Zcash Developers Update 2-2-18

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By Paige Peterson

Following the pattern of the last several weeks, engineering has been heavily focused on implementing the code for Overwinter into the upcoming 1.0.15 release. We’ve been simultaneously updating the ZIP drafts that specify the changes to Zcash that Overwinter introduces which you can read and comment on here. A lot of the focus has been on reviewing and cleaning up the code changes and these improvement proposals.

We’ve also started releasing information and guidelines for developers and third-partiesabout Zcash network upgrades and will be revising and adding to this information. Next week we hope to release a new section of our FAQ about network upgrades in addition to a page dedicated to Overwinter which includes an activation countdown and links to all the relevant resources.

In addition to Overwinter code, we’ve spent time implementing a z_mergetoaddress RPC call for merging funds held by an address which is a target for improving wallet performance. This is particularly useful for wallets with many incoming transactions like those used by miners, exchanges, etc. We’ve also implemented z_listunspent which helps with debugging unspent notes (aka ZEC held in shielded addresses).

Sapling
We’ve been working diligently on the specification for Sapling and are super close to having a draft ready. We’re also getting ready for the 2nd phase of the MPC ceremony. The Powers of Tau portion has been ongoing for months now and can be repurposed by all kinds of zk-SNARK implementations while an additional application specific MPC is necessary for each. This Zcash foundation blog post can help you learn or refresh your understanding of the MPC.

Hiring
Things are moving along nicely with finishing up interviews and hiring engineers! We’ve onboarded 1 this week and are looking at several more onboarding in the coming weeks.