- Bitcoin Taproot/Schnorr soft fork proposal or formally labeled Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 340, 341, and 342, have now been published.
- The initial idea for Taproot unveiled by Greg Maxwell, who was also a Bitcoin Core developer.
- Schnorr is supposed to enable signature clustering and, in turn, allows Taproot’s working on the blockchain.
Bitcoin Core contributor, Peter Wuille announced on Twitter that the Bitcoin Taproot/Schnorr soft fork proposal or formally labeled Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 340, 341, and 342, have now been published.
The implementation of the soft fork will now depend on the community’s choice. The proposal contains significant changes to the scalability, privacy, fungibility, and script innovation of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Wuille went on to tweet that this proposal is final, and no more semantical changes will be made apart from any significant issues if found in a review. The proposal’s authors include Pieter Wuille, Anthony Towns, Nclr, and Tim Ruffing.
The Schnorr/Taproot proposal is now published as BIPs 340, 341, and 342; see https://t.co/33uiulO8RA— Pieter Wuille (@pwuille) January 24, 2020
Note that the assignment of BIP numbers is not any kind of stamp of approval; it just means the process was followed (which includes some amount of public discussion).
The initial idea for Taproot unveiled by Greg Maxwell, who was also a Bitcoin Core developer. It hoped to improve on the privacy of the BTC blockchain by making all transactions appear indifferentiable to outside observers of the blockchain’s data.
This would be done regardless of the complexity of the transaction hash. Later on, a soft fork to the blockchain pairing Taproot and another upgrade Shnorr proposed by Core developer Peter Wuille. Schnorr is supposed to enable signature clustering and, in turn, allows Taproot’s working on the blockchain.
This is seen by many to be a massive shift in the governance model for the cryptocurrency due to the significant changes made to its privacy system.
Steve Lee, the product manager for Square Crypto, also predicted that the proposal also devised to cut 30-70% in fees and improve block validation by 2.5 times.
The currently deployed Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm has specific back draws when in maintaining privacy and fungibility, and the upgrade proposal helps alleviate these problems by concealing particular payment typed from an external observer.
The proposed upgrade would help avoid having to sign multiple digital signatures and validate multiple keys for enabling transactions and allow users to sign a clustered Schorr signature to verify a Taproot output key. This would account for all the same complex procedures but in a more conserved and aggregated fashion.
The Taproot upgrade also innovates in scripting by allowing for “complicated arrangements of signatures and keys and eliminates limitations for how many scripts can be used to spend coins.”
The technical community has already shown great interest in the implications of Taproot/Schnorr since it not only solves the issues of privacy and fungibility but also cuts fees, reduces block times while also simultaneously brings in more functionality to the Bitcoin network.
If the review of the final proposal goes well, the scheme will merge into Bitcoin core, and the technical community will begin discussing how to activate it on the network.
Once that done, an activation notice will be published, and if the conditions to activate are all met, and if all goes as per plan, the soft fork will be live.
Bitcoin has not seen a hard/soft fork in over two years now with the last hard fork being Segregated Witness (SegWit), which was pushed and activated on the network in August 2017 and has achieved a 60% adoption rate.
Some other significant upgrade proposals discussed in the community, namely Graftroot, SIGHASH_NOINPUT, OP_CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY, and the “Great Consensus Clean-up.”