It was hinted long ago that Bitcoin and its blockchain are going to get updated in the future, with the taproot update currently in development at that time. A specific block sequence was already put aside as a marker for when the update shall go live. Block 709632 was chosen for this task, and whenever it hit that specific block on the ledger, the Bitcoin taproot update will go live. At the time of writing, the blockchain of Bitcoin has already hit that specific block sequence which initiated the upload of taproot update for that specific block sequence and into the Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Multiple changes have been rolled out through this specific update regarding how transactions are signed and carried out and the amount of overall transaction information made available to the public ledger. The taproot soft fork update was activated by Bitcoin core at the above-mentioned block sequence, which showed 2493 transactions at the moment of the taproot update going live. The main idea behind this update is to upgrade the privacy of the Bitcoin network and activate multi-signature transactions while bringing forth the untapped potential of smart contracts on the Bitcoin network.
Merkelized Alternative Script Trees (MAST) is the new protocol in place that will be able to mask most of the details of an ongoing transaction taking place between two parties. Before this specific protocol was in place all these conditions were made available on the public ledger, thus compromising the privacy of both parties involved. But with the help of this specific protocol, the conditions of the smart contract would be hidden and compressed so that the information stays between the allocated parties.
All smart contracts for Bitcoin are written in a specific language called Script, which allows certain conditions to be specified for the sake of unlocking funds. The conditions, once met, allow the transfer of funds to take place from one person to the other while fulfilling every little requirement of the smart contract initiated to foresee the smooth transaction of the funds taking place between these parties.