Zcash Weekly Developers Update 2-24-17

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By Paige Peterson

This week was focused on 1.0.7 ticket triage, development and review.

Some of the work done so far includes removing QT code from client (inherited from upstream Bitcoin) (PR 1636), a test for nodes when prioritizing transactions (PR 2014), reducing the range of scanning when importing shielded addresses (PR 2052), various upgrades pulling in changes from Bitcoin v0.11.2 to 0.12.0 (PR 2099, PR 2100, PR 2101, PR 2124), new RPC z_decryptsinceblock (PR 2105), fixing potential stale reports from z_getoperationresult (PR 2123) and recording a local timestamp for new blocks(PR 2129).

Next week we’ll continue review and testing for the above pull-requests and work on refining the tickets we anticipate making it into the 1.0.7 release slated to be announced the following week on March 5th.

Additionally, we’re going through the process of upgrading testnet Founders’ Reward addresses due to a bug that occurred only within the test network (PR 2114). This will be a consensus change requiring a hardfork and for all testnet nodes to upgrade. Additionally, this will offer some valuable insight for our process during potential future mainnet hard forks due to improvements resulting in consensus changes. We sent a test alert this week to testnet nodes and at the time of forking, will follow up with another alert triggering safe mode requiring those nodes to upgrade.

We had a topical meeting this week on XCAT and the various dependencies for Zcash (issue 2117) and Bitcoin (issue 2116 & Bitcoin PR 7601) needed to build a working prototype between them. We decided to first focus on Bitcoin-Zcash trades due to the similarity in code making it a simpler implementation. After a successful implementation with Bitcoin, we will start the work on dependencies for Ethereum (issue 2118). A ZIP draft will be written to specify the details soon.

XCAT is one of our near future priorities which we announced this week.

We also worked on two other entries in our priorities list:

  1. We started on a proof of concept for the delegated proving feature. In the scope of a general audience are now referring to this by “Payment Off-loading” (as mentioned in the priorities blog post). We will continue with this work and a formal ZIP specification in the coming weeks
  2. The initial draft for a ZIP specifying Payment Disclosure was submitted for review this week and work on refining the spec proposal and building a proof of concept will be ongoing.

And while not part of our near future priorities, we had a secondary topical meeting about BOLT which allowed the engineers to get a better idea of what developments in Zcash are needed to support it down the line.

We’re continuing work for the unified RPC documentation (issue 2034) and started organizing and writing a “Zcash privacy primer”. There are important security considerations for users – mostly network related affecting those who don’t use Tor to obfuscate their node’s IP. We’ll be publishing an initial write up of these considerations soon and working to improve it overtime.

We also just concluded our second AMA!

Thanks for reading this week’s dev update!