A formal Bitcoin Improvement Proposal for the hightly anticipated Schnorr Signature has just been submitted by Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille. Schnorr is a digital signature scheme that leverages elliptic curve cryptography to allow the Bitcoin network to validate transactions submitted to it. Theoretically, Schnorr Signature may increase performance over the current ECDSA signatures currently used in Bitcoin (see story below).
As Pieter Wuille pointed out in an email to the Bitcoin-dev mailing list,this proposal is just a specification for the signature scheme itself. Integration into Bitcoin remains open for future proposals. The process of bringing Schnorr to be fully production ready is a lengthy process (related video below). This BIP is an important improvement; getting it adopted. implemented, and deployed will disprove naysayers who claim Bitcoin is locked in powerless in the face of political debate.
"Bitcoin has traditionally used ECDSA signatures over the secp256k1 curve for authenticating transactions. These are standardized, but have a number of downsides compared to Schnorr signatures over the same curve:
- Security proof: The security of Schnorr signatures is 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.
- Non-malleability: ECDSA signatures are inherently malleable; a third party without access to the private key can alter an existing valid signature for a given public key and message into another signature that is valid for the same key and message. This issue is discussed in BIP62. On the other hand, Schnorr signatures are provably non-malleable.
- Linearity: Schnorr signatures have the remarkable property that multiple parties can collaborate to produce a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys. This is the building block for various higher-level constructions that improve efficiency and privacy, such as multisignatures and others."
"After over a year of testing, SegWit now has widespread support across all stakeholder groups (Developers, Users, Miners and Businesses) and will soon be implemented. This opens the door for one of the next innovations: Schnorr Signatures, which can further help to improve scalability."
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