The first bitcoin upgrade in four years has just gone live. It is a rare moment of consensus among stakeholders, and it’s a big deal for the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
The Taproot update means greater transaction privacy and efficiency – and crucially, it will unlock the potential for smart contracts, which can be used to eliminate middlemen from transactions.
“Taproot matters, because it opens a breadth of opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in expanding bitcoin’s utility,” said Alyse Killeen, founder and managing partner of bitcoin-focused venture firm Stillmark.
Unlike bitcoin’s 2017 upgrade – referred to as the “last civil war” because of the contentious ideological divide separating adherents – Taproot has near universal support, in part because these changes involve fairly incremental improvements to the code.