Five Major Bitcoin Mining Pools Support Taproot Update

Five major bitcoin mining pools have signalled their approval of Taproot Activation, as bitcoin’s blockchain network prepares for its biggest change yet in four years.

On May 1st, Bitcoin miners began to signal their approval of the proposed change via signature bits. Since Saturday, the biggest names in the bitcoin mining pool industry have led the way with signature approvals within the past four days, as the update awaits a general consensus before it can be activated.

Taproot Gains 47 Percent in Four Days

After being touted as the biggest change to hit the Bitcoin blockchain network since Segwit in 2017, five bitcoin mining pools have now signalled their approval of the Taproot update.

Before Taproot can be activated, the update must first pass a “Speedy Trial.” The Speedy Trial, which began on May 1st, is the maximum period, by convention, that miners have to update their nodes and reach a consensus  on a proposed Bitcoin update. The maximum time period allowed for a trial is three months. This means mining pools have until August to reach an agreement or signal their approval.

As of May 4th, 2021, five BTC mining pools have indicated support of the proposed Taproot Activation. F2Pool and AntPool have the highest percentage of the global SHA256 hashrate at 17.02% and 14.44% respectively, and have indicated their support. 

Their approvals come after SlushPool and Foundry. Slushpool (3.43%) mined its first approving block a few hours after the trial began, followed closely by Foundry. Poolin with a SHA256 hashrate share of 10.73% completes the first five pools to signal their approval.

Going by the recent development, Taproot activation does not seem a long way off any more.  According to its official website, the proposed update needs “90% of the blocks to signal to lock-in”. At present, the total share of hashrate in support of the upgrade stands at 47.64%.   

What is Taproot?

Taproot is a bitcoin soft fork and one of the most anticipated upgrades to the bitcoin blockchain protocol in recent years. Taproot activation was brought to the fore in October last year, after a Github pull request was initiated by major developer and programmer, Peter Wuille, as proposals and suggestions to improve Bitcoin’s blockchain continue to remain top priority for many Bitcoin core programmers. 

The proposed update has been touted to provide several significant benefits to the existing bitcoin blockchain network. In the past, Bitcoin’s scalability issues have  forced desperate innovations like “Layer 2” options such as the Lightning Network. The Taproot proposal, however, has been considered to be so “beneficial,” a split has been touted unlikely to happen

Taproot’s upgrade is not only expected to solve Bitcoin’s scalability problem, but also provide a layer of privacy and security that wasn’t previously accessible on the existing network. 

Voting has begun. And at this rate, results might be in sooner than expected.