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Schnorr signatures, a code change likely to be one of the biggest coming upgrades to bitcoin, have now gone from a theoretical idea to real code courtesy of technology startup Blockstream.
Announced Monday, Blockstream has added a technology known as “MuSig” to its test cryptographic library, making it possible for developers to tinker with the Schnorr signature scheme and potentially find bugs.
That the code is being opened up to the public to test is an exciting step because, if Schnorr is one day added to bitcoin, the new digital signature scheme could add privacy and bitcoin scalability improvements down the line. As such, developers have been eyeing the technology for quite some time.
Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra wrote in the announcement blog post:
“We’ve been turning MuSig from an academic paper into usable code, and this week we merged that code into secp256k1-zkp, a fork of secp256k1, the high-assurance cryptographic library used by Bitcoin Core.”