Bitcoin’s privacy and scalability problem could end soon once Schnorr signature is adopted by the BTC community.

Still in development, this Bitcoin upgrade proposes standard 64-byte Schnorr signatures over the current signature algorithm. This is one of the earliest discrete log-based signature schemes. It is simple in the way that it offers short signature length and efficiency by allowing pre-computing exponentiations for fast online signature generation. With regards to Bitcoin, Schnorr can clear up blockchain space and resolve transaction logjam by mashing signature data together.

Clearly, Schnorr signatures will be unlike other proposed Bitcoin improvements. It could just be the biggest improvement to Bitcoin since SegWit (Segregated Witness), a code that provided a fix to the block size issue in the Bitcoin Network. SegWit has been hailed as a turning point for the Bitcoin Network, having increased Bitcoin’s block size by over 100%. Likewise, Schnorr signatures brings a variety of improvements of equal value to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin users will get a new way to generate cryptographic keys for sending and storing BTC. This will pave the way for numerous benefits, key among them is improved privacy and scalability, two issues have been the subject of great debate in the BTC community.

The Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) draft proposes a standard for uniform implementation of the scheme, which is co-authored by notable Bitcoin developers including Johnson Lau and Gregory Maxwell. The highly technical draft describes in detail the math necessary to produce Schnorr signatures and merits over the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm.

At the moment, BTC users can send “multi-sig transactions” where it takes more than one user to sign off on the transactions. These are the more advanced types of transactions. Schnorr paves the way for a technique that makes these transactions looks the same as any other transaction. Like any other consensus change, Schnorr is a long process away from acceptance.

With billions of dollars on the line, this could turn into a debate. Schnorr affects important rules in Bitcoin, hence Bitcoin experts from around the world are weighing in with code contributions. SegWit was the last code change in the Bitcoin network through consensus. Those in disagreement set off to create a new cryptocurrency. Since then, SegWit transactions have rapidly increased on Bitcoin network especially amid news that Xapo Bitcoin Wallet and vault had activated SegWit. Schnorr is a particularly similar crucial upgrade for Bitcoin.

In the meantime, Francis Pouliot, an enthusiastic SegWit supporter, expressed support for the code change. However, many stakeholders might be hesitant in adding the code. Bitcoin developer Nicholas Dorier estimates that it could take a couple of years to implement Schnorr to Bitcoin.

 

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