The developers of Bitcoin Core have just announced the release of version 0.21.0 of the software.
Result of the merger of more than 600 “pull requests”, Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 is an important step in the evolution of Bitcoin: new functionalities (in particular the introduction of Descriptor Wallets), more confidentiality (in particular the taking into load of Tor V3 addresses) and improved performance.
Among the most notable developments there is obviously the inclusion of the Taproot code which will however only be activated in a later version of Bitcoin Core.
Beforehand, you will need to define the activation logic (BIP 8 or BIP 9) in an intermediate version. Enabling Taproot shouldn’t be a big problem though, as it is supported by many miners (91.05% of computing power at the moment).
Taproot is a proposed Bitcoin protocol upgrade combining the Schnorr signature algorithm with MAST (Merklized Abstract Syntax Trees) and a new scripting language called Tapscript.
Taproot will increase the flexibility of Bitcoin’s smart contracts, while offering more confidentiality, as complex transactions cannot be distinguished from traditional transactions.
Finally, Taproot will improve the scalability of the protocol, preventing all contractual conditions from being processed by the network and cluttering the blockchain.
Overseen by Wladimir van der Laan, Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 has been developed by over a hundred contributors.