Zcash Developers Update 6-1-18

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By Paige Peterson

This is our fortnightly community and communications update, for the latest update on the engineering front, check out last week’s update.

From the blog…

On May 21st, we announced our investment into Agoric. We’re excited about their mission to create secure smart contract infrastructure and the prospect of such capabilities within the Zcash ecosystem. This marks the second investment we’ve made as a company having recently invested into StarkWare Industries as well.

On May 22nd, we announced the Sapling parameter generation MPC. This Sapling-specific MPC follows the Powers of Tau ceremony as the second of two phases required to complete the more transparent and secure parameter generation process for zk-SNARKs. The blog also provides information about how to take part.

Earlier this week on May 30th, zcashd 1.1.1 was released 1. This was a huge milestone towards Sapling as consensus rules for the network upgrade have officially been implemented and will activate on the test network at block height 252500. It is worth noting that this is for implementation of consensus rules only which are the mandatory changes needed for the upgrade. Wallet support can be implemented and tested over the releases leading up to Sapling activation. As with Overwinter, this upcoming release cycle will include a lot of testing around the activation on the public test network and some private test networks. September is still the target for Sapling activation however should any issues arise during testing or the final audit reviews which warrant a delay, we will!

Also this week we released a blog post about a new feature which will be activated via Overwinter called transaction expiry. This should be a very useful feature to mitigate problems of transactions becoming stuck in node memory pools before being mined into a block. There are a variety of reasons for a transaction getting stuck (see the transaction not mined FAQ on this) but after Overwinter is activated, transactions will have a default expiry time of 20 block before being evicted from the mempool. This means it should be a lot simpler for users who run into problems to try again.

Events

Last week we participated in the African Blockchain Conference in Uganda where we got to learn from and engage with the growing blockchain industry in Africa. We hope to see growing Zcash adoption in this region as more wallets and exchanges are created which focus on the area.

We’re also seeing more Zcash meetup activity with one meetup happening in the San Francisco Bay area last weekend and another in Boston tomorrow. If you have interest in starting a Zcash meetup in your town, definitely get in touch with me for any topical support or sponsorship. We already attend various blockchain related meetups and sponsor topical community events but I would really like to start aiding and promoting meetups focused on Zcash.

Zcon0 & the Foundation

We’re continuing to send out official invitations to applicants of Zcon0. If you haven’t fill out the form yet and are interested in joining us in Montreal at the end of the month, definitely apply ASAP. Expect the mostly filled out schedule to be released next week.

There’s still time to apply for the Zcash Foundation community governance panel “consisting of a broad collection of people who have contributed in some way to the Zcash community via some public & visible presence”. You can read more about the panel and how to participate here.

The Q2 2018 grant program is charging ahead with 41 proposals submitted and half of them being invited to submit full proposals before the June 15th deadline.

That’s all for this week!