Zcash Developers Update 1-8-18

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By Paige Peterson

Hard to believe it’s been a year since we started these updates! So much has happened since our first official dev update on January 13th last year. Feel free to poke around all of the dev updates we’ve published so far if you’d like.

So the past couple weeks have been particularly slow due to holidays and events folks from our team attended like 34c3 in Leipzig, Germany where Zooko gave a great talk at about what he’s learned the past years in the cryptocurrency world and our co-sponsored event with Least Authority and Dekrypt Capital called “Privacy For Everyone” in Berlin, Germany. You can check out the livestream recordings of the various presentations from Privacy For Everyone here. Better quality recordings of the talks should be uploaded in the coming weeks. Linda our UX researcher, myself and Zooko all participated in the event as presenters & panelists.

Release

This Thursday we got 1.0.14 released which includes a few key features like viewing keys and client-side shielded value tracking.

Viewing keys are something we’ve been thinking about for a while and hoping to implement to improve functionality for shielded addresses. In short, viewing keys are private keys distinct from their correlated spending keys which allow viewing capabilities on a per address basis. This opens up a lot of possibilities such as watch-only addresses and…

And just to keep y’all updated, payment offloading experimental feature has been pushed back to 1.0.15 due to lack of review. The conflicting holiday schedules when the release candidate needed to be ready is the main reason and we anticipate plenty of time to get the reviews in for a 1.0.15 release. Thanks for your patience!

Overwinter & Sapling Network Upgrades

The end of the new year was the deadline for Overwinter specification for which we are very much on track with. The coming weeks will see final reviews of this specification followed by final implementation. As previously announced, the date for Overwinter activation is set for June 2018. We’ve made good progress on user documentation for this upgrade and are planning a guide for third party developers as well. The goal is to make this first network upgrade as smooth as possible while also preparing to learn from the experience for subsequent upgrades (like Sapling which will follow suit with activation planned for September 2018).

Sapling specification is also coming along nicely and will only ramp up now that the holidays are complete especially once engineers are on-boarded to alleviate overall workload of our spec design team.

UX + website + documentation

In addition to the Network Upgrade FAQ for users that we’ve been putting together and Network Upgrade guide for developers, we’re hoping to publish our UX checklist for developers to the website as part of the integration guide. We have also started preliminary discussions on redoing much of the website flow and content. This will come after we finish up our migration of the blog to wordpress which is very close to being complete.

We’re also getting back on track with consolidating documentation such that guides can be easier to locate for users and developers.

Thanks for everyone’s patience the past couple weeks for a developer update.

Happy New Year, Zcashers! :slight_smile: