In addition to "halving", you need to pay attention to these Bitcoin technologies in 2020

This article comes from toshitimes , the original author: Pedro Febrero, translator | Moni

In addition to halving the block reward, do you want to know about other developments of Bitcoin in 2020?

Yes, by reading this article, you have come to the right place.

Blockchain is currently the # 1 job skill on LinkedIn, so you should definitely learn more about the technological developments in this field, which may make your job search easier in the future. In the past year, Bitcoin technology has achieved good development. Will that trend continue in 2020? Can MAST, Taproot, Schnorr signatures, and other great technologies further improve Bitcoin security and drive its price up?

Bitcoin in 2020

In recent years, the number of high-quality developers and innovative developers working on the core Bitcoin protocol has been declining, which has also sparked blame from some communities.

However, if you really pay attention to what is happening under the hood, you will find that many interesting features are actually emerging. Especially in the past few years, the Bitcoin blockchain has added a lot of exciting new features, and has already planned to launch more new features in 2020. For example, blockchain technology company Blockstream released Miniscript in 2019, a new script compiler for Bitcoin, designed to improve the programmability of the Bitcoin blockchain while ensuring security.

Other latest Bitcoin technology proposals include:

1. Schnorr (a new signature scheme);

2. MAST (a new Merkle tree data structure);

3. Taproot (a method that allows all participants to agree on the outcome and sign a settlement transaction).

These three developments alone can greatly improve the fungibility and privacy protection of Bitcoin. So in this article, we will explore how these three main technologies work and what expectations the community will bring to the community after deployment on Bitcoin.


MAST, or Merkelised Abstract Syntax Trees, provides the ability to lock Bitcoin using all P2SH linked to different scripts in the same Merkle tree. This technology is developed by Blockstream developer Russell O 'Connor, Peter Wuille, and Peter Todd.

Star King (WeChat: o-daily) first introduces Merkel tree, which is a binary tree that contains a set of nodes. The root of the tree containing basic information has a large number of leaf nodes, a set of intermediate nodes, each A node is a hash of its 2 children. Then, the final root node is formed by the hash of 2 child nodes, which represents the "top" of the tree. The purpose of the Merkel tree is to allow the data in a block to be scattered: a node can only download the header information of a block from one source, a small part of the tree is associated with another source, and It is guaranteed that all data is correct. The reason this works is because the hash value is transmitted upward: if a malicious user tries to replace a fake transaction at the bottom of the Merkel tree, this change will cause all the nodes above to change The change will cause the above and above nodes to change, eventually changing several nodes, so the hash of the block is changed, causing the blockchain protocol to register it as a completely different block. Yes, it is basically a proof of invalid workload. In simple terms, the Merkel tree is a way to design bitcoin data structure technology. It is a mathematical structure that can hash different data sets into a single hash.

P2SH is an acronym for "Pay to Script Hash". It is an advanced script that supports bitcoin payments. Simply list the address path of the script that contains the script and the user can lock the bitcoin in the script (output) These Bitcoins can communicate with the correct key (hash) to unlock. The script is nothing more than a series of instructions recorded in each transaction, which will describe how the transaction peer unlocks these bitcoins.

Essentially, MAST is a P2SH that incorporates Merkel tree technology. Using MAST, you can link the same set of Bitcoins (one input) to many scripts with different conditions to unlock these Bitcoins. MAST expands the flexibility of Bitcoin smart contracts, improves scalability, and increases privacy.


Taproot creates a signed output with a description of what happens when the condition is met. In essence, Taproot technology gives the Bitcoin network the ability to add smart contract-like functions. Users can add logic to transactions by outputting scripts as simple payment transactions.

Taproot works best with the P2SH feature because it assumes that you want to split your script into a separate set of statements, so it only shows the parts of the script you want to use. Taproot allows signers to display only the log range number of the branch, which provides users with more privacy and increased scalability as no additional storage requirements are required.

Another role of Taproot technology is to make Bitcoin transactions look exactly the same on any blockchain browser, making it impossible to tell the difference between transactions, thus greatly improving the privacy of Bitcoin. It is conceivable that Taproot can make Schnorr signatures more efficient by aggregating multiple signatures into a single signature. In fact, as explained by Greg Maxwell, the developer behind Taproot, Taproot is the perfect link between Schnorr signatures and MAST.

The Schnorr signature mentioned here is actually an exciting new signature aggregation scheme that we will introduce in the next chapter.

3.Schnorr signature

Schnorr is a new signature aggregation scheme, invented by German cryptographer Claus-Peter Schnorr in the 1980s, and this signature technology was found to be very suitable for Bitcoin. With the support of this signature aggregation solution, all transaction input signatures will be merged into one, we no longer need multiple signatures, but only one aggregate signature.

So what's the difference between multisignature and aggregate signature? In fact, the only difference between the two is that in the aggregate signature scheme, each signer has his own message, not a message shared by everyone. When a verifier looks at the signing key, the Schnorr signature does not release any information about the input, so the transaction output of all external viewers looks like a regular address, but the only person who can unlock the script in the address will be all the corresponding private key By.

With Schnorr signature and signature aggregation technology, you can create smart contract functions and integrate logic that includes "if this / then that" into the signature payment conditions.

Finally, compared to traditional ECDSA signatures, Schnorr signatures are easier to verify and provide a higher degree of robustness, correctness, and flexibility. (Planet's Note: Robust is a transliteration of Robust, meaning robust and strong, usually referring to the ability of the system to survive in abnormal and dangerous situations. The so-called "robustness" refers to the control system in a certain (structure, size) Under the perturbation of the parameters, some other performance characteristics are maintained.)

Will these features be added to Bitcoin through a soft fork in 2020 or 2021?

let us wait and see!