Bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille has unveiled two proposals on GitHub for a Taproot soft fork to address privacy issues.
Taproot is a solution that aims to combine the advantages of Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) and the Schnorr signature scheme in order to reveal less information after a bitcoin transaction takes place.
MAST allows for the alternative possibilities of how a bitcoin transaction could have occurred to remain private, and Schnorr allows for a MAST-enabled transaction to occur without revealing that MAST was used to check transaction conditions.
In Wuille’s memo, he notes that the following points are addressed in the proposals:
“Taproot to make all outputs and cooperative spends indistinguishable from each other. Merkle branches to hide the unexecuted branches in scripts. Schnorr signatures enable wallet software to use key aggregation/thresholds within one input.”
As Cointelegraph has previously covered, privacy is a feature of bitcoin that is expected but in actuality does not exist to a high degree. Bitcoin balances and addresses are public, and can be viewed on an open web explorer.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, bitcoin soft forked in 2016 with the release of Segregated Witness (SegWit), also announced by Wuille. The purpose of this softfork was to provide a scaling solution by improving the Bitcoin block size.