Zcash Developers Update 10-11-19

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By Elena Giralt

Happy Fall Everyone!   

Welcome to our Engineering update. You can expect this Engineering update every other week. If you have questions or feedback, don’t be shy. Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.

General Updates

Arborist Team This team focuses on the development of the zcashd client, librustzcash and protocol upgrades. Follow along with team discussions in the Community Chat #public-community-arborist

  • Stanford PING and REJECT: Researchers at Stanford presented two types of active side-channel attacks against private (a.k.a. shielded) transactions in Zcash. This Security announcement was shared in our last Engineering update. Be sure to upgrade your nodes to Version 2.0.7-3 immediately and discontinue use of older versions. Please note that the issue does not put funds at risk of theft or counterfeiting.
  • Other updates:
    • Putting final touches on mempool DoS fix for 2.1.0 which we expect to come out soon
    • Putting final touches in librustzcash v0.1.0
    • Added “developer tooling” making it easier to work simultaneously on librustzcash/zcashd
    • Transitioning to scrum to help increase cycle time
    • Arborist Team: current backlog

Development Infrastructure Team The Development Infrastructure team ensures developers have the tools and infrastructure they need. Join this team in the #dev-infrastructure chat channel.

  • Dev-Infra team continues to work on updating/migrating Python2 code to Python3.
  • We are continuing work on making several major Zcash components Docker compatible.
  • DevInfra team welcomed a new team member, @benwilson. Welcome!

Ecosystem Team This team is intended to work on projects that interface with external parties not including the zcashd core client and handles business development in the phases after initial contact by providing technical insight and support.

Reference Wallet Team This teams current charter is to build a Zcash reference wallet. Follow along with team discussions in the Community Chat #community-wallet-team channel.

  • The wallet team spent a lot of time paying down technical debt and addressing security concerns. This doesn’t sound that exciting, but I’m excited about what we did and what it means. We’ve:
    • handled all but one high-level security concerns brought up through internal review (sanitizing inputs, adding encryption between communication, etc.).
    • removed meaningless tests, increased test code coverage of our code, fixed a few bugs. 
    • started to restructure the iOS and Android SDK so that there can be demo apps that showcase and isolate a specific functionality. Right now, the Android app looks more like a demo app–and it’s not maintained to be stable. We’ve started on the iOS one!
    • added docker support and adding CI testing framework for lightwalletd. Now you can deploy a lightwalletd server with a simple docker file!
    • gotten feedback from multiple wallet partners on our sdk and lightwalletd server and we’re iterating based on that feedback.
  • In other wallet-related news, ZecWallet lightclient CLI is now available for beta testing on Zcash mainnet.

ECC out and about: Meet the team IRL

  • Josh Swihart and Josh Cincinnatti paneled at DevCon5 this week.
  • Our friends at Least Authority are organizing a workshop on zkSNARKs October 17th in Berlin. http://zksnarks.eventbrite.com
  • Zcon2 dates and location announced: June 22 – 24, 2020, in Lima, Peru! Attendee applications will open in December, 2019.