The bitcoin network will soon implement an upgrade to overcome some existing problems which include scalability issues. The upgrade dubbed Taproot awaits the approval of the community. Should users vote for the upgrade, the implementation will soon take place. The speed trial allows miners to come onboard within three months.
Miners simply indicate their readiness by including special data, called signal bit into the blocks they mine. The reason why they need to reach a consensus is that it is impossible to change the bitcoin network code unilaterally. Therefore, the global userbase should actively participate in order to change it.
The upgrade enables the developers to make a master key that summarizes several signatures into one. This is achieved through Taproot, the softfork that integrates Schnorr cryptographic signatures. The end result is a faster, cheaper and frictionless experience.
This is because Schnorr cryptographic signatures, unlike the Bitcoin’s current signature algorithm and the elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) are smaller and faster.
Significantly, Taproot will give Bitcoin a boost due to transaction privacy and enhancement of lightweight and complex “smart contracts.”
Probably the best news this upgrade brings to the bitcoin community is scalability, resulting in faster and cheaper transactions. This development mostly likely results in greater adoption of Bitcoin, as it reduces transaction fees to a reasonable level.
Also, the upgrade results in identity obfuscation by hiding the number of participants involved in a transaction.
If 90% of miners approve the Taproot, the upgrade is likely to take place in November 2021. The participation of miners is very important as they need to update their nodes to suit the new development.
At present only 10.36% of the mining blocks approve the fork. However, there are still 1792 blocks to participate, with the top 3 out of 10 major blocks having approved the Taproot upgrade. Among the three approving pools are F2Pool, Slush Pool and Pools Foundry, which are among the top most powerful pools on the Bitcoin network.
Some top individual players in the bitcoin community such as Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos and Charlie Shrem, support the upgrade.
Interested parties can follow the voting process at https://taproot.watch.
Therefore, as things stand, Bitcoin is 1787 blocks away from becoming private and scalable. Thus, this is its history making moment, after several years of working on the much anticipated upgrade.