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Bitcoin network activates Taproot, most significant upgrade since 2017

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  • Bitcoin has just witnessed one of the biggest upgrades to its network in four years.
  • The Taproot update will preserve privacy on the BTC blockchain by obscuring complicated transactions.
  • Schnorr signatures, introduced in the upgrade, will also be a game-changer for smart contracts on the protocol. 

One of the most anticipated upgrades to the Bitcoin network has just been activated. Taproot, the first BTC update in four years, will unlock the potential for smart contracts and expand the leading cryptocurrency’s utility.

Taproot received near-universal support

The long-awaited Bitcoin upgrade, Taproot, was activated on November 14 at block 709,632. The new update will allow developers to integrate new features enabling improvements of privacy, scalability and security on the BTC network.

90% of miners signaled their support for the upgrade, leading to the upgrade being locked in Q2 this year. The update effectively activated the first major upgrade to the network’s code since Segregated Witness was introduced in 2017. Unlike the 2017 upgrade, which witnessed a controversial ideological divide, Taproot has received near-universal support.

One of the major features of the update is the introduction of Schnorr signatures, allowing more complex transactions on the Bitcoin network to be made. With the new upgrade, transactions from multi-signature wallets would look like any other transaction, enhancing the privacy and security of transactions.

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According to Alyse Killeen, the founder and managing partner of Bitcoin-focused venture firm Stillmark, Taproot opens a breadth of opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in expanding the utility of the bellwether cryptocurrency.

The new upgrade also allows for smart contracts to be cheaper and smaller, as they take up less space on the blockchain. 

Bitcoin price eyes new all-time high following Taproot upgrade

Bitcoin price is aiming for a new all-time high following its retracement that started on November 11. The 100 four-hour Simple Moving Average (SMA) continues to provide support for the flagship cryptocurrency as BTC climbs higher, resuming its rally.

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A symmetrical triangle pattern is validated on the 4-hour chart, suggesting a 13% rise towards $71,703 from the upper boundary of the governing technical pattern. While Bitcoin price faced a minor sell-off following its all-time high on November 10, the bullish target remains on the radar.

The immediate resistance for Bitcoin price is at the November 8 high at $66,556. Slicing above this level could see BTC reach for a new record high.

BTCUSDT

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart

However, if selling pressure increases, Bitcoin price could fall towards the 50 four-hour SMA at $64,939 before dropping further towards the 21 four-hour SMA at $64,310. Additional support may emerge at the November 2 high and the October 22 high, at $64,262 and $63,698, respectively.

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Bitcoin Senator Rallies For Support Against Powell’s Renomination As Federal Reserve Chair, Here’s Why

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Popular Bitcoin Senator, Senator Cynthia Lummis is reportedly soliciting for the support of her fellow Republicans in her stance against Jay Powell after the latter got renominated to chair the Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin Senator Wary of Crypto-unfriendly Nominees

As reported by Decrypt who first broke the news, a source in Lummis’ office says her reasons border on her belief that there is an unlawful treatment of crypto-based institutions in her home state, Wyoming.

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin senator is not only against the nomination of Powell. The source still claims that Senator Lummis is also asking her Republican colleagues to help block Leal Brainard’s nomination as well. Brainard is another nominee of President Biden’s for the Fed positions.

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Lummis’ skepticism might be as a result of the Special Purpose Depository Institutions or SPDIs as they are otherwise called. They are a new type of crypto-based bank that Wyoming lawmakers granted a special operational license to, just last year.

Two crypto-based companies that received the license in 2020 include Kraken exchange and Avanti — the stablecoin issuer. However, the Federal Reserve’s decision to not approve their applications for central bank-issued accounts has placed a hold on their banking ambitions.

Speaking about the Federal Reserve’s delay in a Wall Street Journal feature article by Lummis on Wednesday, she says it is an intentional and unlawful obstruction. She added that the Fed’s reasons are ambiguous at best. According to the Bitcoin Senator, Lummis claimed that the Wyoming entities have met all requirements for being a bank under the Federal Reserve Act.

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Lummis insists that Powell and Brainard are only avoiding their legal obligations in their continued treatment of SPDIs and like many other U.S lawmakers, she wants to know why.

Could Lummis’ Pressure Affect Powell’s Confirmation?

As Lummis continues to apply even more pressure on her colleagues, the possible extent to which this pressure can truly go in affecting the confirmation process of both Powell and Brainard, remains to be seen.

But with the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown, reportedly holding a vote on the pair sometime this month, both of them could be confirmed.

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Also, there’s a possibility of a potential tight vote now that some progressive Democrats — most notably Elizabeth Warren — are saying they will not be voting for Powell.

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PlanB’s Floor Model First Miss: Bitcoin Price Closed Way Below $98K In November

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PlanB’s floor model was wrong about BTC’s November closing price. The stock-to-flow model, though, is still on track.

Bitcoin’s closing price for November below $60,000 meant that PlanB’s floor model, which was particularly accurate until now, was finally broken.

At the same time, though, the analyst confirmed that the more popular stock-to-flow model was still valid as BTC is on track towards $100,000.

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PlanB’s Floor Model Fails

PlanB is among the most popular analysts in the cryptocurrency space, predominantly known for the Bitcoin stock-to-flow model, which he published in early 2019. However, he also posted another model, which he referred to as the “worst-case scenario,” in July this year.

Also known as the floor model, it’s based on technical aspects, such as the 200-day moving average, and saw BTC closing August at $47,000, September at $43,000, and October at $63,000.

The first two months were spot on. BTC closed in October at $61,000, which was still very near to the model’s predicted price, and PlanB said it was “good enough” for him.

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However, November’s closing actual closing price of way below $60,000 was quite different from what the model envisioned – $98,000. As such, the analyst admitted that this was the model’s first miss after nailing the previous few months.

S2F on Track

As mentioned above, the floor model works separately from the stock-to-flow model, which sees the stock as the size of existing reserves (or stockpiles) and the flow as the annual supply of new bitcoins to the market.

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It’s actually even more bullish as the original version sees bitcoin tapping $100,000 by the end of the year. The upgraded stock-to-flow cross-asset model, which introduced different phases of bitcoin’s development, predicted a price tag of $288,000 until 2024.

Although bitcoin still struggles below $60,000 at the time of this writing, PlanB believes that the original S2F hasn’t been broken as the asset is on its way towards $100,000. If BTC is indeed to go into a six-digit price territory, it would have to increase its USD value by more than 66% in the next 30 days.

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CashApp Added Bitcoin Taproot Support, Here’s Why It Is Important

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CashApp now supports the updated version of Bitcoin

The widely known Cash App mobile payment service developed by Square, which is being used to transfer money with the usage of a mobile app, now fully supports the Bitcoin taproot update.

The mobile payments service is currently available in the U.S. and the U.K. but is still reporting 70 million annual transactions between users and generating $1.8 billion in gross profit.

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The taproot upgrade was highly anticipated by the Bitcoin network and the cryptocurrency community in general. Previously, the update went into effect on Nov. 14, 2021, at block 709,632.

Previously, the announcement appeared on the app’s website that has described numerous benefits that users will experience after the implementation of the update. One of the main advantages is increased privacy and reduced transaction fees.

The two-week period has been chosen to confirm the functionality of the updated version of the currency. As for now, the update has been activated for all customers. Taproot-enabled wallets are now available for both receiving and sending.

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