We will have to wait until November for real changes
Taproot is an update of the current protocol in the form of a soft fork. To confirm it, the support of at least 90% of miners was needed, which was achieved well in advance in the last signalling period.
Out of a total 2,016 blocks in this period, only a small number of blocks did not signal Taproot support. The support thus far exceeded the required 90%, which means that Taproot is currently in a “locked-in” state and its deployment is planned for November this year. Although the voting by signalling was not entirely unanimous, there was just a little missing. This means broad support for this update among miners, which is certainly great news.
Interestingly, the Slush Pool mining pool signalled support for Taproot first and also mined a block with number 687 285, which was the one when the update was accepted. Other initial supporters included two pools with the largest share of hash rate – AntPool and F2Pool.
Taproot changes Bitcoin in a fundamental way
This is the first change of consensus since 2017 when SegWit was activated in August. From Bitcoin’s point of view, it brings an extension of scripting possibilities, which should bring cheaper transactions, especially for multisigs and at the second layer. It will help increase privacy by hiding some information in transactions after activation. We should also not forget the fact that Bitcoin will also bring the support of smart contracts, which are the main driving force, for example, of the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH).
Many experts consider Taproot as the best means to increase privacy. Thanks to the update, the transaction in the Lightning Network channel will look indistinguishable from a sophisticated smart contract. Bitcoin blockchain currently reveals too much information about each transaction, especially in more complex operations. The new code will use the so-called Schnorr signature scheme, in which, for example, a multisig transaction does not look different from any other.
The real solutions must now be presented to us by the developers
We will probably all agree that this update will be an important contribution to the protocol and is a major step forward for Bitcoin’s future. However, its activation is only the first step and the real work is just beginning. The ball is now on the side of the developers of various companies, who have to transform the mentioned advantages into real solutions and applications of everyday life.