Tech | November 15, 2021 5:48 am

Bitcoin Just Applied a Significant Security Upgrade

The last update of its type happened in 2017

Bitcoin
Bitcoin is now much more secure.
Dmitry Demidko/Unsplash

This weekend, Bitcoin got a lot more secure. As reported at The Block, the upgrade — known as Taproot — went live on Sunday when the Bitcoin blockchain reached a certain milestone. “Taproot introduces Schnorr signatures that can make more complex transactions on Bitcoin — such as those from multi-signature wallets — look like just any other transaction,” explained The Block’s Wolfie Zhao.

This, in turn, heightens the platform’s overall security. As J. Fingas reported at Engadget, this change will make it harder for malicious actors to determine when a large transaction is taking place. This was the first significant upgrade to Bitcoin’s security since 2017, though Taproot will also have an impact on the amount of transactions Bitcoin can handle.

Writing at CNBC, Taylor Locke noted that Taproot will also allow for the presence of smart contracts. Historically, Bitcoin had not been able to offer this, while rival cryptocurrency Ethereum has. “[W]hile bitcoin likely won’t ever be as flexible as Ethereum from a smart contract standpoint, with Taproot that gap will now narrow,” said Katherine Dowling of Bitwise Asset Management.

It’s a significant step forward for Bitcoin, and one which may have ramifications on both this specific cryptocurrency and on the industry as a whole.