On 28th August, Zcash announced on their official Twitter handle that Zcash’s network update codenamed ‘Sapling’ will be launched on October 28th this year.
Zcash team states that Sapling has undergone more than a two-year-long protocol design work. Moreover, the design has undergone cryptographic breakthroughs that significantly improves Zcash’s performance and function of encrypted transactions.
Speaking about the current Zcash network, the team stated in one of their official blogs:
“Most Zcash transaction use transparent addresses that function in the same way as Bitcoin. This is largely due to the computational cost of proving that shielded transactions are valid. With Sapling, we move one (giant) step closer toward the ubiquity of shielded addresses.”
Zcash’s Engineer Sean Bowe spoke about Sapling at the ZconO conference held by the Zcash community earlier this year. Explaining how sapling came into existence, he said:
“Sapling kind of started out as a pet project where we were trying to figure out ways to make ZK snarks faster, which are kind of the foundation of shielded transactions in Z cash and also we were trying to improve the parameter generation ceremony that it was necessary for ZK snarks to function.”
On August 16th, Sean Bowe announced on Zcash’s official blog the release of Zcash 2.0.0, the first Sapling-compatible Zcash node software. Post the release, the team has identified that the Sapling activation will take place at a block height of 419200 on the main network. The estimated height will be reached on October 28th, the team stated. Interestingly, the date coincides with Zcash’s second anniversary.
Speaking about Sapling’s advantages Zcash Engineer Ariel Gabizon says, Sapling will be of great help to exchanges that require multiple shielded transactions. He said:
“For exchanges that you know maybe we’ll want to do you know multiple shielded transactions in a short time, Sapling should also help out a lot you know if the if the time to generate one shielded transaction you know goes down by significantly to a few seconds in sapling then that’ll help you of course also when you’re making multiple transactions.”
Earlier this year, the Zcash team briefly described what a shielded ecosystem was and how it will help support the privacy of the overall Zcash ecosystem. The advent of Sapling will be a notable step towards a shielded economy, the blog mentions.
Moreover, the team believes that the shielded address support by 3rd party applications is critical to Zcash. However, the adoption of shielded address will take place months after the activation of Sapling they mentioned. The team has also been reaching out to third-party application developers, seeking their feedback to ensure a smooth transition to Sapling.
Twitter user Martin Pang commented on the announcement:
“Privacy > Scalability”
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