- The Electric Coin Company has presented a “flight plan” for the next four years for the further development of ZCash.
- The development will focus on interoperability, promoting shielded addresses and decentralization through multiparty development.
In a blog post published today, Electric Coin Company (ECC) presented the “ECC R&D and Engineering Flight Plan” for 2020. In this very detailed article, the ECC, which is responsible for the further development of ZCash, describes its short- and long-term development plan for ZCash (ZEC).
“Flight Plan” for ZCash
Zcash’s long-term roadmap focuses on interoperability on the one hand and the possibility of involving more parties in the development of Zcash on the other. In addition, Zcash aims to improve the privacy and data protection of ZEC users. The Electric Coin Company states that it believes in a future version of Zcash that is completely shielded by anonymous addresses.
Nevertheless, ECC believes it is important in the coming years not to hinder or slow down the introduction of Zcash’s transparent functionality through new services or products. Therefore, the ECC intends a strategy for both shielded and transparent development and implementation.
Within the next six months, the focus of development will be on the SDK for shielded mobile wallets and the Blossom activation. The first mobile wallets for shielded addresses (t-addresses) are to be published.
In the longer term, over a period of 6-24 months, there will be a development fund whose shares come from the blockchain emission rules of Zcash. In addition, the network upgrades 3 and 4 are to be activated and two different consensus node code bases are to be operated in mainnet. Furthermore, the focus will be on the Layer 1 scaling solution HALO and its research.
Within the next four years, Zcash is to become a “mature, secure, private, permission-free store of value and medium-of-exchange”. In this regard, the ECC writes (freely translated):
We believe cryptocurrencies, Zcash especially, will have powerful medium-of-exchange (MoE) usage, especially in regions with poorly managed regional monetary policy, as well as globally in various internet-native services and products. […] We believe Zcash will be competitive in this role due to its best-in-class privacy properties, interoperability and support for L2 use cases including micropayments.
In detail, the following enhancements will be made:
The node software “Zebra” should be completely revised by April 2020 and be able to be used in the mainnet. In addition, full wallet support is expected shortly thereafter.
Development support for Light Wallets
The ZCash Foundation is to initiate development support for light wallets. So far there is only one ZCash Light Wallet from Guarda (in a beta version) which supports shielded transactions. In addition, improvements to the SDK for mobile wallets will be made. The ECC Mobile Wallet SDK and its protocol and backend components will enable shielded mobile wallets and similar applications.
Furthermore, an implementation of the Flyclient Merkle Mountain Range protocol function is planned. This enables more efficient proof-of-work verification for light clients and also improves many cross-blockchain protocols.
Cross-chain integrations for Zcash
In the interest of high interoperability, ZCash intends to develop cross-chain solutions that enable easy entry and exit of private Zcash funds from other cryptocurrencies.
Shielded Zcash provides best-in-class privacy, and we want to share the love beyond our own network! We’re interested in providing financial privacy not just for users of ZEC itself, but for participants in all cryptocurrency ecosystems.
In particular, interoperability with Ethereum will be improved.
Another feature that the ZCash community has long been demanding for are shielded addresses with multi-signatures that are useful for cold storage solutions, shared storage, and cross-chain swaps. The function will also be implemented in the course of next year.
Hardware wallet support for shielded addresses
Hardware wallet support has long been one of the most common feature requirements for ZCash shielded addresses. So far, no hardware wallet on the market can use shielded addresses. This will change. At Zcon1, Jack Grigg (alias str4d) of ECC showed preliminary support for signing sapling transactions on a ledger.
In addition, ECC has just signed a contract with Zondax. The ECC is expected to become a longer grant commitment to complete the construction of shielded Zcash support at Ledger Nanos. Implementation is scheduled for 2020.
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Display the view key
View keys are a main feature of the sapling upgrade. They allow a view key holder to see incoming and outgoing transaction information for the associated shielded address without the ability to transfer money.