Bitcoin advocates are celebrating the successful implementation of the Taproot upgrade after block height 709,632. The upgrade was highly anticipated as it was one of the biggest changes since the introduction of Segregated Witness (Segwit) in 2017. After the upgrade was completed, the Bitcoin community discussed the slew of benefits Taproot and Schnorr signatures have to offer and have started measuring Taproot usage as well.
Taproot Has Been Activated on the Bitcoin Blockchain
At 12:15 a.m. (EST) at block height 709,632, at difficulty period 352, Taproot was officially activated on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. The upgrade was long-awaited as it’s an improvement that’s taken seven years to complete.
— jack⚡️ (@jack) November 14, 2021
Taproot allows users to operate Bitcoin scripts in a myriad of ways in order to improve privacy, scalability, and security. Combining Taproot with an improvement called Schnorr signatures allows for more compact transactions and key aggregation, which provides a multi-faceted array of multi-signature transaction schemes. Schnorr offers three major benefits according to the codebase introduction on Github:
Provable security: Schnorr signatures are provably secure. In more detail, they are strongly unforgeable under chosen message attack (SUF-CMA).
Non-malleability: The SUF-CMA security of Schnorr signatures implies that they are non-malleable. On the other hand, ECDSA signatures are inherently malleable.
Linearity: Schnorr signatures provide a simple and efficient method that enables multiple collaborating parties to produce a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
The collaboration technique or key aggregation “is the building block for various higher-level constructions that improve efficiency and privacy, such as multi-signatures and others,” the Github description adds.
The Schnorr signature scheme is combined with MAST (Merklized Alternative Script Tree), which essentially creates a new script language called Tapscript. The Taproot activation page on Github now says: “Taproot locked-in. Thanks miners.” After Taproot was activated a great number of crypto supporters discussed the implementation on social media.
“The Taproot upgrade for Bitcoin has officially [been] activated,” bitcoin investor Anthony Pompliano tweeted after the upgrade. “Congratulations and thank you to every developer, miner, and Bitcoiner who made this happen.” Another individual dubbed ‘Hashoveride’ tweeted:
Taproot activated! Bitcoin upgraded! This is how consensus is formed and upgrades are done! Incredibly slow, non-controversial, and not forced. Y’all better recognise. [Bitcoin] ready to fly.
Bitcoin Developer Pieter Wuille: ‘At Long Last, BIP341/342 (“Taproot”) Are Active on Bitcoin Mainnet’
Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille also discussed the successful soft fork on Twitter and thanked all the network participants.
“At long last, BIP341/342 (“taproot”) are active on Bitcoin mainnet. Thanks to everyone involved for getting us this far,” Wuille tweeted. “The real work will be in building wallets/protocols that build on top of it to make use of its advantages. I’m very excited to see where that takes us,” the Bitcoin developer added. Other bitcoin fans shared data of Taproot being used in the wild. For instance, Alekos Filini wrote:
A modified version @bitcoindevkit made this transaction. It’s a Taproot script-spend with a 1-of-2 multisig that uses the new `OP_CHECKSIGADD.` It looks like this is the first ever `OP_CHECKSIGADD` used on Bitcoin! It’s the third Taproot script-spend in the block, but the two coming in before didn’t use that opcode.
Additionally, the blockchain analysis Open Exploration Tool (oxt.me) tweeted about Taproot usage on the Bitcoin blockchain after the successful implementation. “It’s happening #Taproot,” the oxt.me Twitter account said, sharing a Taproot usage chart. Bitcoiner Lyle Pratt also talked about the benefits of Taproot and explained why he was excited.
“[Three] reasons I’m personally excited about Taproot,” Pratt wrote. “1) the upgrade process gave us a good recipe for future upgrades. 2) taproot will help proliferate new DLCs services and use cases, eventually bringing them to Lightning. 3) 1 mil+ participant multisig federations are now possible.”
When asked by another individual what the benefits of federated multi-sig for many participants would be, Pratt responded by noting: “Much more decentralized pools of signers or oracles are now possible. Pre-taproot about ~15 p2sh signers was the practical limit.”
What do you think about the successful implementation of the Bitcoin upgrade Taproot and the community’s opinion about the latest soft fork? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.