How the Proposed Schnorr Upgrade Could End Bitcoin’s Scalability Issues
The recently proposed Schnorr upgrade could become the biggest modification to Bitcoin since Segregated Witness (SegWit).
Veteran Bitcoin developer Dr. Pieter Wuille published a Github document on July 6th suggesting a new standard for cryptographic signatures. The proposed standard, which uses 64-bit Schnorr signatures, would allow a user to utilize a single signature to execute transactions from their various different wallets.
Bitcoin has traditionally used the Elliptical Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) to authenticate transactions. While these are standardized, they do have a number of downsides compared to Schnorr signatures over the same secp256k1 curve. Wullie asserts that the update would not only improve Bitcoin’s utility but also upgrade its scalability and privacy.
Schnorr signatures are provably non-malleable, support multi-signatures and are easily provable in the random oracle model assuming the elliptic curve discrete logarithm problem (ECDLP) is hard. Such a proof does not exist for ECDSA. Adoption of the new standard will employ a number of improvements not specific to Schnorr signatures including signature encoding and batch validation so as to provide higher security.
Ultimately, as Wuille states, the Bitcoin community will collectively make the decision to adopt Schnorr and only if the update proves to genuinely improve the Bitcoin protocol will it be implemented.
For more information, visit the Bitcoin Investment Proposal (BIP) page on Github: https://github.com/sipa/bips/blob/bip-schnorr/bip-schnorr.mediawiki#Introduction.