The Taproot upgrade has reached the first significant milestone on the road to activation as 90% of the Bitcoin (BTC) mining hash rate has been signaled for protocol improvement within the current difficulty epoch.
Data from Taproot.watch, a website of the Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, shows that the lock-in phase has now been completed.
All recognized mining pools signaled the upgrade, with Slush Pool being the first to do so. It is perhaps fitting that Slush Pool also dismantled Block 687285, which sealed the Taproot lock-in.
TAPROOT INCLUDED AT BLOCK 687285 OF SLUSHPOOL pic.twitter.com/FFDdibtmGt
– pourteaux (@pourteaux) June 12, 2021
AntPool and F2Pool – the two leading Bitcoin mining pools by hash rate share – were also among the earliest supporters of taproot activation in the BTC mining arena
In a conversation with Cointelegraph Bitcoin core developer Pieter Wuille, the activation step for Taproot explained: “According to BIP341, activation takes place automatically after the block at block height 709632 – probably around November 14, 2021.”
Wuille also commented on the importance of taproot, adding:
“It’s the first consensus change since Segwit was activated in August 2017. It expands Bitcoin’s scripting capabilities in a way that makes certain things cheaper (especially more complex applications like Multisig and Layer 2 things) and a little more private by often using the exact spending rules were hidden. “
Activation in November is just the beginning, according to Wuille, as the real work is developing the software to take advantage of the protocol improvement.
The historical significance of June 12 for Bitcoin has also evolved beyond Taproot, as a record number of transactions were mined in a single block on that day. Data from the blockchain explorer Blockchair shows 4,075 transactions with a block height of 687249.
This record number is almost double the average transactions per block recorded on June 11th and four times the typical number of transactions for Bitcoin blocks.
With hash rate declining due to mining restrictions in China, the average transaction count on Saturday could be due to a slowdown in block production, causing more transactions to be included in a single block.