Earlier today, Schnorr and Taproot proposals were implemented to Bitcoin Core.
The Bitcoin network rarely undergoes such big changes, but after a decade still, as the network continues to grow and mature, it innovates along the way.
The much-awaited updates to Bitcoin, when finally activated, will increase the leading cryptocurrency’s privacy features and enhance its transactional capabilities.
Last month, Bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille made a pull request, meaning other developers were invited to review the code before its release. Taproot proposal alone had more than 150 developers review the code.
After a month of testing, the proposals finally made it to bitcoin, as per commit history on Github.
The activation mechanism for these proposals haven’t been decided yet; once chosen, it may still take time, even a year, before it is activated.
Formally, these two updates are Bitcoin improvement proposals (BIP) 340 and 341, which represent perhaps the biggest changes to the network since Segregated Witness (SegWit) was implemented to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit in 2017.
Schnorr targets the size by combining multiple keys to a single one when facilitating transactions from a wallet while providing the added benefit of privacy.
Taproot allows Schnorr signatures to be used to allow new ways for users to define conditions to spend Bitcoin. This upgrade is designed to add smart contract flexibility to Bitcoin.
The Taproot implementation was also part of the Bitcoin 0.21.0 release, which also included support for Tor's anonymous communication software.