Bitcoin’s proposed Schnorr upgrade could bring drastic change

18 Jul, 2018
by Matthew Kim
Bitcoin’s proposed Schnorr upgrade could bring drastic change

Bitcoin’s newly proposed Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) Schnorr upgrade could be the biggest modification to Bitcoin since Segregated Witness (SegWit).

On July 6th, Bitcoin developer Dr. Pieter Wuille published a Github document suggesting a new standard for cryptographic signatures for Bitcoin transactions. The proposed standard, which uses 64-bit Schnorr signatures, would allow a user to utilize a single signature to execute transactions from their various different wallets. Wullie asserts that the update would not only improve Bitcoin’s utility, but also upgrade its scalability and privacy.

However, to implement the Schnorr upgrade, Bitcoin would have to undergo a drastic transformation in its method of creating keys for its users, a critical part of the protocol. These keys are needed for users to send, receive, and store Bitcoin. Currently, Bitcoin uses the Elliptical Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) to generate the keys. However, the ECDSA apparently has a “number of downsides” compared to Schnorr: security proof, non-malleability, and linearity. Adoption of Schnorr will employ provable mathematics to provide tighter security using signature encoding and batch validation.

Ultimately, as Wuille states, the Bitcoin community will collectively make the decision to adopt Scnorr. Wullie is a veteran Bitcoin developer, having worked on the Bitcoin for several years, but Bitcoin will always be controlled by the voice of the people as it is the people’s currency. If the Schnorr upgrade proves to genuinely improves the Bitcoin protocol, surely the Bitcoin community will speak to implement it.

For more information, visit the BIP Github document:

Read more about: Bitcoin (BTC)


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