Bitcoin
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BTC · 42w

Why Schnorr signatures will help solve 2 of Bitcoin’s biggest problems today

Problem #1: Scalability

To do successful bitcoin transactions, signatures are required. Unfortunately these signatures necessarily take up space in the blocks of the blockchain.

This becomes a problem when you want to send transactions from multiple addresses to one, as each of these transactions require their own signature.

Note that these are digital signatures, you don’t need to sign anything!

All this signature data increases the transaction size, and thus the transaction fee that is paid to the miners with it. You are claiming space that could be used for other transactions, which means you must pay to take their place.

At the end of the day, if it is just one person sending that transaction from multiple sources, there should be some way to do so with just one signature, right? This is what Schnorr signatures allow us to do.

One transaction has one signature

Estimates are that this upgrade would reduce the use of storage and bandwidth by at least 25%. To point out the obvious: that is a huge efficiency gain.

There is more though.

Another major benefit of Schnorr signatures (not problem #2 of the article), is increased privacy as to how you are securing your bitcoins.

Some users intentionally use multiple signatures to send transactions, as this is a way to increase security. You can require multiple people or devices to send a transaction for example, which is commonly known as MultiSig. This is just one of the great benefits of having programmable money.

Of course you don’t want outsiders to see that you are doing this, and Schnorr signatures would make your signatures look like any other.

Problem #2: Spam attacks

Over the past 6 months, the bitcoin network has suffered from countless spam attacks.

The reason why I call it a spam attack is because it was done to push a political agenda. A group of people desperately wanted to push their ideas to increase scalability. The moment a scaling solu...

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