Bitcoin mining pools representing over 54% of the network’s current hashrate have signaled support for the scaling and privacy protocol upgrade Taproot, merged into Bitcoin Core last month.
Bitmain’s Antpool backed the protocol upgrade Thursday morning in a message sent to Poolin, the pool told CoinDesk, joining five other pools in Poolin’s Taproot Activation initiative and pushing the percentage of hashrate in support of the upgrade over 50%. Antpool plans to publicly express its support in a forthcoming block's coinbase.
Poolin’s vice president, Alejandro De La Torre, told CoinDesk he is “beyond happy” that most major mining pools have responded affirmatively to their “consensus-built effort” to support Taproot.
Notably, Binance Pool is the only top-five pool to not yet support Taproot.
Taproot aims to improve transaction privacy and enhance Bitcoin’s smart contract functionality. As an added bonus, it’s also designed to keep Bitcoin’s blocks small, with block space as accessible as possible.
“The only uncertainty with Taproot is when and how it will be activated,” said Daniel Frumkin, engineer and technical writer at Slush Pool, in a direct message with CoinDesk.
“In the end it should be a straightforward process with minimal drama,” he added, noting that Taproot is “not controversial.” Frumkin contrasted this proposed upgrade with the heated industry-wide disagreements caused by the 2017 SegWit2X proposal, which many miners also supported.
Seeing any miners opposing the Taproot upgrade would be a shock to Frumkin. “I'd expect the rest of the major pools to signal support in the following weeks,” he said.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.