It's been a minute since we mentioned Schnorr signatures in this rag and there's no better day than today to bring it to the forefront of your minds this morning. Our friend Lucas Nuzzi dropped a great article earlier this week that does an incredible job of describing the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), why Satoshi decided to use it over Schnorr when first launching Bitcoin, how Schnorr works, and why it is probably advantageous for us to adopt Schnorr via soft fork in favor of ECDSA at this juncture.
A couple topics of conversation that frequently pop up in the Ƀent are privacy and multisig solutions. When they are brought up it is usually because Uncle Marty is opining on the inherent shortcomings of what I deem to be imperative for the long-term success and survival of the Bitcoin network. Luckily for us, Schnorr signatures will enable much more potent privacy preserving ways of transacting when using the Bitcoin network. Actually incentivizing people to participate in CoinJoins because the fees would be lower in those types of transactions when compared to a typical transaction. Beyond this, Schnorr enables more extensive multisig functionalities that could potentially allow users to create private offchain smart contracts, which I imagine would lead to an explosion of creative applications being built on top of Bitcoin.
Lucas does a far better job at describing all of this than I can, so go peep the article when you get a chance. To me (and many others I'm sure), this seems like a no brainer for Bitcoin to adopt. Bitcoin's Achilles heel at the moment is its traceability and lack of good UX around transacting privately on the network. As has been discussed on Rabbit Hole Recap recently, privacy when using Bitcoin is more of an art form than a science at the moment. Ideally, we'll be able to begin pushing the dial on this spectrum towards science, making it so transacting privately with Bitcoin is as straightforward and easy as possible. The hoops that users are forced to jump through at the present moment to preserve their privacy when using Bitcoin are laughable from a product standpoint.
One of the best ways for users to preserve their privacy on the Bitcoin blockchain at the moment is Wasabi Wallet, which is currently being subjected to a dust attack in which the attackers are trying to taint Wasabi users' mixed UTXOs with dust in an attempt to track or deanonymize the users. Very smart developers like our friend @nopara73 are spending a crazy amount of time to bring privacy to Bitcoin users playing within the parameters dictated by the protocol. If added, Schnorr signatures would make a lot of the jobs of @nopara73 and other developers working on similar tech a lot easier, allowing them to focus their energy on other, higher leverage areas.
Instead of fighting against the rip current of the inherent flaws of ECDSA let's calm the waters with Schnorr and allow these developers and users to swim with more ease in the ocean that is Bitcoin. <---- Possibly the cheesiest sentence ever written in this rag. Bask in it, freaks.
Wearing multiple hats is fun and annoying at the same time.