The road to the Taproot upgrade, which will finally arrive in 2021, is already underway. The large Bitcoin mining pools (BTC) are already predicting support.
According to Taproot.watch, a website created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, Taproot signaling now accounts for about 44% of Bitcoin’s total hash power at the time of this writing.
AntPool and F2Pool, the two largest Bitcoin mining pools by hash rate, were among the early advocates of taproot activation in mining.. Other supporting pools are Foundry USA and Slush Pool, the latter being responsible for breaking down the first signal block.
According to the Bitcoin consensus, Taproot activation will only proceed if 90% of all blocks mined contain an activation signal within a difficulty setting window (2016 blocks).
This consensus agreement has to be made during one of the tough times between now and August 11th for it to be blocked as a network update for November. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the current difficult period began on May 1st after a downward revision of 12%.
At the time of going to press, only 97 marker blocks were displayed in the current window. In the meantime, the miners responsible for 382 blocks have decided not to include a “signal bit”.
The “no votes” of these miners, who represent 19% of the 2016 blocks in the current difficulty window, mean that taproot activation cannot be blocked until at least the next difficulty level.
With miners’ informed support for Taproot, the activation, touted as the most significant for Bitcoin for more than four years, is expected to continue without as much controversy as the 2016 and 2017 Separate Witnesses saga.
With Taproot as an update to the Bitcoin protocol, users can mask additional spending terms, which can have a significant impact on Bitcoin’s smart contract functions.
The ability to hide additional spending terms beyond those triggered by the transaction partners could also improve Bitcoin’s privacy.