Bitcoin network Taproot soft fork upgrade is now activated
The taproot soft fork upgrade was introduced to the Bitcoin network. This upgrade introduces the merkelized abstract syntax tree (MAST) concept to improve certain issues regarding Bitcoin network such as scripting capabilities and its privacy.
After a 90 percent lock-in consensus among miners and mining pools between blocks 709,488 and 709,632, the Bitcoin network Taproot soft fork is now up and running. After Bitcoin’s leading layer-two solution, the Lightning Network and Segregated Witness (SegWit) back in 2017, this is another huge upgrade for the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin network activated the taproot soft fork upgrade to enhance its network’s scripting capabilities and privacy. Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) concept which was introduced in this upgrade will take care of these issues.
A well-known Bitcoin developer, Hampus Sjöberg in his website which is dedicated to Taproot said:
“[MAST] can help make smart contracts more efficient and private by only revealing the relevant parts of the contract when spending.”
He also said that this update suggests that the Bitcoin network has the capability of future upgrades which is vital to the Network's longevity. Bitcoin Lightning wallet Blixt Wallet developer, Sjöberg, adds that the Taproot upgrade removes the burden from the Bitcoin network nodes by enabling the exploration of off-chain capabilities.
Source: Hampus Sjöberg Twitter
Moreover “If the Lightning implementations choose to adopt Taproot,” MAST can improve the privacy of the older Lightning Network according to Sjöberg.
At the LN Summit 2021 in Zurich, Switzerland, the developers of the different Lightning Network node implementations gathered just some weeks ago to review prospective upgrade paths:
“One of the things that were discussed in the meeting was whether it’s best to upgrade Lightning in small iterations or do it as one big package.”
He also noted that Taproot for the Lightning Network would be used to create payment channels that are different from typical transactions:
“It’s not possible to tell if a Taproot transaction is just a normal payment or if it belongs to a Lightning channel. This is important for the fungibility and thus the censorship resistance of Bitcoin.”
Using the Speedy Trial soft fork deployment mechanism, 90% of the miners had to approve the update before it could be activated on Taproot. “The signaling method works in periods of 2016 blocks, meaning that within a 2016 block period, 90%, or 1815 of the 2016 blocks have to signal for readiness,” Sjöberg explains. Once the upgrade was activated, Speedy Trial deployments are done. Sjöberg offered the following advice to other Bitcoin developers:
“While we should not take anything for granted in Bitcoin, I personally would like to eventually see ‘Cross-Input Signature Aggregation’ as a future soft fork for Bitcoin.”
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