Taproot, Schnoor signatures and Bitcoin changes explained at Blockchain Summit Latam

Key facts


  • Julian Drangosch highlighted that Taproot will improve network privacy and efficiency.

  • According to estimates, it could be validated by the first half of November.

Julián Drangosch, an engineer, teacher and bitcoiner who belongs to the NGO Bitcoin Argentina, explained what Bitcoin’s Taproot update consists of and what improvements it entails. He also gave details of when it will be fully operational.

During the Blockchain Summit Latam 2021 event, Drangosch explained that Taproot is “the new Bitcoin script version”. In this sense, he explained that the Bitcoin model we know allows spending the cryptocurrency in two ways: having a private key associated with a Bitcoin address or through scripts


These are codes that, when certain conditions are met, allow coins hosted at an address to be spent. The conditions include verification of signatures and time locks and hashes, among other requirements. Also, the scripts

allow for serial spending conditions of which only one is used, Drangosch continued.

However, the other unused code can be seen as well. “The problem with this functionality that we have in Bitcoin is that of privacy. When we want to spend the script, we have to show it in full towards all the nodes, and that basically violates the privacy of bitcoiners because we show all the different conditions that were there to spend that script


Such a model, which is currently and has been used since 2012, is called Pay-To-Script Hash (P2SH) and is based on a series of cryptographic operations. These operations make it possible to form a hash (an algorithm that allows data encryption) that replaces the script

, which makes the transaction less cumbersome.

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What are Schnorr signatures?

Along with Taproot, another novelty that will be activated in the Bitcoin network will be the Schnorr signatures. These, said the speaker, “were protected by copyright at the time, and that is why they were not included in Bitcoin from the beginning”. Instead, Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, used an open source format called ECDSA ( Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm


Schnorr signatures represent a breakthrough in this methodology for signing transactions.

Regarding the

technical data for its conformation, Drangosch exposed the details that can be seen in the following image.

drangosh-multi-firmas-schnorr <img width=”700″ height=”394″ src=”https://yellowrocketagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/drangosh-multi-firmas-schnorr..png” alt=’drangosh-multi-schnorr-signatures’ /> In his presentation, Julian Drangosch told how a Schnoor signature is formed, a protocol that will be used in bitcoin since November.

In general terms, what Schnorr signatures represent for bitcoin is greater privacy and lower commission costs. “Schnorr signatures are the derivation of a public key through a set of mathematical operations,” explains Drangosch. In addition, multi-signatures and simple signatures will look the same. They will also be less cumbersome and, as a result, users will be able to pay fewer fees.

In addition, Schnorr signatures “are more stable, since they all weigh 64 bytes, and they have a formal security test, something that was not available for ECDSA. He also said that, although this “does not have a total magnitude to improve Bitcoin, it allows us to improve the base layer”.

drangosh-multi-firmas drangosh-multi-firmas Schnoor signatures will make authorizing Bitcoin transactions simpler and less expensive. Source: YouTube.

To conclude with the benefits of this update, Drangosch stated that transactions will be 15% more efficient, with 50% indirect space on two-input transactions and up to 75% savings on 4-input transactions. “These adaptive signatures help with atomic exchanges, which in turn will be useful for use in the payment channels we need for Lightning Network,” he further elaborated.

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Merkle’s trees

The hashes created have a certain way of organizing themselves. As CryptoNews Cryptopedia explains and Drangosch explained in more detail, this method is known as the Merkle Tree. It is a structure that starts from a root (the root hash

) and from which others are detached in the form of leaves, as in an inverted tree.

In this way, this model is the linear combination of the P2SH and the Merkle Trees. The scheme called MAST (Merkeleized Abstract Syntax Trees) will allow “creating complex transactions that will all look the same” and hide the root of the tree visualizing only the script

that is used. Taproot, Schnoor signatures and Bitcoin changes explained at Blockchain Summit Latam Taproot, Schnoor signatures and Bitcoin changes explained at Blockchain Summit Latam The MAST scheme translates into greater privacy in Bitcoin, Drangosh explained in his presentation. Source: YouTube.

In conclusion, the improvements that MAST provides to the Bitcoin network are threefold, according to the speaker. On the one hand, it improves the flexibility of smart contracts, as with a single hash

, many different complex transactions can be covered. In addition, it improves privacy and boosts the scalability of the network by reducing the data stored on the nodes. <img width=”700″ height=”394″ src=”//www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%20700%20394’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=” /> Taproot, Schnoor signatures and Bitcoin changes explained at Blockchain Summit Latam These examples demonstrate how MAST impacts the Bitcoin protocol. Source: YouTube –

When is Taproot activated?

After explaining all the technical aspects related to this Bitcoin update, Julian Drangosch told us when Taproot will become active. In this regard, he said that the network is in the second phase of the three planned.

The first stage consisted of signaling the miners. This, as told by CryptoNews, was already achieved on June 12, 2021. The second phase involves upgrading the nodes and wallets to support this upgrade. There are several sources that teach how to do this update

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, whose time limit is until block 709,632 is reached (at the time of closing this note, the network is going for block 699,494). Taproot, Schnoor signatures and Bitcoin changes explained at Blockchain Summit Latam Taproot, Schnoor signatures and Bitcoin changes explained at Blockchain Summit Latam The different phases of Taproot signaling and activation, which could be completed in a couple of months. Source: YouTube.

In this way, Taproot could be activated approximately by November 12, 2021, the date on which this block is likely to be mined. Acceptance of this update is growing as the months go by, Drangosch explained in his talk at Blockchain Summit Latam. By the beginning of September “more than 50% of the nodes are upgraded to do so,” he said, although it is expected to reach 70 or 80% by November.