Leap frogging zaddr

I think there’s a misunderstanding that a lot of people currently have. A lot of people seem to think that the presence of taddresses cause zaddress users to lose their privacy. I don’t think that’s true, at least not in the common case.

Instead, I think the current hybrid taddr-and-zaddr architecture provides — at least for the most common use cases — the best of both worlds: the strongest privacy for the use cases where you need that, and the strongest on-chain transparency where you need that, for example, for proof-of-reserves protocols, on-chain-voting such as the Zcash Coin-Holders Petition, private donations to public charities such as the 150 ZEC donation to Code To Inspire, transparent custodians and private users such as in WZEC, etc.

The current hybrid taddr-and-zaddr architecture also provides the best of both worlds in regards to the tradeoff between on the one hand availability of ZEC and widespread support for ZEC and on the other hand Zcash’s special features that most products don’t yet support. With the current hybrid architecture, the majority of exchanges and wallets in the world support ZEC, making it widely accessible and censorship-resistant, and nobody can stop you from moving your ZEC into Nighthawk or ZecWallet Lite or Unstoppable and then using the most advanced features — shielded transactions and memos. It’s the best of both worlds. Here’s a twitter thread where I make this argument.

Holmes Worcester’s comment is extremely persuasive to me. Please read it carefully! As far as I can tell, based on what I know and on Holmes’s arguments in that thread, removing taddresses from the base protocol would not provide privacy by default, but adding privacy by default to wallets/apps/products like Nighthawk and Zbay would! And removing taddresses from the base protocol would break the “best of both worlds” feature, but adding features to wallets/apps/products would not.

To recap in table format:

  1. Removing taddresses from the base protocol:
    A. Would it achieve privacy by default? No.
    B. Would it achieve the best of both worlds? No.

  2. Improving wallets/apps/products:
    A. Would it achieve privacy by default? Yes.
    B. Would it achieve the best of both worlds? Yes.