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BIP 8, BIP 9 or Modern Soft Fork Activation: How Bitcoin Could Upgrade Next

Taproot, a proposed protocol upgrade that would improve Bitcoin’s privacy and flexibility, is in its late stages of development. Bitcoin Core contributors agree that the upgrade would benefit Bitcoin, and so far it generally appears to be welcomed by the wider Bitcoin ecosystem as well. It’s therefore likely that Taproot will make its way into a Bitcoin Core release, with other Bitcoin implementations possibly to follow. But one question remains: how should the Bitcoin network itself upgrade? Taproot is a consensus protocol change, which means that Bitcoin nodes must somehow switch from the old rules to the new rules without…

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