Taproot, Bitcoin's (BTC) Long-Awaited Upgrade Is Now Active

On NOV. 14, 2021, at 5:15 UTC, the long-awaited BTC upgrade was activated on block 709,632. The new upgrade, whose journey started in 2018, will allow developers to integrate new features on the network. According to multiple sources, the new Smart Contracts functionality will improve the privacy and efficiency of BTC.

BTC Taproot Upgrade Activates

The first BTC upgrade in four years is now active. Since the taproot upgrade is now functional, the network will now support Smart Contracts. This upgrade which Greg Maxwell proposed in 2018, will change the premiere blockchain network for good.

In June, BTC developer Greg Maxwell said that the voting process for the Taproot upgrade was over with the support of 90% of all miners. Since then, they were given till mid-November to upgrade their nodes to support the new software. For the upgrade to go live, more than 50% of the miners had to install and use this upgrade. Today, the software became active after hitting this number.

However, only slightly more than half of all BTC nodes are signaling support for the new software. The rest are still running on the previous software, but the whole network is active and operational.

What Is The Taproot Upgrade?

Taproot is a primary upgrade on the BTC network whose design is to change the overall functionality of this network. Maxwell proposed this upgrade to improve some BTC network issues like privacy, security, and scalability. He saw that this network needs to support Smart Contracts for it to be open to easier development.

BTC uses the cryptographic scheme ECDSA, allowing investors to sign their transactions using their private keys. But after this upgrade, it will now use Schnorr Signatures which will add new capabilities to the network. The Schnorr signatures will boost the privacy, scalability, and privacy of the network.

The new signature method is smaller than the previous ECDSA one, making BTC ‘lighter’ thus more efficient.

How the Taproot Upgrade Impacts BTC 

BTC will now have Smart Contracts functionality that may draw more investors to the flagship crypto. Even though most of its miners are now using the new software, the others who are yet to install it won’t get mining rewards till they install it. 

Taproot has numerous positive effects on the BTC network and other projects in the crypto space. Its new ideas will shape the whole crypto world once more. For example, its new transaction makes Lightning Network transactions look like any other system. Such an improvement is envious of other developers.

Another main issue that taproot seeks to improve is BTC’s scalability. The new Schnorr signatures system will allow multi signatures to reduce the block size. As a result, the blockchain will require less storage space, and the nodes will work much faster. These technology ideas within the taproot will challenge the whole crypto space, and other crypto projects may start using them.

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