Aaron van Wirdum posted a bunch of his articles about Taproot. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1403701284495110145.html
For years now, Bitcoin developers have been wanting to implement Schnorr signatures on the Bitcoin protocol.
Among other things, Schnorr signatures would enable a new type of smart contracts, sometimes referred to as Scriptless Scripts.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin developers were also thinking about a trick called MAST (Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees), which would make smart contracts on Bitcoin more compact.
Bitcoin Core contributor Gregory Maxwell then figured out how to combine Schnorr and MAST in a clever way to not only make smart contracts more compact, but in many cases also indistinguishable from regular transactions, benefitting privacy: Taproot.
After years of development, the Taproot code was ready to be activated. This marked the start of a new discussion: how should the upgrade be deployed on the Bitcoin network as safely as possible?
Interestingly, some miners also took the initiative to get Taproot in the Bitcoin protocol, with @officialpoolin‘s @bitentrepreneur collecting positive feedback from a range of mining pools on taprootactivation.com.
Still, there were roughly to “camps” in the Bitcoin activation debate, that for a while seemed unable to reach consensus on the best method: LOT=false or LOT=true.
This apparent deadlock was eventually broken when Bitcoin Core contributor Russell O’Connor proposed an activation method called Speedy Trial.
Today, Bitcoin miners locked in Taproot using miner signaling, as defined in Speedy Trial.
Bitcoin is upgrading. Congrats everyone!
Finally, as a neat example of something new that could soon benefit from the Taproot upgrade, several Bitcoin developers have been speculating about a concept known as Payment Pools: