Zcash Developers Update 12-20-19

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By Elena Giralt

Happy Holidays zcashers! I’m moving the this week in privacy section to the bottom of the post. Please note, there will not be weekly updates for the next two weeks on account of the holidays.

Our engineering team is ending this year with a bang!
Here are the latest updates from ECC:

Core Team: 

  • Refactoring work on librustzcash
  • Backporting from upstream Bitcoin Core
  • Merged Rust Merkle Mountain Range PR from Parity into NU3
  • Implemented a shielded coinbase prototype into NU3
  • Provided a more comprehensive fix for wallet side-channel attacks
  • Completed initial Halo benchmarks

Development Infrastructure Team:

  • Demo docker compose for lightwalletd
  • Lightwalletd public instances running
  • Buildbot workers updated and staged for Python3 migration
  • zcashd_exporter added base set of metrics

Wallet Team:

  • Replaced SQL with in-memory cache, added a couple RPCs from ZecWallet/community-submitted functionality, integrated a bunch of security fixes
  • Lightwalletd leaps in functionality, increased test coverage,
  • Android internal wallet app is feature-complete: seeds, send, receive
  • iOS demo app is feature-complete, progress made towards mainnet support
  • Lightwalletd testnet and mainnet instances deployed with CI
  • Security review of lightwalletd, android app, and iOS demo changes

This week in privacy, NYT thinks that you should be freaking out about your privacy. FastCompany reports on the importance of privacy at work. ACLU published an excellent write-up on private DNS debate between tech giants and telcos in the US. In other US privacy news, congressional House privacy bill takes aim at Facebook and Google ad model. Facebook won a data privacy case in the EU against privacy activist Max Schrems. In the UK, Tories are switching to Signal for more private messaging. In Asia, the Chinese government has cracked down on big tech firms like Xiaomi and Tencent for privacy violations, this despite Jinping’s track record of citizen surveillance and human rights violations.

Specific to crypto, Fluffypony steps down as lead maintainer at Monero. CZ, CEO of Binance chimed in on privacy in his latest blog post, “We believe privacy is a fundamental right and are supportive of privacy driven initiatives.” Tor Bair from Enigma talked about the privacy crisis in Coindesk’s Year End Op-Eds. “The privacy crisis is like a distant war – severe consequences for many, expensive and destructive, but often just far enough out of view to be forgotten.”