The latest version of the Bitcoin client software ‘Bitcoin Core’ was officially released on the 13th. Developed by over 100 contributors for about eight months, Bitcoin Core 22.0 will be the first major release to support the upcoming Taproot protocol upgrade.
Taproot is the most anticipated upgrade since SegWit (Segregated Witness), which was implemented in 2017. The activation was confirmed by gaining the support of more than 90% of the miner community in June this year.
Taproot is activated when Bitcoin reaches the block height of 709,632, which is expected to happen in November.
The second upgrade of 2021, Taproot is a soft fork upgrade that replaces the current signature algorithm with a new signature scheme called ‘Schnoor Signature’
Schnoor signature is a cryptographic technology that is highly regarded as an efficient and secure method. It is possible to combine the signatures of transactions of a single recipient into one, which leads to a reduction in data size.
It is expected that the upgrade might come with increased processing speed and improved scalability.
In addition, it helps improve privacy by making the appearance of multi-sig and normal (single user) transactions uniform and indistinguishable on the blockchain.
Aside from Taproot support, Bitcoin Core 22.0’s improvements include full GUI (graphical user interface) support for hardware wallets. Versions before 22.0 (0.18.0 and later) supported hardware wallets but had to use the CLI (command-line interface).
The new version uses HWI (Hardware Wallet Interface) software as an add-on and combines it with devices such as Ledger, Trezor, BitBox, KeepKey, and Coldcard to significantly improve the usability of Bitcoin Core wallets.