A momentous change to the Bitcoin blockchain since 2017 depends on a consensus to sail through. Will miners achieve the minimum requirement?
In 2018, George Maxwell who is both a Bitcoin core Contributor and a former technology executive at Blockstream, Blockchain technology-related company, was the first person to propose Taproot. Taproot will be deployed in November provided that 90% of all Bitcoin miners will back its proposal by August 11. However, this minimum requirement for activation is yet to be achieved. Meanwhile, Taproots’s primary goal is to supplement Bitcoin’s smart contracts and enhance privacy at the same time.
Taproot update will Schnorr signature scheme together with MAST and at the same time leverage on Tapscript, a scripting language. With the new update, complicated smart contracts that typically require multiple authenticities through signatures will be concealed hence, promoting privacy. The release statement noted that less data would be required to make smart contracts resulting in low costs, high functionality, and improved efficiency. The current upgrade will lay a foundation for future improvements that will focus to enhance efficiency, fungibility and more privacy.
Bitcoin Miners Support Taproot Proposal
In an interview with a news outlet, Alejandro De La Torre, the second in command at Poolin Mining said that the Taproot upgrade will not only benefit Bitcoin. Alejandro observed that anything that benefits Bitcoin ultimately had the capacity to benefit all its users.
Challenges for Previous Bitcoin Upgrades
The previous Bitcoin upgrade, Segwit, was implemented in 2017. It eliminated all data pertaining to Blockchain transactions such as signatures hence, limiting block size. Since then, 2017, Taproot is by far the largest upgrade to have occurred. Segwits primary goal was to increase Blockchain’s efficiency by processing over and above the number of transactions it managed at the time. However, it later became controversial, resulting in the creation of Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold by the disagreeing miners.
On that matter, Alejandro said that he believes MAST misunderstandings that arise from past upgrades, creating goodwill amongst all Bitcoin stakeholders. When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he intentionally made it a decentralized digital coin, meaning that no particular group would have the final say on the most important upgrades to be implemented. Instead, a consensus should be arrived at before upgrades are made. However, reaching a consensus with such dispersed participants is next to impossible. Unfortunately, this challenge has replicated itself in Taproot.
To address the consensus challenge, Alejandro decided to head the activation, and over 90% of the addressed mining pools were looking forward to the upgrade. It may take some time before the 99% consensus is achieved, despite the verbal agreement. We the way things are we wait to see whether the miners will put their money where their mouths are.
Patrick is an accounting & economics graduate, a Cryptocurrency enthusiast, and a Blockchain technology fanatic. When not crafting informative pieces on any of the above subjects, he will be researching on how the Blockchain technology can transform the world, particularly the financial space.