On October 11, 2021, Bitcoin continued to rise. As of the early morning of October 12, it reached a price level of $57,824.6, which has basically recovered the decline since May. The crypto market has recently recovered, and discussions on the “two-headed bull” have become more enthusiastic in the market. Many people in the industry have placed higher expectations on Bitcoin.
In this context, we are concerned that an important technological upgrade of the Bitcoin network-the Taproot upgrade-will be launched next month. This will be a milestone event worth paying attention to in the development of Bitcoin.
On June 12, 2021, according to Taproot.watch data, the Bitcoin Taproot upgrade has been locked and will be activated in November this year. The Taproot.watch website even produced and released a video to celebrate. This means that when the Bitcoin network reaches the specified block height (709,632) in November, Taproot will be activated, and Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) related to Taproot and included in Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 will be automatically launched.
Since the Taproot upgrade will be the biggest technological expansion after Bitcoin Segregated Witness in 2017, it has received great attention from the industry, especially in the eyes of Bitcoin enthusiasts, the upgrade has extraordinary significance. The Taprrot upgrade is expected to improve the scalability, privacy, and flexibility of the Bitcoin network, improve performance and user experience, and minimize the impact on the chain.
So, why does Bitcoin need to be upgraded? What exactly is an upgrade of Taproot? What potential impact will it have on the Bitcoin network? Can it help prices soar?
Why does Bitcoin need to be upgraded?
As we all know, Bitcoin has almost no other functions except storage and transaction since its birth. Its value is more reflected in the storage method and the characteristics of “digital gold”. As an infrastructure for value transfer, the Bitcoin network has always had problems with scalability and transaction efficiency. The upper limit of the Bitcoin block size is 1MB, which results in only about 7 transactions per second in the Bitcoin network. Therefore, Bitcoin network transaction confirmation speed is very slow, and the network congestion problem has always plagued many Bitcoin users.
In recent years, the Bitcoin community has also been studying and trying expansion plans. In August 2017, the Bitcoin community tried to improve the scalability of Bitcoin by activating the Segregated Witness (SegWit) upgrade. Segregated Witness improves the scalability problem by removing the digital signature information of each transaction from the block and storing it outside the basic transaction block, thereby reducing the size of the block.
However, this is still far from enough for Bitcoin’s network scalability improvement. The Bitcoin community is constantly looking for other solutions, including the later Bitcoin Layer 2 expansion plan-Lightning Network, although it has improved Bitcoin to a large extent. The transaction clogging problem of Bitcoin, but the performance of Bitcoin network compared with mainstream blockchain network, there is still a big gap and space. This also makes it difficult for Bitcoin to become a digital asset with a high transaction volume.
In addition, more importantly, the privacy and security issues of the Bitcoin network also need to be resolved urgently. On the one hand, Bitcoin’s technical program script settings will disclose the content of the contract terms and expose the information of the participants; on the other hand, in Bitcoin’s current ECDSA signature, the identity information can be obtained for free from the signature of the multi-signature transaction. The information of the participants can also be traced through technical means. With the popularity of the Bitcoin network and the increasing number of participants, these problems have become more prominent.
In order to improve the privacy and transaction scalability of Bitcoin, in January 2018, Bitcoin core contributor Gregory Maxwell proposed the concept of Taproot for the first time after studying MAST technology. Later, together with many core developers including Pieter Wuille, Anthony Towns, Johnson Lau, and Jonas Nick, he studied a scheme called Schnorr signature and incorporated it into Taproot, which he planned to show in the agreement update.
On May 6, 2019, Bitcoin protocol developer Pieter Wuille released a soft fork proposal called “Taproot” to the Bitcoin developer mailing list. In January 2020, the Taproot/Schnorr soft fork upgrade proposal has been officially released as Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs), and the related proposal number is BIP340-342. As of June this year, it has received support from the Bitcoin community and miners, and will be officially activated soon.
What is the Taproot upgrade?
And Ethernet Square network (EIPs), as will be updated credits bits (soft bifurcated network) every period of time, introduce some major improvements and new features for the information bits in the form of credits improvement proposal (BIPS) by the bit credits.
In general, Taproot is a protocol upgrade designed to improve the security, privacy and flexibility of the Bitcoin network. This upgrade mainly includes three upgrade packages (BIPs), namely Schnorr signature (BIP 340), Taproot (BIP) 341) and Tapscript (BIP 342). The specific content of these upgrades will be introduced separately below.
1. Schnorr signature
Schnorr signature was first proposed by German mathematician and cryptographer Claus P. Schnorr in 2008. Later, cryptographers Gregory Maxwell and Pieter Wuille of Blockstream, a blockchain company, proposed a name in 2018. It is MuSig’s Schnorr signature scheme. This algorithm signature will be used as an alternative to the elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) used by Bitcoin.
