Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade achieved the first considerable milestone on its road to activation over the weekend as 90% of the bitcoin (BTC) mining hash rate signaled for the BTC protocol enhancement within the difficulty epoch at the time. Data acquired from a webpage created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, Taproot.watch, indicates that the lock-in stage is now completed.
In that case, all of the recognized mining pools signaled for the upgrade with Slush Pool leading the others in doing that. It is maybe fitting to note that Slush Pool also mined block 687285 that sealed the Taproot lock-in.
TAPROOT LOCKED IN AT BLOCK 687285 BY SLUSHPOOL 🟩 pic.twitter.com/FFDdibtmGt
— pourteaux (@pourteaux) June 12, 2021
F2Pool and AntPool, which are the top two bitcoin mining pools by hash rate share, were also among the earliest proponents of the Taproot activation in the bitcoin mining space. With Taproot getting the 90% critical consensus mark among the mining nodes, all seems now set for Bitcoin soft fork activation to happen later in November.
Bitcoin core developer Pieter Wuille explained to reporters that the activation step for Taproot is quite important, saying:
“According to BIP341, once locked in, activation is automatic at block height 709632 – expected around November 14, 2021. It’s the first consensus change since Segwit activated in august 2017. It extends Bitcoin’s script capabilities in ways that make certain things cheaper (especially more complex applications like multisig and layer 2 things), and somewhat more private by often hiding what the exact spending rules were.”
Based on the explanation by Wuille, the activation set to happen in November is the beginning of greater things to come. However, the real work will be developing the software to leverage the advantages of the protocol enhancement.
June 12’s historic importance for bitcoin has also extended past Taproot as the day saw a record number of transactions mined within a single block. Data acquired from blockchain explorer Blockchair recorded 4,075 transactions in block height 687249.
That record figure is nearly twice the normal transactions per block recorded on June 11 and is around four times the usual transaction count for the Bitcoin blocks. With the hash rate plunging amid mining restrictions and bans in China, the day’s transaction count average may be as a result of a slowdown in block production causing more transactions to be included in one block.