Explaining Bitcoin’s “Taproot”

Taproot” is an upgrade to the Bitcoin network that aims to enhance privacy, improve scripting flexibility, and optimize the use of resources. Let me break it down into simpler terms:

  1. Privacy Improvement:
  • Currently, when you make a Bitcoin transaction, it is recorded on the blockchain, and certain details about the transaction are visible to anyone who cares to look.
  • Taproot helps improve privacy by making all transactions look the same on the blockchain. It does this by combining multiple transaction signatures into one, making it harder for outside observers to distinguish between different types of transactions.
  1. Scripting Flexibility:
  • Bitcoin uses scripts, which are sets of rules that define how a transaction can be spent. Taproot introduces a new type of script called the “Schnorr signature,” which is more efficient than the current “ECDSA signatures.”
  • With Taproot, complex scripts can be made to look like simple ones, improving efficiency and reducing the amount of data needed for transactions.
  1. Resource Optimization:
  • Taproot makes multi-signature transactions (where more than one signature is required to spend bitcoins) more efficient. Instead of revealing all the participants in a multi-signature transaction, Taproot enables a collaborative “smart contract” where only the necessary information is revealed when the funds are spent.
  1. Activation Process:
  • Upgrading the Bitcoin network involves a consensus among the participants (nodes, miners, developers, etc.). Taproot activation required the support of a significant portion of the Bitcoin network.
  • Once activated, users can enjoy the benefits of improved privacy and efficiency in their transactions.

In summary, Taproot is like an upgrade for Bitcoin that makes transactions more private, scripting more flexible, and resource usage more efficient. It’s a step forward in the ongoing development of the Bitcoin network, addressing some of the challenges and improving the overall user experience.

Taproot & BDK

What is the earliest version of Bitcoin Core to support Taproot?

The activation of the Taproot upgrade occurred with the release of Bitcoin Core version 0.21.1, which was released in May 2021.

Tell me more about “Schnorr Signature”

A Schnorr signature is a type of digital signature algorithm, and it’s at the heart of the Taproot upgrade in Bitcoin. Let’s break down some key aspects of Schnorr signatures:

  1. Efficiency:
  • Schnorr signatures are known for being more efficient than the existing digital signature algorithm used in Bitcoin, which is the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA).
  • They are shorter in length, which means that transactions using Schnorr signatures require less space in the blockchain. This contributes to overall network efficiency.
  1. Linearity:
  • One unique feature of Schnorr signatures is their linearity. This property allows multiple parties to collaboratively create a single signature for a transaction.
  • In the context of Bitcoin, this enables the creation of a multi-signature scheme where several parties can contribute to a transaction, but only a single Schnorr signature is needed on the blockchain.
  1. Security:
  • Schnorr signatures are considered secure and have been extensively studied in the field of cryptography. The security of the Schnorr algorithm relies on the difficulty of certain mathematical problems, similar to other cryptographic schemes.
  1. Batch Verification:
  • Schnorr signatures also support batch verification. This means that multiple signatures can be verified simultaneously, improving efficiency when processing multiple transactions at once.
  1. Anonymity and Privacy:
  • Schnorr signatures play a crucial role in improving privacy, especially when used in conjunction with other technologies like Taproot.
  • In Bitcoin, they help make complex transactions, such as multi-signature transactions, indistinguishable from regular single-signature transactions on the blockchain.
  1. Bitcoin’s Adoption:
  • The adoption of Schnorr signatures in Bitcoin was part of the broader effort to enhance the protocol’s scalability, privacy, and flexibility. The activation of Taproot brought Schnorr signatures to the Bitcoin network.

In summary, Schnorr signatures offer improved efficiency, linearity for collaborative signing, security, and privacy features. Their adoption in Bitcoin, as part of the Taproot upgrade, is a comprehensive improvement that benefits various types of transactions, including 1-of-1 transactions.

Do they get used on 1-of-1 transactions?

Yes, Schnorr signatures can be used in 1-of-1 transactions, and they provide benefits even in single-signature scenarios. In Bitcoin, a 1-of-1 transaction typically refers to a standard single-signature transaction where only one private key (and its associated public key) is required to spend the bitcoins.

