig wallets, and additional scalability benefits. Many cryptographers consider the Schnorr signature scheme to be one of the best among its kind. Since its mathematical properties provide a high level of accuracy, and transactions in it protected from plasticity and quickly verified. The “linear mathematics” of Schnorr signatures will allow the launch of a new type of smart contracts based on Bitcoin to define various conditions for the execution of transactions.
Thus, users will be able to combine several conditions in one transaction. In many ways, this is already possible in Bitcoin, but with Taproot there will be additional advantages. For example, transactions of multi-signature wallets at the blockchain level will be indistinguishable from ordinary ones. This approach considered to be more effective. Since the owners of multi-signature wallets will not have to disclose all the conditions for the execution of transactions. As a result of which privacy will increase. In the long term, Taproot will lead to a better user experience.
Previous difficulties activating updates
In the past, Bitcoin has had certain difficulties activating updates. For example, miners objected to SegWit, which led to the introduction of a method for activating a soft fork by USAF users. Only after that did large groups of opposing miners agree to join them. Unlike SegWit, Taproot does not contain features that would annoy miners, so they approved it quickly enough. The Speedy Trial proved to be a compromise, and today’s approval of the update was a confirmation of the method’s viability.
Taproot – phased update
A phased update will avoid the situation that arose during the SegWit update, which led not only to the split of the chain and the emergence of the Bitcoin Cash fork, but also to a significant delay in the actual implementation of the code by the network nodes.
Now miners and network nodes will be given five months to upgrade to the current version of the Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 client, which contains the logic for activating the soft fork. At block 709 632, which appears on the Bitcoin network in November, the update will be directly activate. Then network participants, who have installed the necessary update, will automatically start using the Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP) included in Taproot. And the nodes will be able to recognize and process transactions with new capabilities.
Taproot proposed by Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell and prepared by Bitcoin Core developers. Including Peter Wülle, Anthony Townes, Johnson Lau, Jonas Nick, Andrew Poelstra, Tim Ruffing, Rusty Russell and Maxwell himself. Taproot is a backward compatible update, which means that even nodes using older versions of Bitcoin Core will remain online after launch. But won’t have access to new features. Ultimately, it’s up to the users to decide whether to take advantage of Taproot or stick with the old patterns.