There is interesting news for those who are dedicated to Bitcoin mining: the activation period of Taproot and Schnorr in Bitcoin has started. For those who do not know, Taproot is a Bitcoin scalability solution that integrates the Schnorr cryptographic firms. These allow you to summarize a set of signatures into one.
What is known so far is that Taproot started its activation path in Bitcoin with the rapid test phase. This happened after the expected mining difficulty adjustment occurred at block height 681,408, mined on May 1, 2021. Therefore, now performing multi-signature transactions of several inputs or inputs (UTXI) in Bitcoin would be a lighter process, more efficient and lower cost.
Benefits of the new version of the integrated software from Taproot and Schnorr
The new version also offers privacy benefits, since several participants can have their inputs to create a joint transaction. Said transaction would be identified under a unique signature of the Schnorr digital algorithm. The result is that this hides how many participants a Bitcoin transaction consists of.
After lengthy discussions about the activation method to use, it was decided to run a mechanism called a rapid test. Thus, miners have the opportunity to indicate their approval to Taproot or to abstain during each period of difficulty between the one started yesterday and the last one before August 11, 2021. The latter is the deadline.
In each difficulty period, consisting of 2,016 blocks and lasting about 2 weeks, the count is restarted. Therefore, miners must mine more than 90% of these blocks, which is equivalent to more than 1,800 blocks. If, in any of these periods of difficulty, 90% of the mined blocks are reached, Taproot will be blocked and its activation will begin in November of this year.
More details about it
Currently, according to the website Taproot.watch, 6 blocks have been mined in favor of Taproot, representing 2.4% of the blocks mined so far. In contrast, 132 blocks have been mined that have not marked Taproot, which represents 7% of the total.
If the percentage of blocks with no signal reaches 10%, the activation of Taproot cannot be blocked in the current difficulty period. 1,870 blocks remain and 1,809 blocks in favor would be needed to block Taproot.
Bitcoin Core talks about it
The Bitcoin Core organization published the corresponding software for this update. They also highlighted that if in this period of 3 months the activation of Taproot is not blocked, another activation mechanism will have to be tested.
«The activation mechanism (speedy trial) has been designed so that, in mid-August, it can give us the assurance that Taproot will soon be activated or, it will give us valuable information that users and developers can use to make the next attempt to activation succeed”Said the Bitcoin Core organization.
The new version is the client Bitcoin Core 0.21.1. According to the company, this version had an issue with the provider of the code certificate for Windows, as discussed on GitHub. However, Bitcoin Core assured that this should not represent an obstacle. They mentioned that this is just an additional validation step during the software installation in Windows.
What are the benefits of using Taproot?
Developer Wladimir van der Laan explained on the Bitcoin developer mailing list the benefits of Taproot for Bitcoin:
- If Taproot is activated, these enhancements will allow users of single signatures, multi-signature scripts, and complex contracts, to execute commands that look identically the same as each other, improving the privacy and fungibility of all bitcoins.
- Those who transact will enjoy lower commissions and the ability to resolve multi-signature scripts and complex contracts with the same efficiency, low commission and as much anonymity as those using a single signature.
- Taproot and Schnorr includes efficiency improvements for full nodes such as allowing them to verify signatures in batch. Thus, these enhancements lay the foundation for future updates aimed at improving efficiency, privacy, and fungibility.