The Taproot update is expected to launch on the Bitcoin protocol in November 2021.
In fact, together with Taproot, they will also be released Schnorr signatures, Which will raise the level of privacy of the Bitcoin protocol.
Bitcoin is a protocol that is rarely updated, because it is always very difficult to make changes to a truly decentralized network, which is why even the timing of Taproot's launch is particularly long.
For example, this update was proposed until January 2018, and only in October 2020 it was integrated into the Bitcoin Core library.
Also, even though the Speedy Trial was released in early May, it will still be weeks, if not months, before the update can be operational.
First, at least 90% of the blocks of a difficulty epoch must contain the signal bit which shows miners' acceptance of the new rules, and right now that threshold is still a long way off. However, almost 50% of the blocks now contain the signal bit, so it is likely that sooner or later the 90% threshold will be reached.
The impact of the Taproot update on Bitcoin
Taproot is a long awaited soft fork And that has already been widely endorsed because, together with Schnorr's signatures, it enhances the privacy, scalability, and security of Bitcoin. Also could generate more interest in the Lightning Network, the leading scaling solution for Bitcoin that is sadly still largely underutilized.
Taproot will change the way Bitcoin scripts operate, allowing all the moving parts of a complex transaction to be hidden. That is, these transactions, which can contain many other transactions, will be recorded on the blockchain as a single transaction, preserving the privacy of the transactions included in it and reducing their weight in bytes, and therefore their cost.
In essence, this update will allow the execution of a script to be completely hidden, so that different types of transactions are indistinguishable, such as opening a Lightning Network channel or registering a sophisticated smart contract. However, the public addresses of senders and recipients remain visible.
Eventually, thanks to the firms of Taproot and Schnorr, the amount of data to be recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain can be reduced, the number of transactions that can be included in a block can be increased, transaction costs can be reduced, and different types of transactions can be hidden.
However, it should be emphasized that only the Lightning Network can really significantly expand the number of transactions the Bitcoin network can handle, while dramatically reducing transaction costs. However, the Lightning Network has already been active for some time and is therefore already available to users.