Why Charlie Lee backs Taproot and Schnoorr Signatures


Charlie Lee in his latest tweets continues to acknowledge the power of Taproot, Schnorr signatures.  “These shall add smarter contract capabilities without hurting scalability and increases privacy,” the master of Litecoin predicts.

Calling out latest article @AaronvanW, Lee complements the author

“masterful job at distilling a really complex topic into an article that is easy to digest.”

“Pay attention to Taproot and Schnorr Signatures”

In his masterful latest article on Bitcoin Magazine, Aaron Van Wirdum discusses the crux of Taproot and its benefits for bitcoin. Wirdum says, “While Taproot is a big undertaking, this is not just theory.”

An idea mooted by Gregory Maxwell, an ex-CTO at Blockstream and Core Contributor at Bitcoin, Taproot will enhance smart contract flexibility for Bitcoin besides offering better privacy aspects as well.

As Wirdum says, “Bitcoin Core contributors — including Pieter Wuille, Anthony Towns, Johnson Lau, Jonas Nick, Andrew Poelstra, Tim Ruffing, Rusty Russell and, indeed, Gregory Maxwell — are working on a Schnorr signature proposal that would include Taproot, all in one protocol upgrade.”

As per Wirdum’s analysis, coins which are typically scripts have two major downsides – “One, it’s data heavy, especially if there are many conditions. And two, it’s bad for privacy. Everyone learns all the different ways in which funds could have been spent, which can, for example, reveal what kind of wallet was used and perhaps even more.”


Merklized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) is one solution for the above problem was about ‘individual’ hashed but only offers a single and ‘locks up’ the coins.

Explaining the nuances Wirdrum says, “MAST more data efficient than complex P2SH smart contracts and adds privacy to boot. Yet with Schnorr, Taproot can do even better: a transaction can hide that a MAST-structure existed at all.”


Wirdrum explains that “cryptographers consider the Schnorr signature scheme to be the best in the field, as its mathematical properties offer a strong level of correctness, it doesn’t suffer from malleability and is relatively fast to verify.”

Taproot on the other hand Wirdrum says despite the complexity that “any MAST-construction could (or should) include a condition that allows all participants to agree on the outcome and simply sign off on a settlement transaction together.”

As Lee points out, Wirdrum excellently describes the technical aspects of Taproot and its benefits over MAST and will be effective in ‘concealing’ complex smart contract.