Taproot Is Live! The Community Reacts To Bitcoin’s First Upgrade Since 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a Taproot world. The update will enhance Bitcoin’s performance and enable smart contract deployment. Starting today, all transactions in the Bitcoin network look alike, improving privacy. It doesn’t even matter how the market reacts. It’s a great day for Bitcoin and the community is celebrating it as such, sharing information and working on what’s now possible.

The ball is in motion, the projects already in development that rely on Taproot show a lot of promise. From new and more efficient wallets to Atomic Swaps, to smart contracts that “minimize the trust required in the oracle which provides external data.” What will the community build in the following years? That’s what’s going to increase Bitcoin’s market share. It’s a new era, things are looking good and we’re only on day one.

Notorious Bitcoin maximalist and “Programming Bitcoin” author, Jimmy Song, recently tweeted. “Finally getting around to coding some Taproot stuff into my library. I knew that it was clever conceptually, but I now know the whole thing is designed very well.”

However, security expert and Tales From The Crypt host Matt Odell puts everything into perspective. “The addition of Taproot to bitcoin will bring additional privacy to bitcoin users but is not a magic bullet. Improvements enabled by it will take time to see in practice and we still need additional upgrades if we want robust privacy guarantees.

Before reading more reactions, let’s refresh which new superpowers Bitcoin got.

What Does Taproot Activation Bring To Bitcoin’s Table?

Transactions will be cheaper, more secure, and more private. What else can we expect? Bitcoin Lightning Network News summarizes it all in three major points.

  • Optimization: Key and Signature Aggregation allows for the aggregation of public keys and sigs.” The system can now compress many signatures and/or keys into one.
  • Privacy: On-chain heuristics will not be able to tell the difference between a multi-signature and single-signature transaction.” Deal with that, Chainalysis, you snitch.
  • Smart Contracts: Bitcoin Script has a 10kbyte size limit which will be removed, allowing for vastly larger scripts, aka Taproot contracts.” Does this make Altcoins obsolete? Time will tell. 

With Bitcoin Magazine‘s help, let’s go back in time and give credit where credit’s due. Taproot was:

“First proposed by former Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell and developed by Bitcoin Core contributors including Pieter Wuille, Anthony Towns, Johnson Lau, Jonas Nick, Andrew Poelstra, Tim Ruffing, Rusty Russell and Maxwell himself.”

BTC price chart for 11/14/2021 on Bitstamp | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

The Countdown And More Reactions

As Taproot activation approached, the network went on overdrive. “5 blocks in 5 minutes. Bitcoin miners want Taproot,” tweeted Bitcoin Magazine.

This is the hash of the first Post-Taproot block:

First, we got this report about that first transaction. “Somebody just overpaid 520x to broadcast a taproot transaction in the first taproot block with a little welcome message embedded in the tx data.

And then we found the perpetrator, Chainside’s Federico Tenga. Gm Taproot indeed!

Here’s a video of the first few Taproot transactions

And finally, The Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein remembers his organization is the beneficiary of a Taproot-inspired bet between the two Tales From The Crypt hosts.

And speaking about Tales From The Crypt, in his newsletter, Marty Bent gifted us with the perfect words to close this article in style.

“It is important to understand that these benefits aren’t going to be immediate. They are going to come to market slowly over time as the software gets implemented into wallets and other services. Many are expecting Taproot to get activated over the weekend and all its potential benefits to be realized immediately. This is simply not the case and it is important that this fact is understood.”

Slow and steady wins the race. The Taproot upgrade took four years to materialize, but here it is. Rejoice!

Featured Image: Carrot rocket taking off taken from this tweet | Charts by TradingView