Privacy-focused cryptocurrency ZCash executed a hard fork and network upgrade on October 28, 2018, on its second anniversary. According to ZCash’s blog post, the Sapling activation will introduce new shielded addresses which will boost ZCash’s performance by improving the network’s transaction speed.
ZCash Marks New Milestone In Roadmap
ZCash activated their sapling network upgrade at block height 419200. Their new Sapling network upgrade marks a new milestone in their roadmap, ever since their launch in October 2016. The latest update will provide significant efficiency improvements for shielded transactions since it will reduce the time needed for a transaction by up to 90 percent and memory reduction by 97 percent.
Before the Sapling update, ZCash’s shielded transactions took significantly more computational power than other tokens. The process to validate and record the transaction on a blockchain would consume a lot of energy, which unfortunately made it difficult for cryptocurrency exchanges and mobile users to transact with the token, preventing widespread use of the token.
Benefits of the Sapling Update
The sapling upgrade will ensure that shielded transactions are faster and significantly more efficient. By creating a new sapling Z-address which is shorter, these shielded transactions can be constructed in only a few seconds and take up 40 megabytes of memory.
The hardfork will also decouple spend authority. According to the ZCash website, it will separate the hardware that constructs the ZCash zero-knowledge proofs from the hardware responsible for transactions. Individuals and companies can now break up the two processes and have them set up on two computers. One computer can run an inexpensive signature step, and the other can construct the proof.
Furthermore, users will also have improved viewing keys. Owners of shielded addresses now have full viewing keys which allow them to view incoming and outgoing transaction details without exposing their private spending key. The great benefit of this feature is that ZCash transactions can be shared with many trusted third parties, which can be important when audits or compliance checks are required.
ZCash received great gratitude and enthusiasm from the cryptocurrency community. According to a ZCash Reddit thread, Redditor tz1tzikas mentioned that the ZCash developers and engineering team have a strong reputation as being “one of the most competent, humble, and non-toxic dev teams around.” Another community member, Gentoo13, also showed his respect congratulating the team and noting that their work is pretty impressive, stating “hats off,” to the team.