Schnorr Singatures Upgrade Could See Massive Changes For Bitcoin
Bitcoin is known as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency but at its core it is a living program that developers are constantly looking at improving by rolling out new changes that makes the cryptocurrency more efficient and durable.
The latest update that developers are looking forward to is the use of Schnorr signatures. This would change the currently used signature structure of Bitcoin and replace it with a more compact approach.
Using Schnorr signatures would clear up some space on the blockchain. This could lead to faster transaction speeds and lower the fees that bitcoin users sometimes end up paying. Experts put the improvement at about 25 to 30 percent in performance, which is a noticeable boost. It also has other benefits like improving privacy.
Upgrading to Schnorr signatures is not an easy task though. There needs to be some heavy groundwork and development in place before the code change. Fortunately, one of bitcoin's most important developers, Pieter Wuille, has unveiled a draft that outlines how to make it happen. This makes updating bitcoin with Schnorr signatures one step closer.
This upgrade would also be a stepping stone for further improvements down the line. However, Wuille points out that this upgrade will also be very dependent on the users and will come down to whether they will use it. The last upgrade was the SegWit upgrade which users did end up using.
Schnorr Signatures Technical Draft
The technical draft that Wuille unveiled was co-authored with some of the best in the bitcoin development community like Johnson Lau Gregory Maxwell, and Jonas Nick. It lays the groundwork for much of the work that is required to ensure that the Schnorr upgrade will be successful. For one, the document ensures that everyone will be on the same page when it comes to implementation. It outlines the mathematical calculations that everyone needs to follow to create these signatures.
The new scheme will use the same curve as the current Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) that bitcoin currently uses. The new math is pretty complicated but the technical draft will make things a lot easier and result in multiple improvements.
For example, multi-sig transactions stand out on the blockchain because of their complexity. With Schnorr signatures, they look just the same as other transactions which can increase privacy. This can make transactions cheaper as the simple format is easier to send on the network. However, people shouldn't hold their breath waiting for this update. There is still a lot of work to be done before it is implemented online.
In a statement, Wuille said
Like any consensus change, it will be a long process involving fully fleshing out a draft for integration, publishing it, gathering comments from the technical community and ecosystem, writing implementations of both consensus rules and integration in wallet software, proposing a deployment plan, and if all goes well, get it activated
Kate is market industry expert who has spent majority of her life on wall street, she has thought to have a knack at picking the right stocks to invest into. With the rise in cryptocurrencies she has is now able to use her expertise to a new market and give us insights on what we can expect in the present and the future.