The path to activation for Bitcoin's Taproot protocol upgrade is underway after the recent Bitcoin Core version 0.21.1 release included its activation code, and the largest mining pools are already signaling support.
Bitcoiners can follow the upgrade signaling status via Taproot.watch, a website created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg.
According to data from the site, more than 47% of the total Bitcoin network hashing power is signaling support for the protocol upgrade at the time of writing, led by AntPool and F2Pool, which combined account for over 36% of the network's total hash rate.
This signaling method follows a soft fork deployment framework called Speedy Trial, in which miners and mining pools help coordinate the upgrade. They do that by signaling support for the deployment in the blocks they mine within a certain block threshold.
The soft fork gets locked in for activation if 90% of all blocks mined in the difficulty adjustment window of 2,016 blocks include the activation signal. Although 48% of support isn't enough for activation, it is a positive milestone to achieve just a few days into the Speedy Trial period.
The network has to achieve this consensus in one of the difficulty adjustment epochs between May and August to lock Taproot in as a protocol upgrade for block 709,632, which is expected in November. If it fails, developers would need to devise a new deployment method to substitute Speedy Trial for Taproot to activate.