Bitcoin Node Taproot Adoption Lags at 27%

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  • Adoption of Taproot by Bitcoin node operators stands at 27%
  • Taproot was integrated over three weeks ago but Bitcoin node operators have failed to update their clients
  • Segwit adoption was equally slow

The adoption rate of Taproot among Bitcoin node operators stands at a measly 27% almost a month after the protocol was released. The laissez-faire approach should not be a surprise given how slowly other protocol changes have been adopted, but it has resulted in requests from some in the Bitcoin community for node operators to upgrade their clients and help embed the new protocol.

Bitcoin Node Operators Taking Their Time in Upgrading

Taproot is an upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol that allows for increased transactional privacy and flexibility, and was unanimously voted in earlier this year, more than three years after its initial proposal. Taproot support was locked in on June 12, but it seems that Bitcoin node operators aren’t as bothered as developers, with over two thirds yet to update their software to include the Taproot update.

Unlike Bitcoin miners, node operators are regular people who have downloaded the Bitcoin blockchain and run it in the background helping to confirm transactions. Estimates on the number of Bitcoin nodes varies depending on your metrics, but there are known to be some 11,000 “listening” nodes and around 100,000 full nodes. However, part of running a Bitcoin node means keeping it updated to avoid any potential security issues, but this, it seems, is what the majority are not doing.

Segwit Experience Highlights Nature of Soft Forks

Bitcoin Taproot is a soft fork, meaning that upgrading is optional, hence the low uptake. Nevertheless, messages have appeared on Bitcoin forums urging Bitcoin node operators to do their “duty” and upgrade their software.

If history is any guide then uptake could take some time. Segwit was introduced in August 2017 but didn’t breach 50% until earlier this year, illustrating just how long it takes Bitcoin node operators to upgrade their software en masse.