Bitcoin’s upcoming Taproot upgrade and why it matters for the network

While a vast majority of crypto enthusiasts around the globe seem to be gushing about Ether (ETH) at the moment and how its upcoming London hard fork stands to push the premier altcoin’s value even higher, reports have recently surfaced that suggest Bitcoin’s much-awaited Taproot upgrade will go live also sometime by the end of this year.

In this regard, many Bitcoin (BTC) mining pools seem to already be signaling their support for the activation and as per data available on Taproot.watch, a website designed by core Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, Taproot signaling currently accounts for about 56% of BTC’s total hashing power.

It should be mentioned that two of the largest Bitcoin mining pools by hash rate — AntPool and F2Pool — have been major proponents for this upgrade from the very beginning. Even other relatively large mining operators, such as Foundry USA and Slush Pool, have also expressed their support for the activation.

What exactly is Taproot?

In its most basic sense, Taproot can be thought of as the latest step in Bitcoin’s evolutionary path because the upgrade seeks not only to enhance the overall usability of the network by making transactions cheaper, faster and easier to deploy but also eventually allow for the deployment of smart contracts.

Furthermore, Taproot also proposes significant privacy promises — i.e., it seeks to make all transactions look the same to everyone except the transacting parties. This potential camouflage-based framework seems as though it has been inspired by security-centric crypto offerings available in the market today, thus potentially moving Bitcoin closer to some privacy-focused coins, at least from a design standpoint.

On the subject, Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner at crypto lending platform Nexo, told Cointelegraph that the proposed Taproot update is proof of Bitcoin’s decentralized nature and that the network is always looking to improve and grow. He also believes that the upgrade…

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