The final date for the activation of Taproot has not yet seen the light. Due to this, one of the main developers of this soft fork, Jeremy Rubin, has recently suggested creating a “bet” that defines the date when this improvement is fully operational in the Bitcoin network.
The bet, for its part, would integrate a smart contract developed in Sapio, Taproot’s programming language, and which would release the blocked funds once the soft fork is operational. This is because the bet contract would use a function called CheckTemplateVerify (CTV) defined in BIP-119 .
This function, in the current state of the network, is of no use, but it would be responsible for the release of funds after the activation of Taproot. It would verify the status of the contract, and proceed to execute the commands concerning the release of the BTC to the addresses of the miners who have bet.
The proposal was published on the Bitmex Blog and written by Jeremy Rubin himself, who is the promoter and developer of the Sapio programming language, whose repository was recently launched, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias.
The bet scheme, as detailed by Rubin himself, establishes that the status verification cycles of whether Taproot has been activated or not, are 2,016 blocks in the Bitcoin network. The minimum amount to bet is 0.09015 BTC, per bet . In each iteration on the status check, miners will be able to claim a portion of the blocked BTC, in case Taproot has not been successfully activated.
The contract, although it is built with Sapio, cannot be implemented within the Bitcoin network, since Taproot is not yet operational.
However, such an implementation would be achieved by compiling it in WebAssembly, a low-level client-side compiler used in web browsers , and using an Oracle server to emulate the CTV functionality , albeit with a compromised security system.
In the same way, within the publication of the proposal, you can see part of the code written in Sapio that would integrate the smart contract .
The bet for the activation of Taproot
At the beginning of the article, where the implementation of the bet is detailed, it is highlighted that, in the opinion of the Bitmex team, “it is unlikely that it will make a significant contribution to the resolution of the apparent situation of the Taproot activation methodology” . For this reason, they emphasize that the apparent reason for the proposal goes further, trying to show the implementations that Sapio can achieve.
In that sense, the objective of the “bet” seems more an obligation for activation, through the monetary commitment, than a real proposal for activation .
The path of Taproot
Taproot, in practice, is a scalability solution in Bitcoin, which would bring with it not only the implementation of smart contracts, but even an improvement in security such as BTC holding tests, without releasing the corresponding UTXOs .
Despite the benefits, the mass adoption of Taproot has been limited by different arguments. This has led developers and promoters to address different strategies around its early activation, such as Jeremy Rubin’s commitment, or other alternatives such as creating alternative Taproot clients . Also, recently, Bitcoin Core clients have already started to come out that would start using Taproot directly on the main Bitcoin network.
The road looks promising, although, even at this time, there is no conclusive date on the activation of Taproot . There have already been changes in strategy about who would be responsible for activating this function , going from users to miners, but it has not yet achieved a general consensus.