The Bitcoin network hasn’t seen a big update in a long time, and the last time it did was in 2017, when BTC participants enabled Segregated Witness (Segwit). Since then, bitcoiners have been debating Taproot, the next big update. Gregory Maxwell, a software developer and Bitcoin Core contributor, proposed the Taproot proposal in January 2018.
Last October, Bitcoin Core programmer Pieter Wuille launched a pull request to add Taproot to the Github repository. Taproot, on the surface, appears to be able to assist BTC in scaling and making bitcoin transactions more private. If consensus is reached, the protocol will be implemented as a soft fork that enhances the blockchain’s scripts for privacy-centric and complex transactions.
According to the Github “Taproot-Activation” documentation, “Taproot is a proposed Bitcoin protocol update that can be deployed as a forward-compatible soft fork.” “By combining the Schnorr signature scheme with MAST (Merklized Alternative Script Tree) and a new scripting language called Tapscript, Taproot would increase the versatility of Bitcoin’s smart contracts while also increasing privacy by allowing users to disguise complex smart contracts as standard bitcoin transactions.”
Around 25% of the network’s SHA256 hashrate approves of the Taproot activation as of Sunday, May 2, 2021. According to the web portal taproot.watch, there is a signaling cycle of 2,016 blocks and “1,802 Taproot blocks remaining before [the] soft fork is locked in.” The page continues, “Taproot will not lock in with the existing signaling ratio (7.14 percent).”
Bitcoin Miners Start Signaling for Taproot Activation, People Prep for BTC’s Largest Update in 4 Years – Technology Bitcoin News. (2021). Retrieved 5 May 2021, from https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-miners-start-signaling-for-taproot-activation-people-prep-for-btcs-largest-update-in-4-years/
What Is Taproot and How It Will Benefit Bitcoin | Binance Academy. (2021). Retrieved 5 May 2021, from https://academy.binance.com/en/articles/what-is-taproot-and-how-it-will-benefit-bitcoin