The Taproot upgrade has achieved the first significant milestone on the road to activation as 90% of the Bitcoin (BTC) mining hash rate signaled for the protocol improvement within the current difficulty epoch.
Data from Taproot.watch, a webpage created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, shows the lock-in stage is now completed.
All recognized mining pools signaled for the upgrade with Slush Pool being the first to do so. It is perhaps fitting that Slush Pool also mined block 687285 that sealed the Taproot lock-in.
AntPool and F2Pool — the top two Bitcoin mining pools by hash rate share — were also among one of the earliest supporters of the Taproot activation in the BTC mining arena
In a conversation with Cointelegraph Bitcoin core developer Pieter Wuille explained the activation step for Taproot, stating: “According to BIP341, once locked in, activation is automatic at block height 709632 - expected around November 14, 2021.”
Wuille also commented on the significance of Taproot, adding:
“It's the first consensus change since Segwit activated in august 2017. It extends Bitcoin's script capabilities in ways that make certain things cheaper (especially more complex applications like multisig and layer 2 things), and somewhat more private by often hiding what the exact spending rules were.”
According to Wuille, the activation in November is only the beginning as the real work will be building the software to leverage the benefits of the protocol improvement.
June 12’s historic significance for Bitcoin has also moved beyond Taproot as the day seen a record number of transactions mined in a single block. Data from blockchain explorer Blockchair shows 4,075 transactions in block height 687249.
This record figure is almost twice the average transactions per block recorded on June 11 and is four times the typical transaction count for Bitcoin blocks.
With hash rate declining amid mining restrictions in China, Saturday’s transaction count average might be due to a slowdown in block production forcing more transactions to be included in a single block.