Taproot was merged into Bitcoin Core in October 2020, leaving only the activation method for this highly-anticipated protocol upgrade focused on adding smart contract flexibility and more transactional privacy to Bitcoin.
Last week, the Bitcoin development community gathered via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to discuss the parameters of the Taproot activation and two code pull requests (PRs) of the BIP 8 signaling mechanism.
“In an effort to get this closer to the finish line we are organizing a meeting on IRC on the ##taproot-activation channel on Tuesday 2nd February at 19:00 UTC,” Bitcoin development organizer Michael Folkson announced via the bitcoin-dev mailing list. “The primary objective will be to finalize the revised BIP 8 activation method…”
Ultimately, that meeting provided more insight into how Bitcoin’s most significant protocol change since SegWit might move forward.
Editor’s note: The statements reproduced from IRC below have been edited slightly for clarity but are otherwise presented as they were written.
Giving Shape To The Proposal
Bitcoin developer Anthony Towns has compiled the proposals and possible scenarios for the activation of Taproot. In the February 2 meeting, the ones that seem to have the most support are “BIP 8 (false, 1y)” and “BIP 8 (true, 1y).” However, no vote was taken, there was just discussion of each alternative activation method.
But what does this mean? BIP 8 is a mechanism that allows for upgrading the consensus in the Bitcoin network through a soft fork, and, specifically a miner-activated soft fork or MASF with the option to add a user activated soft fork (UASF) after some time. In the last consensus update (SegWit), a user-activated soft fork (UASF) was used in addition to BIP 9’s MASF. However, Taproot seems to be non-controversial for miners, so it seems less likely that a UASF would be necessary this time.
Coming back to the proposal, the parameters…