The Bitcoin Core developers launched a coin on the Bitcoin blockchain to decide what will be the criteria to measure the time period to activate Taproot, a scalability solution that would bring substantial benefits to the protocol.
In the absence of consensus from previous discussions, a dynamic was organized where the randomness of the results would determine the way forward , such as tossing a coin.
If the last digit of the hash of block 678079 was a 0, a period measured in real time was assigned ( Median Time Passed , MTP) for the activation of Taproot. If the last digit of the hash was a 1, the Taproot activation period would be measured with a specific block height.
The first option was the winner (MTP) so Taproot will be activated in terms of a period of time measured in the real world plane , although it would also be extracted from the Bitcoin blockchain.
This wants say that once the Taproot code is transmitted, Bitcoin nodes and miners will have up to 3 months to update accordingly. Possibly this code will be available at the beginning of May and Taproot will be activated in Bitcoin no later than November 2021 .
Regarding this measure, Jeremy Rubin, developer of Bitcoin Core and who initially proposed «to launch the coin» or in English, « coinflip «, stated that this was a good way to make a decision that had not been reached due to lack of consensus.
We have two good options and the coinflip is a sign that we put aside the specific preferences of each one and accepted two broader options . So I think the coinflip was used appropriately in this particular circumstance. Although I acknowledge that some might feel that we are leaving Bitcoin development too much to chance.
Jeremy Rubin, Bitcoin Core Developer.
However, on the Bitcoin developer mailing list, Rubin noted that many of the conversation participants, that took place in a chat room ( Internet Relay Chat ), they were not for or against the coinflip , only with the expectation that methods that would work effectively were approved.
When the results of the coinflip are known , developers Andrew Chow and Anthony Towns willingly withdrew their proposal to base Taproot activation on block height, as collected on GitHub.
For his part, developer Luke Dash Jr. did not agree with the MTP activation and participated very little in the debate. In a discussion led by the author of this note, Jeremy Rubin rebuked Dash about why he had not expressed his arguments against the MTP.
To this, Dash replied that he had already opposed the LockinTimeFalse=Out method, which leaves the activation in the hands of Bitcoin users and not miners, as we reported in CryptoNews. Dash explained that being ignored in this regard and seeing that the debate progressed in another direction, he preferred “not to waste his time” with the discussion about the MTP.
Even so, Dash assured in hours of last night, that the Taproot activation method through the BIP-8 was already verified and ready to be used, just waiting for the community to be implemented. Dash assured that he was willing to work and advise others in this regard, but does not want to lead the implementation .
Even recently this medium reported Dash Jr.’s serious concerns about quantum computing threats against Bitcoin should Taproot go live , although this claim appears to have been dismissed by the other developers.
Taproot is an implementation that allows hiding the scripts or commands of Bitcoin transactions , which has benefits in terms of the privacy of the protocol.
This would allow complex transactions, with several signatures, without being able to detect what is actually happening under a blockchain analysis . They can also carry out batch transactions, increasing the scalability of Bitcoin.
Taproot also has interesting applications such as the Proof of Possession , which would allow checking the Possession of funds in BTC without revealing where.