Taproot Bitcoin Network Upgrade Gets Close to 100% Approval

The Taproot upgrade is all locked in after the community voted their near-unanimous approval of the next big step forward for Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin to Finally Get Its Taproot Upgrade 

Recent developments have not been great if you are a Bitcoin miner, but overall, the ecosystem has never been better. The long-coveted Taproot update may finally be happening as the Speedy Trial test revealed overwhelming support for the upscaling of the blockchain. 

As of Sunday, the approval rating for the Taproot effect stood close to 99%. Taproot is the much-ballyhooed ecosystem upgrade that may shadow its predecessor, the Segregated Witness or SegWit, which was carried four years ago in 2017.

Should the community reach a consensus, the Bitcoin protocol will be inscribed with Schnorr signatures, a new signature scheme that will lead to new opportunities for privacy, security, scaling, and multi-signature wallets at a time when Bitcoin’s Proof of Work concept has come under fire. 

How Does Speedy Trial Work and Is It Relevant? 

The Speedy Trial is the golden standard that the Bitcoin ecosystem uses to determine if the time for a new upgrade has come. Essentially, it’s a poll of opinions that elicits support or confirms opposition to upgrade. To go through, a protocol upgrade needs 90% of all votes.

This way of upgrading the blockchain requires a supermajority which is difficult enough to achieve. However, therein lies the strength of Bitcoin, as the protocol is not controlled by one central authority, but any change has to be endorsed by the community. 

Finding the right upgrade solution means finding the right code, but mustering support for that code could be even more daunting than developing an upgrade, argues Russel O’Connor and David Harding, who created the Speedy Trial. 

What’s Next for Taproot?

With Taproot now ready to fire up, the next five months will be a period during which consumers will upgrade their software to Bitcoin Core 0.21.1, and that will eventually lead to a Taproot soft fork. 

Once the necessary block height is reached, Taproot will launch in earnest in November. Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 will roll in automatically. Once Taproot arrives, this should improve courtesy of the Schnorr signatures which will in term boost transaction privacy and lead to more complex smart contracts. 

Performance and the overall user experience of the protocol should improve as well, and new scaling opportunities will be explored, all with one upgrade that got overwhelming support. At the time of writing, the approval for the upgrade stood at 97.82% of all Bitcoiners.