- Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade is set for a vote thanks to the integration of Speedy Trial
- Taproot will increase privacy of Bitcoin transactions and is the biggest network upgrade since Segwit
- Speedy Trial is a way for miners to vote for the upgrade
Bitcoin’s integration of Taproot has taken a major step forward after the voting mechanism was embedded into the Bitcoin Core client. The upgrade, which has been over three years in the making, represents one of the biggest changes to Bitcoin’s functionality in years and promises to improve privacy and scalability. ‘Speedy Trial’ is the method by which the Bitcoin mining community will signal if they are ready for the upgrade or not, with the large mining pools already signaling their intention to support Taproot integration.
Taproot Aims to Increase Privacy
Taproot Proposed in 2018
Taproot was first proposed by Bitcoin developer Greg Maxwell in January 2018 and was introduced as part of Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) 340, 341, 342 in January 2020. Its goal is to change the way Bitcoin’s scripts operate to improve privacy, scalability, and security by introducing Schnorr signatures.
These are a cryptographic technique for signing transactions which will make all Bitcoin transactions, be they simple payments between two parties, opening or closing a Lightning Network channel, or a more complex smart contract, look the same to outside observers.
Big Mining Pools Support Upgrade
Most developers and miners are behind Taproot, although with so many disparate elements involved, a way of gaining consensus can be difficult. Enter Speedy Trial, which is a way of miners signaling their intent to go forward with Taproot. It works by introducing a three-month activation window, during which time the network will require a certain threshold of miners to signal for the upgrade. If the threshold is reached then Taproot is ‘locked in’ and it activates three months later.
Bitcoin users will notice no difference after the upgrade, although it does present the opportunity for other protocols to be built on top of it, something that Bitcoin hasn’t traditionally been used for.