Bitcoin “Taproot” soft fork
The Taproot update proposal was released in January 2018 by Bitcoin Core developer Greg Maxwell, in 2021, the 90% threshold of blocks mined with a support signal from miners was met.
The privacy implications of Taproot soft fork are the most important part of the upgrade. By introducing Schnorr signatures and key aggregation, multisignature contracts no longer look different from single signature contracts, providing privacy to all Taproot users.
In the next seven days (aprox November 14th 2021), the Bitcoin protocol will start a soft core upgrade that is composed of three Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) which define three distinct upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol:
Schnorr Signatures — Schnorr signature technology implements a smaller, more secure and flexible type of cryptographic signature. It also introduces a technique called “key aggregation,” which enables multi-signature transactions and smart contracts to commit the same amount of data to the Bitcoin blockchain as a standard, single signature transaction.
With Schnorr signatures, multisig transactions can be combined into one key, making them indistinguishable from regular monosig transactions. These smaller and faster transactions using the Schnorr signature will also free up space and bandwidth on the Bitcoin network. If 100 different users sent BTC to a single wallet address under the current setup, it would appear on Bitcoin’s as 100 separate transactions. With the next upgrade, Bitcoin’s network will be able to bundle these 100 transactions into one transaction with a unique key.
Taproot — defines how Bitcoin’s protocol will integrate Schnorr signatures. Bitcoin Script must be updated to also evaluate Schnorr signatures. Taproot also integrates Merkelized Alternative Script Trees (MAST), which allow users to lock outputs to multiple scripts.
Tapscript — defines how Bitcoin’s protocol will integrate Schnorr signatures. Bitcoin Script must be updated to also evaluate Schnorr signatures. Taproot also integrates Merkelized Alternative Script Trees (MAST), which allow users to lock outputs to multiple scripts.
Miners in the Bitcoin network have until November to update their software to Bitcoin Core 0.21.1, the newest version of Bitcoin Core that contains the latest improvements.
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