The privacy focused coin known as ZEC has implemented its new upgrade. We are talking about the Zcash Heartwood upgrade which now enables third party integrations and improved privacy through a shielded coinbase.
As you probably know from our Zcash news, the coin is the most recent iteration of the Zerocoin protocol. Developed in 2013, the cryptocurrency got a new protocol which was renamed to Zerocash and then rebranded again to Zcash in 2016. The original whitepaper for this project describes a “full-fledged ledger-based digital currency with strong privacy guarantees.”
Currently, the Zcash cryptocurrency achieves a high level of privacy by making it possible to shield the origin and destination of transactions. Also, ZEC is listed as having a market cap of $587 million and currently trades for around $59.17 with a 4% decline on the day. The value of the token, however, rose by around 10% in the last week alone.
What is notable to mention is the fact that the Zcash privacy model is based on ZK-SNARKs, or Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge. This is an optional feature that ZEC has based on zero-knowledge proofs. In the Zcash blockchain, there is also an option for the sender and recipient address details to be shielded, which gives the cryptocurrency a major competitive advantage.
The Zcash Heartwood upgrade is big in the blockchain news, following three previous upgrades in the coin’s history. They include:
- the “Overwinter” hard fork which went live in 2008, enhancing the transaction efficiency and scalability for shielded addresses
- the “Sapling” fork which launched in October 2018, for similar purposes and reduced the zk-SNARK proving times from 37 seconds to 2.3 seconds, and
- the most recent upgrade named “Blossom” which went live in December 2019 and included shortening the target block times from 150 to 75 seconds, a new mempool size limit and discontinued backward compatibility with Sprout proofs for decreasing the attack surface on the ZEC Codebase.
The newest Zcash Heartwood upgrade includes two key network improvements:
- The first is called “Flyclient” and will enable more efficient proofs for light clients (interacting with blockchain in a secure and decentralized way)
- The second called “Shielded Coinbase” which defines modifications to the Zcash consensus rules which enable Coinbase funds to be mined to shielded Sapling addresses.
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