Schnorr’s operating principle is similar to elliptic curve digital signature, but it has more advantages than ECDSA. The most notable one is that signature aggregation is allowed, that is, multiple parties participating in a transaction can be “aggregated” into a single Schnorr signature. This not only reduces the footprint of signatures, but also makes multi-signature transactions indistinguishable from any other transactions on the network, thereby reducing information exposure and improving privacy and security.
In the ECDSA signature, the identity information of the participants can be tracked from the signature of the multi-signature transaction; in the Schnorr signature, the original single signature information cannot be viewed from the generated single signature.
In addition, at the same time, the Schnorr signature algorithm and the original ECDSA signature use the same elliptic curve secp256k1 and hash function SHA256, which ensures that it can be compatible with Bitcoin’s current public and private key generation mechanism with minimal changes.
Taproot can be regarded as an application of MAST (Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree). Taproot operates on a premise similar to MAST and divides transaction spending conditions into Merkel tree hashes. But compared with the original Bitcoin script logic, the Taproot structure only displays an adjusted public key generated from the combination of the Merkel root of the spending condition and the original public key.
Graphical illustration of Taproot spending conditions
After the Taproot structure and Schnorr signature technology are combined, it is possible to hide part of the scripts in the Bitcoin transaction without exposing too much transaction details. Only in the case of “non-cooperative spending” (Script1 and Script2), it is necessary to disclose the MAST Exist, and only the part of the script that is executed needs to be disclosed. Through this solution, not only can the volume of Bitcoin transactions be reduced, but also all intermediate data can be hidden to protect the privacy of users.
3 、 Tapscript
BIP 342 is a supplemental upgrade of Schnorr and Taproot. It adds and updates some opcodes, which are part of the machine language instructions that specify the operations to be performed. BIP 342 supplements the improvements to the Bitcoin script structure proposed in BIP 341 (Taproot), allows batch verification of Schnorr signatures, and adds new opcodes to enhance Bitcoin’s smart contract functions.
Impact of Taproot upgrade
To say that the Taproot upgrade will have an important impact on Bitcoin, it is mainly reflected in the two points of privacy and scalability.
According to our previous introduction, in summary, the main technical concepts of Taproot upgrade are Schnorr signature and MAST. These two major upgrades can directly improve the security, privacy and scalability of the current Bitcoin network.
First, let’s look at Schnorr signatures. We mentioned earlier that aggregated signatures can make multi-signature transactions appear as normal single-signature transactions on the chain. This makes multi-signature transactions difficult to distinguish and individual transactions are difficult to track. This can be improved The privacy of multi-sign users. According to the data chart of p2sh.info, the utilization rate of multi-signature is currently in a state of rapid growth. For institutions and ordinary users with multi-signature requirements, the Taproot upgrade will bring a great optimization of the user experience.
Bitcoin stored by P2SH address type
In addition, Schnorr signature reduces the original signature bytes (Schnorr signature is 64 bytes, while ECDSA signature is 71-73 bytes), thereby saving the transaction space. The Blockstream team once mentioned in the paper “Simple Schnorr Multi-Signatures with Applications to Bitcoin” published in 2018 that the use of MuSig can save a huge amount of space in the Bitcoin network, which can lead to an increase in potential Bitcoin network capacity. (This only includes the savings of using multi-signatures, and does not include the savings that may be brought about by key aggregation.)
The size of the Bitcoin blockchain with and without multi-signature
From：Simple Schnorr Multi-Signatures with Applications to Bitcoin
In addition to space savings, Schnorr signatures can also be verified in batches. Compared with verifying ECDSA one by one, the verification time is greatly saved, which can improve transaction processing efficiency, which may mean that the entire Bitcoin network transaction can become faster in the future ,cheaper.
Let’s talk about MAST. MAST was introduced into the Bitcoin blockchain protocol. Taproot changed the structure of its spending conditions and reduced the lengthy scripts attached to the original transaction to reduce the data footprint of each Bitcoin transaction. Through the combination with Schnorr signature technology, it can further save transaction space, and at the same time, it can also reduce the security and privacy threats of most transactions on the current Bitcoin network to a certain extent. Finally, can these potential impacts on the network level be reflected in market performance, and can it help Bitcoin prices to create a new history? It is also looking forward to.
In summary, although the Bitcoin upgrade looks a bit dwarfed by the huge momentum of Ethereum’s previous upgrades, it is undeniable that the arrival and impact of the Taproot upgrade deserves the attention of the Bitcoin community and Bitcoin enthusiasts. For a long time, the issue of blockchain expansion has attracted much attention. As far as Bitcoin and Ethereum are concerned, this issue has not yet been substantially resolved. Although the development of the Bitcoin Lightning Network has made progress, it has achieved little overall results compared with Ethereum Layer 2. At present, Ethereum is also on the road of eth 2.0 transformation. This Taproo Bitcoin upgrade is a timely rain for Bitcoin, and it is expected Enhance its privacy attributes and payment attributes, and stabilize and enhance the competitiveness of Bitcoin among many digital assets.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/bitcoin-will-usher-in-what-changes-will-the-taproot-upgrade-bring/
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