When a 1-of-1 transaction uses Schnorr signatures, it benefits from the efficiency and privacy improvements associated with Schnorr. Here’s how:

  1. Efficiency:
  • Schnorr signatures are more efficient than the traditional Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) signatures used in Bitcoin. They are shorter in length, which means that transactions using Schnorr signatures take up less space in the blockchain. This contributes to lower transaction fees and overall network efficiency.
  1. Privacy:
  • Schnorr signatures, when used in single-signature transactions, contribute to privacy improvements. They make all transactions, regardless of complexity, look similar on the blockchain. This helps to obscure the distinction between different types of transactions, enhancing overall privacy.
  1. Adoption in 1-of-1 Transactions:
  • While the full potential of Schnorr signatures is realized in more complex scenarios like multi-signature transactions, their adoption in 1-of-1 transactions is still beneficial for the reasons mentioned above.

In summary, Schnorr signatures are not limited to multi-signature transactions; they provide advantages in single-signature transactions as well. The adoption of Schnorr signatures in Bitcoin, as part of the Taproot upgrade, is aimed at making transactions more efficient and enhancing the overall privacy of the network.

Is there a Rust crate for Schnorr signatures?

Several Rust crates are available for Schnorr signatures in the context of Bitcoin. However, the specific landscape of Rust libraries and crates can change over time as new projects emerge, and existing ones get updated.

One popular Rust crate for Schnorr signatures in Bitcoin is the rust-secp256k1 library. This library provides low-level bindings for the secp256k1 library, which is widely used in Bitcoin for elliptic curve cryptography, including Schnorr signatures.

You can find this library on GitHub: bitcoin-core/secp256k1.

Explore platforms like crates.io to find and browse Rust crates and libraries.

Describe the inputs and outputs of a Schnorr signature

A Schnorr signature is a type of digital signature scheme, and it involves the use of mathematical operations on elliptic curve cryptography. Here’s a simplified overview of the inputs and outputs of a Schnorr signature:


  1. Private Key (k):
  • A secret number known only to the signer.
  1. Message (m):
  • The data or transaction that the signature is being generated for.


  1. Public Key (P):
  • Derived from the private key using elliptic curve multiplication. The public key is associated with the private key and is known to others.
  1. Nonce (R):
  • A random value generated for each signature. It’s crucial that this value is unique for each signature to prevent certain types of attacks. The nonce is kept secret during the signing process.
  1. Commitment (R*G):
  • The elliptic curve point resulting from multiplying the nonce (R) by the generator point (G), where G is a predefined point on the elliptic curve.
  1. Challenge (e):
  • A value derived from the commitment, the public key, and the message. It’s a deterministic function of these values and acts as a challenge for the signer.
  1. Signature (s):
  • Computed using the private key, the challenge, and the nonce. The signature is the combination of the nonce and the response to the challenge. Mathematically, it is calculated as ( s = k + e \cdot x ), where ( x ) is the private key.

The signature, public key, and message can be verified by anyone using the public key, the message, and the signature verification algorithm.

In summary, the inputs to a Schnorr signature include the private key and the message, and the outputs include the public key, nonce, commitment, challenge, and the final signature. Schnorr signatures have a nice linearity property that allows for more efficient and secure multi-signature schemes, making them valuable in various cryptographic applications, including Bitcoin.

Referring to : “Commitment (R*G):

The elliptic curve point resulting from multiplying the nonce (R) by the generator point (G), where G is a predefined point on the elliptic curve.” – tell me what elliptic curve is used, is it ECDSA ??!

The Schnorr signature scheme, including the elliptic curve used in the context of Bitcoin, involves the same elliptic curve as the ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm) scheme. The specific elliptic curve used in Bitcoin is called secp256k1.

Here are the key details:

  • Elliptic Curve: secp256k1
  • Generator Point (G): A specific point on the secp256k1 curve, serving as the base point for elliptic curve operations.

Both ECDSA and Schnorr signatures in Bitcoin use the same secp256k1 elliptic curve. However, the signature algorithms themselves differ, with ECDSA using a different signing algorithm compared to Schnorr. Schnorr signatures offer some advantages, including linearity, which makes them particularly useful in certain cryptographic applications. The adoption of Schnorr signatures, as part of the Taproot upgrade, is aimed at improving efficiency and privacy in Bitcoin transactions.