Zcash Alpha Release: Faster Blocks

Zcash Alpha Release: Faster Blocks
If you have been mining on the test-net today you may have noticed a connection error saying the network was unavailable This is because Zcash released an updated version of the Zcash Public Alpha this morning. The most significant change that Miners will notice are the new block interval that has been changed to 2.5min. from 10min, the difficulty algorithm has been changed so you may be able to find block slower or faster than before depending upon how many others are also mining, and Equihash has been optimized even further. These performance changes will hopefully add up to mining faster blocks across the network. Full blog release below:  

Taylor Hornby | Jun 17, 2016

Today, we deployed a new alpha release of theZcash reference implementation, v0.11.2.z5, to the testnet. The new release includes the following changes [1]:
  1. The block interval target has been decreased to 2.5 minutes, without changing the monetary supply curve (#989).
  2. The difficulty adjustment has been changed to one based on DigiShield v3/v4 (#147,#1004).
  3. Coinbase rewards must be protected before they can be used in transparent transactions (#1017).
  4. Upstream’s soft forking rules now apply unconditionally to all blocks from the start (#1016).
  5. The Equihash implementation has been optimized further (#988), enabling us to switch to more difficult (higher memory) parameters (#1003). The difference can be seen on our performance tracker.
  6. The -relaypriority default has been set tofalse, to enable spending of low-value rewards during mining slow start (#1001).
  7. The note commitment tree depth has been increased from 20 to 29 (#994). The resulting increase in memory usage when creating a JoinSplit is visible here.
  8. Zcash addreses and spending keys are now encoded with Base58Check (#1026).
As with our previous alpha releases, this resets our testnet, invalidating all previous coins and breaking backwards compatibility. To get connected to the new testnet, follow the instructions on the Public Alpha Guide.
Source: Zcash Blog
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