13 Jul 2021 · 1 min read

Bitcoin's Taproot Enters Testnet

While the major Bitcoin (BTC) upgrade Taproot usually makes headlines, a significant development seems to had flown under the radar - its activation on the testnet.

Source: Adobe/Sufian

Bitcoin developers, including Athony Towns, confirmed that Taproot has been successfully activated on the testnet last week.

The Taproot can already be used on the testnet, before its activation on the mainnet set for November.

A month after the network locked in Taproot support, the support by Bitcoin nodes is hovering around 28%, according to the Taproot Signal Twitter account. Therefore, over 70% of BTC nodes have not been updated to support the Taproot activation.

Notably, there has been quite a lot of debate on Twitter and Reddit in particular over these percentages, but many argue that, given that Taproot is a softfork, these updates don't necessarily need to be performed.

Taproot is a softfork to the Bitcoin network that is expected to improve privacy and the scripting capabilities. It is bundled with Schnorr, a soft fork that improves privacy, scalability, and speed, and encodes multiple keys into one.

In January this year, Bitcoin Core Project released Bitcoin Core 0.21.0, already allowing a level of experimentation with Taproot on the signet, a then-new test network for Bitcoin which added an additional signature requirement to block validation, similar to but considered more reliable than testnet.

In May, as reported, this biggest upgrade since SegWit in 2017 was kicked off with Speedy Trial, giving miners three months to signal readiness to enforce the upgrade.

The softfork has been confirmed in June.

At 13:38 UTC, BTC trades at USD 32,597 and is down by 2.5% in a day and 4% in a week.
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Learn more:
- How Taproot Might Affect Bitcoin’s Competitiveness
- Taproot, CoinSwap, Mercury Wallet, and the State of Bitcoin Privacy in 2021

- As Bitcoin's Taproot Nears, Ex-CIA Director's Paper Raises Privacy Concerns
- El Salvador Will Be a Serious Test for Bitcoin's Layer-2 Networks