Zcash Developers Update 1-26-18


By Paige Peterson

1.0.15 and Overwinter
We continued focus on Overwinter implementation to get ready for setting the activation height on testnet at the 1.0.15 release. The tickets relevant to Overwinter are in the NU0 project. Many of the pull requests are in final stages of being written and several in queue for review such as the network upgrade activation mechanism (PR 2898), Overwinter signature verification (PR 2903), roll-back limit for reorganization (PR 2463), transaction block expiry (PR 2874) and adding upgrade information to the RPC (PR 2808).

These implementations of Overwinter are specified in draft form as ZIPs which are available for community review. We highly encourage folks to take a look at these drafts so the engineering team can take in perspective from the greater community. While Overwinter specification is pretty cut and dry and the biggest review need is from heavy users like mining pool operators and hardware wallets, we hope to draw more people from the community into the process of ZIP draft reviewing. It’s an important process to standardize especially as more complicated improvements are proposed. You can track the ZIP repository for newly created proposals and updates or acceptance of existing ones.

We’re figuring out how to best organize the necessary information for users and developers regarding general network upgrades and specific upgrades. A network upgrade FAQ section is planned for the website in addition to a new page for third-party developers. As Overwinter and Sapling activations get closer, we’ll also be blogging more about the changes users can expect.

A few engineers had an in-person 2-day intensive session to nail down Sapling specification. The final touches for this will be done next week and we’re really excited to share our plans with y’all and the world.

Audits, Hiring & Education
We also are finalizing new code audit plans. In particular, expect to hear about results from audits for Overwinter and Sapling in the coming months. No specific dates are known for when the results will be published but we’ll keep y’all updated.

We’re very close to welcoming in a new set of engineers and look forward to announcing them and onboarding them soon. Release and network upgrade work is (rightly) taking up a majority of our current engineering staff’s time. Once we onboard these new folks, we’ll be in a much better position to provide better third-party support and collaborations.

Finally, we published an introductory blog post to viewing keys and selective disclosure.