Earlier this week, Bitcoin’s development community met via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to discuss Taproot activation paths and lay out an expected timeline for the privacy and smart contract flexibility upgrade. This was the second such activation meeting held through IRC.
Though a tentative timeline was set, the meeting ultimately left the group divided on a main issue: How exactly to coordinate the upgrade.
According to an expected timeline posted after the meeting on Bitcoin Wiki, Taproot could be activated by August 2022:
- March 17 to 31, 2021: Full node software released with Taproot activation deployment
- July 23, 2021: Economic majority has upgraded. Miner signalling begins to indicate preparedness to protect the economic minority who haven’t upgraded yet.
- Two weeks after 90 percent of the Bitcoin network’s hash rate signals support: Taproot activates. Economic majority enforces, while miners protect the economic minority until they upgrade as well.
- August 1, 2022: Entire economy has upgraded
“There were two primary topics of conversation, the timeline and what to do if Taproot does not meet activation requirements,” Ben Carman, a Bitcoin developer at Suredbits, told Bitcoin Magazine. Carman said that the room was divided on whether or not to proceed with a user-activated soft fork (UASF) if requirements are not met. “After Core devs have experienced backlash and drama in the past few years, it seems they want to do the less controversial thing and not force the upgrade with a default UASF.”
Taproot is the biggest update to Bitcoin since SegWit back in 2017, and with it comes many potential benefits. To date, there has not been much criticism to the proposal and, according to taprootactivation.com, miners contributing 88.69 percent of network hash rate have indicated support for the upgrade.
It appears that we could see Taproot activated as soon as this summer, but it’s likely that critics will come out from the shadows before that begins.