- Bitcoin’s next major upgrade “Taproot” is scheduled to be activated between March 17 and March 31, 2021.
- The BTC community still fails to reach consensus on the “LOT” setting.
After SegWit, the Taproot is among the most important upgrades for Bitcoin in the younger history. The update is expected to improve the scalability, privacy and fungibility of the cryptocurrency. As reported by CNF, Taproot is combining the Schnorr signature scheme with a Merkelized Alternative Script Tree with a scripting language known as Tapscript. This will allow transactions to “expand the flexibility of smart contracts for Bitcoin.”
According to a public IRC chat discussion, the code for the fully prepared Taproot upgrade will be made available sometime between March 17 and March 31. Furthermore, the upgrade will be implemented via a soft fork and, according to bitcoin.it, has a timeline that will start between March 17 and 31, 2021 with the release of software for the nodes that will include Taproot’s activation deployment. After that, exchanges and other members are expected to upgrade their nodes by July of this year.
Once this is completed, miners will start “signaling” that Taproot is implemented. In this way, the minority who have not upgraded their nodes will be able to do so before Taproot enters the mainnet. This will happen when 90% of the computational power of the network has implemented it.
In August 2022 Taproot will reach its timeout height when the blockchain reaches block 745,920. At that time, the entire Bitcoin economy should operate with the upgrade.
The community does not reach consensus on LOT
However, the central discussion about Taproot seems to be centered on whether it should include the feature that allows miners to reject transactions without the update. Known as LOT=true and LOT=false, this function (
lockinontime) was crucial for the activation of SegWit in 2017.
The subject of the controversy stems from a part of the community that believes that enabling LOT=true effectively forces all users to accept Taproot. Based on a survey, it has been determined that Taproot has strong support. As such, this part of the community considers that it is unnecessary for this feature to be enabled.
Another part of the community wants to avoid complications, such as a chain split, or they want to prevent a minority portion of miners from using the signaling time to gain “political advantage,” as a developer under the pseudonym devrandom said at the most recent Taproot meeting. The developer in favor of activating LOT=true, Luke Dashjr, said:
(…) the core of the disagreement is on whether miners receive an ultimatum or not. the sentiment among some people is that the ultimatum should be avoided if it could. if things shake out according to the happy path, 95% signal within a couple of months and none of this matters. if not, then at least we learned (another) lesson about the dynamics of pursuing soft forks – even.
Some users proposed conducting a new survey to determine with greater accuracy exactly what the sentiment is in the community. However, the developers were unable to reach a consensus. With a timeline starting soon, the community has little a short window to reach a consensus. Start9 Labs co-founder Keagan McClelland (proofofkeags) commented:
will say, though, that I think this discussion would have benefitted from having a more clear view of the community overwhelmingly supporting this. Off topic for this meeting, but anyone interested in how to get better data around this, I’d be interested to work with.