Bitcoin Developers Agree on Taproot Activation Details via Draw

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The developers could not decide on the activation details for the Taproot update and used a “draw” in the Bitcoin blockchain to complete discussions that began a year ago.

According to the data obtained from the Bitcoin blockchain node, the draw determined that the timeline for activating the Taproot update would be measured using the Elapsed Median Time Past (MTP), not the block height.

As a reminder, last month Bitcoin developers and community members decided on a timeline for the Taproot update. Preparations for code activation will begin in May via the Speedy Trial, and the update itself will be activated in November. Taproot and Schnorr Signatures are the biggest Bitcoin updates since SegWit.

In February, Bitcoin developers announced that updates could start working on the blockchain this July. For a long time, the developers could not decide on the update activation mechanism. However, yesterday’s “draw” resolved the dispute over how the Bitcoin blockchain will measure the time elapsed between the release of the update and the end of the waiting period for its support.

The developers discussed two options: one using the block height metric, in which the end of the support period is triggered after a certain block has been mined, and the second option using MTP, where the end of the period is based on real time obtained from the block data.

The MTP was drawn at block 678,079. After that, Bitcoin Core developer Andrew Chow deleted his pull request based on block heights. MTP means that once the Taproot code is enabled, miners and node operators will have exactly three months to support the upgrade before the timeout period expires.

“We have two good options, and choosing to draw means people agree to defer minute preferences in favor of picking one option for the greater good,” wrote Bitcoin Core developer Jeremy Rubin. “I think it is appropriate to use a draw in these circumstances, although I admit that some may find this attitude towards development too frivolous.”

In case of support of 90% of miners, activation of Speedy Trial will be successful and the update will be committed for activation three months after the start of voting. In another three months, Taproot will be activated on the Bitcoin mainnet. Voting is expected to begin on May 7 and if miners show sufficient support, Taproot will be fixed for deployment on August 7 and activated on November 15.

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