Bitcoin Taproot Upgrade: All you need to know

    Simar Marwaha
    Simar Marwaha
    Published on December 23, 2022 5:48 PM

    Updated on January 16, 2023 11:08 AM

    With Taproot, the Bitcoin network has been upgraded to allow for more secure and private transactions while also enhancing scalability. Let's review it in further depth.
    Bitcoin Taproot Upgrade: All you need to know
    Source: Pexels

    Taproot is a  Bitcoin update that gave users of the cryptocurrency a number of additional features and advantages. On November 12th, 2021, the Bitcoin community activated Taproot at block 709,632.

    Schnorr Signatures (BIP 340), Taproot (BIP 341), and Tapscript (BIP 342) are three Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) that outline three separate modifications to the Bitcoin protocol that make up the Taproot upgrade. These three updates are together referred to as the Taproot upgrade, or BIP Taproot. New, more effective, adaptable, and private methods of sending bitcoin were created by these BIPs. A brief explanation of each of the three components of the Taproot upgrade is provided below:

    Schnorr Signatures - BIP 340

    BIP 340 introduces Schnorr signatures for usage in Bitcoin as part of the Taproot update. Schnorr signatures offer better privacy, reduced costs, and more flexible multisig to Bitcoin users, among other advantages.

    Additionally, this BIP outlines the encoding rules for Schnorr public keys and signatures for usage with Bitcoin. Unlike ECDSA public keys, which are 33 bytes long, Schnorr public keys are 32 bytes long. Schnorr signatures are also 64 bytes long, however ECDSA signatures are between 71 and 72 bytes long and contain a sighash flag. By using Taproot, Bitcoin users may save on storage costs.

    Taproot - BIP 341

    BIP 341 specifies how the Bitcoin protocol incorporates Schnorr signatures, whereas BIP 340 specifies the format for creating and encoding Schnorr signatures and public keys. In particular, Bitcoin Script has to be upgraded to consider Schnorr signatures as well. Merkelized Alternative Script Trees (MAST), which let users lock outputs to different scripts, are also included into Taproot.

    Tapscript - BIP 342

    BIP 342 fixes and adds a number of opcodes to support P2TR transactions. These new scripts, generally known as Tapscript, are used to validate Taproot spends and Schnorr signatures.

    Tapscript was created to optimise P2TR expenditure flexibility in the future to accommodate enhancements that are not yet anticipated.

    Let us further look at the upgrade in detail.

    Also Read: What is Bitcoin Halving?

    Who is the inventor of Taproot Bitcoin?

    Since its deployment in 2017, Bitcoin Core developers have looked into methods to increase SegWit's functionality. Greg Maxwell, one of the top creators of the cryptocurrency, originally put up the Taproot idea in 2018.

    The three Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) that made up Taproot were written by Pieter Wuille. Developers Tim Ruffing, A.J. Townes, and Jonas Nick joined the project in 2020 and collaborated with Maxwell and Wuille on putting the update into practise.

    Unlike Bitcoin Cash, which split into two distinct parallel blockchains and coins, Taproot is a soft fork of Bitcoin and is compatible with earlier versions of the programme.

    SegWit gained notoriety in 2017 for the significant implications it had on the cryptocurrency, which caused the network to split and gave rise to Bitcoin Cash. That improvement increased Bitcoin block size without sacrificing important characteristics like decentralisation.

    The opposing position called for larger blocks without using SegWit. The Bitcoin blockchain had to be hard forked in order to produce Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) since the consensus on the same protocol was no longer in place.

    The Taproot update is not a hard fork and is not as contentious as SegWit. It received a lot of support from miners immediately quickly, in part because it made major, progressive code enhancements.

    While many Bitcoin miners have already upgraded to the most recent version of the software, other participants including exchanges, retailers, and normal node operators will progressively upgrade based on their priorities.

    Despite widespread support, Taproot usage is predicted to increase steadily over time, much as the SegWit update. Over time, DeFi will likely notice the influence that smart contracts have, but it is anticipated to be substantial.

    Also read: How Bitcoin and Inflation are related?

    What Does Taproot Mean for the Bitcoin?

    Transaction processing is streamlined by the Taproot update, making it quicker and simpler to complete transactions on the Bitcoin network. Because the size of transactions rises, it also increases the number of transactions that can be handled and lowers the total cost of transactions on the network.

    One can contend that the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 technology, already exists and serves the same purpose. Once a channel is closed, however, transactions that take place on Layer 2 channels still need to be validated on the Bitcoin network.

    When such groups of unconfirmed transactions are sent out for confirmation, the Bitcoin network may get clogged. The Taproot update might increase the network's processing speed for certain transactions.

    The Taproot improvement is also beneficial for privacy since it disguises multi-signature transactions as single-signature transactions, which makes it more challenging to determine who participated in a transaction on the public blockchain of Bitcoin.

    Finally, the introduction of Taproot is a success for smart contracts on the blockchain of Bitcoin. It may pave the way for further ground-breaking financial applications on the Bitcoin network. Some claim that the Taproot update also signals that Bitcoin may participate in decentralised finance (DeFi).

    Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency's blockchain has always been able to execute smart contracts, its full potential has never been realised because of issues with transaction scalability. That difficulty is resolved by the Taproot implementation.

    The likelihood that Bitcoin will become a useful medium for transactions rises as it expands and improves its transaction processing efficiency. Historically, the utility of bitcoin has been correlated with its value as a store of money. As a result, it is possible that the value of bitcoin may rise as more beneficial transactions are made on its network.

    Bitcoin miners will get less money from incentives once the presumable 21 million-unit cap is reached. At that point, the majority of their income will come from transaction fees. By reducing transaction sizes and speeding up their processing on the Bitcoin network, the most recent update moves that reality closer.

    Bitcoin FAQs

    Which crypto will benefit from Taproot?

    The Taproot improvement makes it simpler and quicker to validate transactions on the Bitcoin network by batching together numerous signatures and transactions. Additionally, it jumbles transactions with one or more signatures together and makes it more challenging to distinguish between transaction inputs on the blockchain of Bitcoin.

    Who created Bitcoin Taproot?

    The three BIPs that would make up the framework of Taproot were developed by a separate Bitcoin Core engineer by the name of Pieter Wuille. Three developers by the names of Tim Ruffing, A.J.

    How does Bitcoin make money?

    By successfully verifying blocks and receiving rewards, the Bitcoin network of miners generates revenue. Through cryptocurrency exchanges, bitcoins may be converted into fiat money and used to make purchases from businesses that accept them.

    Is Bitcoin a good investment?

    The most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, bitcoin, is a volatile and dangerous investment. It should only be taken into consideration if you have a high level of risk tolerance, sound financial standing, and the ability to absorb any potential losses.

    Does bitcoin pay real money?

    To turn bitcoin into cash and then transfer it to a bank account, there are two basic options. The first option is to employ an outside exchange broker. Your bitcoins will be converted into cash at a predetermined rate by these third parties (which also include bitcoin ATMs and debit cards). It is both easy and safe.

    Should a beginner invest in Bitcoin?

    Since cryptocurrency is a very speculative market segment, many astute investors have chosen to divert their funds in other directions. However, the greatest recommendation for newcomers who want to start trading cryptocurrency is to start small and only use money that you can afford to lose.