Taproot Upgrade For Bitcoin Network Is Activated! What’s Next?

The Bitcoin Network (BTC) successfully activated between blocks 709 488 and 709 632 a Taproot soft fork featuring the Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) concept to improve scripting capabilities and ensure network privacy.

For the first time, the Bitcoin network has received a major update since August 2017, when the leading L2 Bitcoin solution, the Lightning Network and Segregated Witness (SegWit), were launched.

The Taproot update is designed to improve network privacy through the Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) concept.

Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg noted in an interview with Cointelegraph that MAST will improve the efficiency and privacy of smart contracts, as well as the privacy of the Lightning Network if Lightning decides to use it. In general, the Taproot update will allow exploring off-chain abilities without unnecessarily burdening the nodes of the Bitcoin network.

Sjöberg said that just a few weeks before the launch of the update in Zurich at the LN Summit 2021, there was a meeting of the developers of the Lightning Network node, at which they discussed the possibilities and methods of updating the node.

Sjöberg explained that using Taproot for the Lightning Network under normal circumstances can make payment channels indistinguishable from regular transactions, which will positively impact the fungibility and censorship resistance of Bitcoin.

The successful activation of the Taproot update is due to a soft fork deployment method called the Speedy Trial, which requires 90% of miners to signal the rollout of the update.

As Sjöberg explained, the signalling method has been mandatory for units since 2016. This means that 1815 blocks should have signalled readiness for the update before it was launched. Sjöberg announced the achievement of a consensus of 90% back in June 2021.

The Taproot update is the last soft fork to use the Speedy Trial deployment method. For future updates to the Bitcoin network, new methods will need to be invented.

Sjöberg added that there are many opportunities with Taproot, but most of all he is eager to see “MuSig 2” transactions, and the goal of a future update is to introduce “cross-entry signature aggregation”.

After activating the Taproot update, Bitcoin continues to grow. At the time of writing, BTC is at $65,747, up 0.32% ($238) since opening on Nov 15, according to TradingView.

Notably, previously, soft forks always preceded bullish BTC price periods.

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