Top Bitcoin Mining Pools Are Signaling for Taproot Activation

By Jose Oramas

9 out of 10 of all Bitcoin (BTC) mining pools have been signaling for taproot activation, an upgrade that could highly improve network scalability and privacy. However, its activation seems unlikely during the Difficulty Epoch for Bitcoin.

The latest mining pool to signal Taproot activation is BTC. Top, which did so on block height 683,945. Other top mining pools like F2pool and Antpool have previously shown support for the soft fork upgrade, which would give more flexibility to Bitcoin’s smart contract.

🚨 NEW POOL 🚨

Taproot signal by https://t.co/fnM6S6ouD8 in block 683945

— Taproot Signal (@taproot_signal) May 17, 2021

A 90% Consensus For the Upgrade

95% of mining pools were briefly signaling Taproot activation, with the percentage now standing around at 70%. However, data from Taproot.watch shows the update seems unlikely with 200 non-signaling blocks at press time, constituting 10% of non-signaling blocks.

The current signaling ratio is approximately 64.53%, but the Taproot update can only occur if 90% out of 2,016 mined blocks signal for Taproot in a two-week period. If successful, the update will be made available by November.

Taproot signal: 355/550 blocks (64.55%)
Difficulty period: 550/2016 blocks (27.28%)
Estimated signal: 1301 blocks
Activation threshold: 1815 blocks pic.twitter.com/0rCPaY057k

— Taproot Signal (@taproot_signal) May 17, 2021

What is Taproot?

Taproot is a network upgrade for Bitcoin that could boost transaction speed, scalability, increased privacy, and lower fees, among other things. Taproot is BTC’s long-awaited update in four years since the block size increased in 2017.

While miners are showing support for the network upgrade, the community will ultimately decide the future of BTC. If successful, it would be a notable step forward for the protocol since privacy, security, and scalability have always been primary concerns for crypto users.

The Taproot upgrade integrates Schnorr Signatures, a well-known program for its simplicity, efficiency, and security. In essence, Schnorr is an alternative signature algorithm to the ECDSA currently implemented on the Bitcoin network. It would create a sort of master key to summarize a set of signatures into a single one —making multi-signature multi-input transactions (UTXI) faster and cheaper.