The New Zcash Sapling Protocol Is Now Live After Successful Network Upgrade

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Developers behind Zcash blockchain announced successful Sapling hard fork, which introduces new shielded addresses with significantly improved performance.

The privacy-focused coin’s upgrade went live at a block height of 419200, reducing by some 90 per cent length of the construction process of a transaction, and a memory reduction of over 97 per cent.

“Sapling activation, occurring on the momentous occasion of the currency’s second birthday, brings us one step closer to widespread adoption of an open, permissionless and private payment system,” the official announcement reads.

Zcash version 2.0.0 compatible with the Sapling upgrade was released on August 17.

The Sapling upgrade brings other tangible benefits to users, such as parameters generated by an improved ceremony and the BLS12-381 curve, which benefits all shielded address users. However, at the moment funds cannot be transferred from legacy shielded addresses to the new Sapling shielded addresses without revealing amounts, the developers say.

“This allows us to audit the monetary base of ZEC held in shielded addresses. We are developing a tool to automate the migration of funds in a way that allows users to minimize the impact on their privacy. We recommend that users wait for the release of this tool,” the blog post added.

The Zcash blockchain and its coin (ZEC) went live in October 2016 with a focus on privacy by using zero-knowledge proofs. Zcash was the first big application of zk-SNARKs, a variation of zero-knowledge proofs that allow them to be used in blockchains and reduce their size and the computational strain on the network.

Last month, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin suggested that zk-SNARKs tech could be used to help scale the second largest cryptocurrency.

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