Bitcoin Taproot Upgrade Activation Proposed for November

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In Brief
  • Bitcoin upgrade Taproot likely to undergo Speedy Trial.

  • Should it be a success, Taproot will activate around November. 15.

  • The non-controversial upgrade already has significant miner support.

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Bitcoin developers have proposed a date to activate the Taproot upgrade. The proposed dates include a “Speedy Trial” in May with Taproot to follow in November.

Taproot aims to improve scalability and privacy for bitcoin. It is also the biggest upgrade activated in years. 

Bitcoin Core contributor Jeremy Rubin outlined these plans in a public Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In the notes, he explains that consensus confirms that a Speedy Trial should be held in mid-May. Should it be a success, the upgrade would go online around Nov. 15. 

The Speedy Trial has been given three months to see if miners signal their support for the upgrade.

As a result, the sooner signaling begins, the sooner Taproot is activated. However, Rubin notes that there is a consensus not to push activation past Nov. 15,  date as this falls into the holidays. 

“…slipping past Thanksgiving turns to Christmas, turns to New Year,  turns to Chinese New Year, and we’re looking at March as the next date people would want to schedule,” he writes. 

While these notes are a promising sign that this bitcoin upgrade is moving closer to implementation, as with all bitcoin development there is no certainty. 

Taproot a Non-Controversial Upgrade 

Despite not being a particularly controversial upgrade, it has taken some time for plans on Taproot activation to come together. The initial proposal went live in May 2019. 

In December 2020, the Binance Pool joined other miners in giving the Taproot soft fork a “yes,” bringing consensus among miners up to 91.05%. 

Despite the general consensus on Taproot, the recent note also has a subsection on a simultaneous user-activated soft fork (UASF). Developers are coding this UASF in case the Speedy Trial fails. In this case, the UASF will be able to be brought online. 

The discussion focused on whether the UASF should be able to release before the Speedy Trial. However, Rubin says that this undermines the effort to avoid a contentious fork. 

However, since Taproot is already quite popular it is unlikely that should a Speedy Trial go ahead it would fail. 


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