Here comes Taproot

Bitcoiners have been counting down the days to the long-awaited upgrade.

Bitcoin is set to undergo a major upgrade to its network, known as the Taproot upgrade.

This time tomorrow, the upgrade will be complete, as can be seen on Taproot.watch.

Once the upgrade is complete, developers will have the opportunity to improve upon the Bitcoin network’s scalability, privacy and security.

The upgrade was confirmed back in June as over 90% of miners supported it.

In the meantime there has been a waiting period to allow node operators and miners to upgrade to the most recent version of Bitcoin Core, 21.1.

It is the first time the Bitcoin network has been updated since the Segregated Witness (SegWit), which led to the launch of the Lightning Network back in 2018.

“The Taproot Upgrade coming to Bitcoin is among the most impactful changes to be implemented on the network. The upgrade brings smart contract functionality to the protocol, and it optimizes for cost efficiency and privacy,” Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at AAX, a cryptocurrency exchange, told Cointelegraph.

The smart contract functionality is a notable point, especially as it draws so much attention to other cryptocurrencies, however Caselin says “we have to remember that Bitcoin is the only truly non-sovereign network that offers the highest degree of network security on the planet”.

What could the Taproot upgrade mean for the price of Bitcoin?

“Bulls may have some power left to push the market higher as a result of the [Taproot] upgrade,” Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, chief product officer at Bitpanda, told CoinDesk.

On the other hand, Edward Moya, senior market analyst for FX broker Oanda, says “the Taproot upgrade will have minimal impact on Bitcoin’s price”.

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