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The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado - The Technical Side of Bitcoin


Mar 12, 2021

In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss Speedy Trial, the proposed Taproot activation mechanism that has been gaining traction in recent weeks.

Aaron and Sjors explain that Speedy Trial would give miners three months to signal support for the Taproot upgrade with their hash power. If a supermajority of miners signal support for the upgrade within these thee months, Taproot will activate a couple of months later: six months since the release of the software client that includes the activation logic. If miners don’t signal support within three months, the upgrade will expire, and a new upgrade path can be considered. (It is as of yet not defined what the potential alternative upgrade path would look like.)

Aaron explains that Speedy Trial was born out of a compromise between developers and users who preferred different upgrade mechanisms for the Taproot soft fork, while Sjors details what some of the more technical implementation considerations of Speedy Trial are, like the benefits of using block heights instead of time stamps, and the extended delay between signaling and enforcement. Finally, Aaron and Sjors discuss some of the downsides and risks of Speedy Trial.