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Monday, May 17th 2021 - Issue #993

More pools are signaling Taproot

Over the weekend, while everyone, their mother, and their Uncle Marty was caught up in the Elon Musk drama (I hate myself for getting swept up in it), many mining pools began to signal for Taproot activation. Bitcoin Core contributor Andrew Chow is diligently keeping track of the signaling emanating from pools with the help of a data scraper and is kindly reporting on the pools as they begin to signal. If you aren't already, go give him a follow to stay up to date on the activation of Taproot, Bitcoin Core development - particularly HWI development (hardware wallet interface) - and dope Twitch streams where you can watch him write/review code.

According to taproot.watch, it doesn't seem like Taproot will be activating during this difficulty epoch.
As you can tell from some of Andrew's tweets above, some pools are switching their Taproot signaling on and off. One can't be exactly sure as to why pools are doing without them coming out and saying it outright. However, it is a bit disconcerting considering the fact that this was going on during the lead up to SegWit activation. If your Uncle Marty recalls correctly, f2pool was actively playing games with the network during the lead up to SegWit activation and contributed to prolonging that particular activation. Many speculate it was so they could manipulate the price of the futures tokens that were trading around that time when it was unclear whether or not the network was going to fork.

I'm not so sure it makes sense to actively toggle activation signaling on and off this time around because the Taproot upgrade isn't nearly as controversial. Though we should prepare for the worst and not be surprised if some pools do decide to play games. If this does happen to become a reality, it could further validate the notion that this method of activation is subpar in the eyes of the users who would prefer to do a pure User Activated Soft Fork and not depend on miners/pools at all when it comes to activating soft forks.

I am optimistic that Taproot will activate within a few mining epochs after the current epoch. I've been wrong before though. Many times. Obviously, we'll continue keeping you freaks abreast of the activation process as it progresses. 
Final thought...

Nothing like tax day to reinvigorate your passion to make sure Bitcoin succeeds and buries the wasteful, incompetent, and violent federal government. 
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