Understand the Bitcoin Taproot upgrade in one article

Taproot upgrade content

Taproot is the first change to the Bitcoin protocol since the Segwit upgrade in 2017 . The upgrade includes three independent Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP): BIP340, BIP341, and BIP342.

BIP340: Replace Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) with Schnorr signature

BIP341:Merkelized Alternative Script Trees (MAST)

BIP342: Reform of Bitcoin’s scripting language through “Tapscript”


In general, Taproot uses the features unlocked by Schnorr to make new and complex transaction types possible on the chain.

The upgrade is gradually advancing Taproot is a foregone conclusion

As early as the beginning of the 18th, after Gregory Maxwell proposed the Taproot plan, the domestic Bitcoin community made an early report on the plan. At that time, the community’s focus was: “After the Taproot upgrade is implemented, the Lightning Network will become more private, which makes LN transactions are indistinguishable from all Bitcoin transactions, so people will not be able to distinguish between Bitcoin on-chain transactions and Lightning Network off-chain transactions.”

In 2019, in addition to improving the privacy of Bitcoin, the Taproot solution was given a new mission by the community-to extend the flexibility of Bitcoin smart contracts. As a result, the Taproot upgrade and Schnorr signature have been promoted as “an important technology for Bitcoin in the next phase.”

The construction method of Schnorr signature is not mentioned here, we only introduce its important properties: signature/key aggregation-signatures of multiple private keys can be aggregated into one signature, which looks like it was signed out by a private key. When signing, it is still signed by each private key holder; when verifying, it seems that these signatures are a private key corresponding to a known public key (of course, the public key formed by the aggregation of the public keys of these participants). The key is checked out.

In other words, with Schnorr signatures, others cannot tell whether a signature was signed out by a single person or signed out by multiple persons; the unlocking condition of multiple signatures can be replaced by an aggregate public key. All nn’s multi-signature contracts can enjoy the privacy protection provided by Schnorr signatures. The most obvious application is the Lightning Network channel, because the Lightning Network channel is a 2-2 multi-signature contract; after that, others cannot distinguish between the payment channel and individual users by the number of signatures.

In short, Taproot has made Bitcoin more private, enhanced scalability and security.

In January 2020, Pieter Wuille, one of the maintainers of the Bitcoin Core codebase, officially released BIP 340, BIP 341, and BIP 342 that include Taproot/Schnorr soft fork upgrades. As a result, these two upgrade proposals have gradually entered Bitcoin users Our vision.

In June of this year, the entire Bitcoin network supported Taproot upgrade computing power to exceed 90%, meeting the minimum requirement for lock-in upgrades. This also means that Taproot will reach 709,632 in the Bitcoin block height (expected to be on November 16th, Beijing time). Before and after Japan), I will meet you officially.

The significance of Taproot upgrade

Bitcoin is fundamentally an economic innovation, not a technological innovation. The value of Bitcoin lies in its rigidity. It is Mount Tarzan standing still in a vibrant and turbulent world. It is by design rigidity-the most obvious and striking feature of this state is a fixed supply of 21 million. This extreme stability is also reflected in other places, such as the veto power between participants, the resolute separation between full nodes and miners, and a pre-programmed inflation schedule (“halving”).

Having said that, rigidity also faces challenges. It may be the most durable property, but with extreme stability comes a paradox: the capital that comes for stability may eventually seek change. Each subsequent wave of mainstream adopters has integrated Bitcoin more deeply into the world, a world that is always changing, and a world that has begun to require similar evolvability in the Bitcoin protocol.

With the gradual improvement of the Ethereum ecosystem and the emergence of more public chains that fit the application of the blockchain industry, Bitcoin is becoming more and more symbolic in the cryptocurrency world, and the argument that Bitcoin will be replaced has never stopped. Emerging things and hotspots sought after by the market were not born in the soil on the public chain of Bitcoin. Even Bitcoin can deploy smart contracts, but developers and the market have already voted with their feet. This kind of closure makes it difficult to be optimistic about the development of Bitcoin, and it is even possible that its leadership will be replaced in the long run.

In this case, with the support of Schnorr and Taproot, complex transactions on Bitcoin not only have high execution efficiency, but also do not require additional Bitcoin blockchain space. Schnorr uses aggregated public keys and aggregated signatures, which only need to be verified once; Taproot supports a large script tree, but it takes up very little space.

It is not difficult to find that although Bitcoin has supported multi-signatures before, the Bitcoin upgrade package including Schnorr and Taproot will undoubtedly open the big screen of multi-signatures, and the multi-signature brings not only a safer and more secure The privacy and more scalable Bitcoin blockchain is also an infrastructure that supports smart contracts, the Liquid network, the Lightning network, and more Bitcoin applications in the future.

These changes will make the market pay more attention to Bitcoin’s own transformation and build a Bitcoin ecosystem.


Taproot may be the most important upgrade in the history of Bitcoin, and it will create the purest cryptocurrency in history-a currency that utilizes cryptography to its extreme, lightest weight and most tenacious vitality. This is a one-time upgrade and an opportunity to redefine what it means to contribute to Bitcoin. Whether it is a miner, a developer or a full node, it proves that Bitcoin’s vitality will continue to flourish.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/understand-the-bitcoin-taproot-upgrade-in-one-article/
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