Zcash (ZEC) is a privacy cryptocurrency that shields transactions. This is done by utilizing a type of cryptography, known as zk-snarks. However, this protocol is heavy, which spells trouble for mainstream usage of Zcash and other privacy coins that utilize zk-snark technology. We are at a stage now in the cryptocurrency industry where investors want to see mainstream usage. If Zcash is to be a long term success, the coin needs to work effectively.
With that said, there’s a light at the end of tunnel for Zcash, via the form of a new upgrade. Dubbed “Sapling,” this upgraded protocol is now live, and is already improving the usability of Zcash.
The activation of the Sapling upgrade brings the ZEC team one step closer to their goal of “widespread adoption of an open, permission-less and private payment system.” In fact, this Sapling protocol will allow for shielded transfers to be completed six or more times faster than previously capable under old structure.
Previously, shielded transactions were only possible for users running a full node. With the recent upgrade, the team at Zcash hopes it can ultimately remove transparent transactions, and transition to privacy-by-default. Improved performance and improved security – very welcoming news to the Zcash community.
This upgrade in protocol also uses 100x less memory. This meaning the protocol can support light clients that aren’t storing the full blockchain node, like mobile users. Another key feature of the Sapling network protocol upgrade is a “viewing key” feature, which will allow users to reveal their transactional and address data if they desire.
In a market with a number of competing privacy coins, Zcash remain positive and confident of the future. They had this to say in their blog: “in fact, it is the light that guides our sense of purpose and direction as we continue to innovate, create and experiment. We look forward to future milestones, outlined in our operational roadmap, that showcase how privacy is a pathway to economic freedom and opportunity.”
The continued innovation from the Zcash gives confidence to investors in the cryptocurrency. If developments continue to roll out successfully, one would expect the ZEC cryptocurrency to increase in price. However, at the time of the Sapling upgrade announcement, the price of ZEC was sitting at a price of around $123, and is currently sitting at $116.83 at the time of writing.
Article By: Timothy Atkins