Bitcoin’s most respected developer, Gregory Maxwell, returns with series of new projects.
Four years after the start of the first stage of high-tech Bitcoin, he departed the position to focus on code. Mainly because, as he explains in his first letter, he accomplished what he intended to do at startup, tackling the “significant underinvestment” in Bitcoin technology at the time of his membership.
In this quest, Maxwell published an article on “Taproot” in mid-January; an idea that improves the privacy of MAST, an idea that is under development and that could bolster Bitcoin’s smart contract capabilities. A few days later, Maxwell released another “Graftroot” proposal, further improving on MAST.
Maxwell told CoinDesk:
I expect every transaction to eventually use these tools, at least in limited ways. They are an incremental improvement, making things that were already more or less possible more private and efficient. They replace or make much better things like MAST.
And so far, many developers have praised Maxwell’s new work. MAST allows users to add to the above conditions. For example, a transaction for multiple signatures, if the multi-signature funds are not spent after, say, 10 years. The magic of MAST is that it can cram all this logic into one transaction.
In short, with Taproot and Graftroot, Maxwell has found a way to improve the privacy of these advanced transactions.
In Maxwell’s eyes, the problem with MAST transactions is different from normal transactions, which can be dangerous for privacy, they have nothing to do.
This is the case where the signatures are used in this instance of transaction, which is the same as the blockchain.
While Maxwell admits that the use case is close, he told CoinDesk:
“There is a lot of hype about smart deals, but their actual and significant use has not yet caught up with this hype.”
But doing baby steps over boxes of uses could help broaden Bitcoin’s value proposition as programmable money.
Both proposals, according to Maxwell, treated smart contracts “easier to implement, more efficient and more private,” he said. “Taproot and Graftroot are improving backend technology for these advanced applications in the more user-friendly range.”
And this ability to accomplish complex transactions without exposing that complexity is where Taproot specifically got its name.
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