Marathon to Stop Bitcoin Block Censorship
Mara Pool, the bitcoin mining pool operated by digital asset technology company Marathon Digital Holdings, will update its miners with the latest Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 software to report Taproot activation and stop transaction censorship , according to a press release.
“Marathon is committed to the fundamentals of the Bitcoin community, including decentralization, inclusion and no censorship,” said Marathon CEO Fred Thiel. “In the coming week, we will update all of our miners to the standard Bitcoin core 0.21.1 node, including support for Taproot. By adopting the full standard Bitcoin central node, we will be validating transactions on the blockchain in exactly the same way. like all other miners that use the standard node. “
The announcement contrasts sharply with Marathon’s actions in recent months. In late March, the company announced that its bitcoin mining pool would filter transactions to mine blocks that comply with U.S. regulations, including anti-money laundering (AML) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) standards, effectively censoring transactions. And earlier this month, the company successfully mined its first “compliant” block.
Thiel later added that “[Marathon] looks forward to continuing to be a collaborative and supportive member of the Bitcoin community and to realize Bitcoin’s vision as the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network powered by its users rather than a central authority or intermediaries ”, according to the Liberation.
Taproot is a soft fork of the Bitcoin network that could improve Bitcoin’s privacy and scripting capabilities. For example, the upgrade could make smart contracts more efficient and private by only revealing relevant parts of the contract when spending. Additionally, it could improve Lightning Network’s privacy by making Lightning channels look like regular Bitcoin transactions.
Taproot’s current deployment method is called Speedy Trial, a variant of BIP9 version bits described in BIP341. The process is characterized by miners and mining pools helping to coordinate the deployment of the flexible fork by signaling its support in their mined blocks. If 90% of the blocks in a 2016 block reporting epoch between May and August show support for Taproot, the soft fork is locked as a Bitcoin protocol upgrade for November.
According to data from Taproot.watch, 240 blocks have been mined in the current reporting era at the time of writing –– only six have not reported Taproot activation. As a result, over 97% of the blocks mined in the current era have reported support for upgrading.
But not all of the mined blocks in Mara Pool reported Taproot activation –– representing half of the total unmarked blocks at that time. However, by upgrading its miners, Mara Pool could start reporting for Taproot as early as next week, the statement said, leaving Bitcoiners very optimistic about activating the soft fork.
If Mara Pool effectively stops censoring transactions and Taproot is locked down as a Bitcoin protocol upgrade for November, the year 2021 would be etched in Bitcoin’s history as a vital year for the network, bringing improvements in privacy, fungibility, and scripting capabilities while laying the groundwork. for further improvements down the road.