The Taproot/Schnorr upgrade for Bitcoin, which is intended to improve the cryptocurrency’s privacy, scalability and speed of transactions, has been officially published and, if implemented, will be the most significant development for the Bitcoin codebase since Segregated Witness (SegWit).
The Schnorr/Taproot proposal is now published as BIPs 340, 341, and 342; see https://t.co/33uiulO8RA
Note that the assignment of BIP numbers is not any kind of stamp of approval; it just means the process was followed (which includes some amount of public discussion).
— Pieter Wuille (@pwuille) January 24, 2020
Bitcoin core developer and Blockstream Co-founder, Pieter Wuille, informed the community that the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) code changes were ready for peer review by submitting a pull request on GitHub.
Proposals, Review, Feedback
Taproot was proposed by another Bitcoin core contributor, Greg Maxwell, in 2018 and was amalgamated with Schnorr by Wuille to be offered as a solution for addressing some key areas of concern with the present protocol.
With considerable review and feedback of the upgrade already completed, the authors of the project are relatively confident that enough public discussion and formalisation of the language to be used have taken place for the proposal to move to the next stage.
One intention of the upgrade is to make most output scripts and payments indistinguishable from each other so anyone watching the network would be unable to tell whether the transaction involved a simple payment or activation of a complex smart contract.
In August 2018, Wuille suggested deploying Schnorr and Taproot together would be an “enormous win” for smart contracts in bitcoin.
No timeline has been set for the adoption of the proposals but if acted upon, they will result in a soft fork for Bitcoin.