Updates Taproot Y Schnorr have been implemented in Bitcoin Core.
Merged PR from Pieter Wuille: Implement BIP 340-342 validation (Schnorr / taproot / tapscript) https://t.co/qAHYmWrv4Q
– Bitcoin Merges (@BitcoinMerges) October 15, 2020
Bitcoin Core is the main software used by Bitcoin nodes, while Taproot and Schnorr are updates proposals with BIP 340 and 342.
Now, to make them fully operational, it is necessary to decide on the activation logic.
In fact, the Schnorr / Taproot consensus rules have been implemented in Bitcoin Core, but the update activation method has not yet been decided.
The original proposal was made by Anthony Towns in November 2019, while the mining request was created by Bitcoin Core contributor Pieter Wuille on September 13.
It has been thoroughly tested over the last month, with over 150 developers participating in the 7-week review.
Taproot and Schnorr, the activation steps in Bitcoin
The next step will now be to discuss how to activate these two implementations in the Bitcoin mainnet. It will be necessary to decide in particular between two soft fork, BIP8 and Modern Softfork Activation. In both cases, being soft forks, the Bitcoin blockchain will not risk splitting.
The BIP8 proposal suggests force activation of Taproot after a notice period for miners.
Modern Softfork Activation, on the other hand, is a longer and more complicated activation method, which allows for a 12-month notice period, followed by a six-month discussion period, while maintaining the ability to initiate a BIP8 activation for a 24-month period.
The #taproot activation channel is currently being discussed on IRC.
To date, it is not possible to say exactly how long it will take for Taproot and Schnorr to activate, but it may not be imminent.
However, these are long awaited updatesas they can increase the use of smart contracts in Bitcoin while maintaining a high level of privacy.
In particular, Schnorr is an algorithm for generate cryptographic signatures alternative to ECDSA. When activated, it will be possible, for example, to combine different signatures, allowing multi-signature transactions that are indistinguishable from normal Bitcoin transactions.
Taproot is the method used to leverage Schnorr signatures to enable smart contracts that preserve privacy. It was first proposed by former Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell on the Bitcoin-dev mailing list.