Bitcoin, Taproot Update Sealed

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Bitcoin miners have given the green light for the biggest update Bitcoin will see in recent years. The Taproot update, which began voting at the beginning of May, was approved this afternoon and will be rolled out in November 2021.

The voting process for Taproot has been successful. The Taproot update, which was opened to voting via the Speedy Trial, required at least 90% (1,815 blocks) of the 2,016 blocks for the Taproot update to be sealed. F2Pool cast the final vote required to be sealed.

If this rate could not be achieved, the process would be restarted after waiting for a while. If it was still not confirmed in the final Speedy Trial to be held at the end of the summer, it would be necessary to find a new way to bring this update to life.

Considering that MaraPool later changed its mind, it can be said that Taproot is not only supported by BTCPool and several other unknown mining pools. Apart from that, almost 99% of the total hash rate on the Bitcoin network is in favor of Taproot.

Quick info about Taproot update

  • The word ‘Taproot’ means taproot in English. The roots of plants such as beans, carrots and large trees are pile roots and, as is known, they extend into the soil. The ‘Taproot’ update in Bitcoin will actually ‘bury under the ground’, in other words, cover and hide some of the transaction information that is now clearly visible.
  • Taproot, a soft fork, was proposed by Gregory Maxwell in January 2018.
  • taproot; It is seen as the biggest update on the Bitcoin network after the Segregated Witness (SegWit) update that took place in 2017.

What is the problem that is aimed to be solved with this update?

  • Currently, when any transaction is made on the Bitcoin network, the coins used in this transaction are linked to a script. The conditions under which this operation will be carried out are also dictated by this script.
  • This script is kept secret to a certain extent thanks to the hash called P2SH (pay to script hash). But the moment you spend these coins (since the blockchain is open to everyone), you open the script of those coins to everyone on the blockchain. Therefore, it can be seen under what conditions these coins are spent.
  • This causes 2 problems: 1) Data load occurs due to these transactions, 2) What kind of wallet you are using, etc. can be seen.

How does the Taproot update solve this?

  • taproot; It comes with a signature scheme known as Schnorr. The schema was developed by the mathematician Claus Schnorr.
  • Schnorr to merge with the Merklized Alternative Script Tree (MAST); It brings together the keys of the parties involved in a transaction, resulting in a new key known as the threshold key.
  • Again, the signature (signature aggregation process) that emerged thanks to the Schnorr scheme; It shows even complex transactions between parties as if they were ordinary transactions.
  • This is what we mean by the pile root metaphor: Taproot keeps secret the details that make complex transactions on the Bitcoin network “complicated”.

What is the benefit, when does it start to be applied?

  • The Taproot update will lighten the data load on the Bitcoin blockchain.
    Especially applications such as CoinSwap and the Lightning Network protocol are expected to be positively affected by this update.
  • Transactions made through the Lightning Network or using an advanced smart contract will be indistinguishable from other transactions on the network.
  • taproot; It will lighten the data load on the Bitcoin network, increase the number of transactions per block and indirectly contribute to lower transaction fees, make smart contract use more efficient and provide Bitcoin users with greater privacy than they are now.

The update, which was sealed today, will begin to be actively used in November 2021.

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