Nighthawk Apps Launches Global Zcash Light Client Infrastructure

Nighthawk Apps, a leading developer of privacy-focused cryptocurrency wallets, has announced the release of the geographically distributed setup of Zcash light client infrastructure. This development will make wallet services faster and more available to Zcash users located around the globe.

Zcash is a cryptocurrency that offers strong privacy protection for its users, using advanced cryptographic techniques such as zero-knowledge proofs. However, to use Zcash, users need to connect to a node that validates transactions and provides blockchain data. Running a full node can be resource-intensive and impractical for many users, especially on mobile devices.

That’s why Nighthawk Apps has created a network of light client nodes that can serve Zcash users with minimal bandwidth and storage requirements. The light client nodes use the Zcash Light Client Protocol (ZLCP), which allows users to verify transactions without downloading the entire blockchain. The ZLCP also supports shielded transactions, which hide the sender, receiver, and amount of ZEC transferred.

The new setup of Nighthawk Apps’ light client infrastructure consists of four node clusters located in different regions of the world: Toronto for North America, São Paulo for South America, Frankfurt for Europe & Africa, and Singapore for Asia & Oceania. These locations were chosen to optimize latency and availability for Zcash users across continents. The node clusters are automated with Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management. The Kubernetes scripts written by Nighthawk Apps are audited by Taylor Hornby(@earthrise), a well-known Zcash community auditor, and security researcher.

Location Host Port
North America na.lightwalletd.com 443
South America sa.lightwalletd.com 443
Europe & Africa eu.lightwalletd.com 443
Asia & Oceania ai.lightwalletd.com 443

Click here to find the closest cluster to your region.

By launching this global Zcash light client infrastructure, Nighthawk Apps aims to provide a reliable and convenient way for Zcash users to access the network and enjoy its privacy features. Nighthawk Apps also invites other developers and projects to use its infrastructure to build their own Zcash applications and services.

Nighthawk Apps is a proud recipient of a one-year grant from the Zcash Community Grants program, which funds independent teams to develop and maintain public good in the Zcash ecosystem. The grant was awarded in February 2023, following a proposal submission and positive feedback from the Zcash community. Nighthawk Apps appreciates the support and trust of the Zcash Community Grants program.

For more information about connecting to the Global Zcash Light Client Infrastructure, visit https://lightwalletd.com and follow @NighthawkApps on Twitter to learn about its products.

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Pretty cool, good job!

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Great news! Waiting more advances of this…

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Great! Which version of lightwalletd are you running on these servers?

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North America

grpcurl na.lightwalletd.com:443 cash.z.wallet.sdk.rpc.CompactTxStreamer/GetLightdInfo 
{
  "version": "v0.4.13",
  "vendor": "ECC LightWalletD",
  "taddrSupport": true,
  "chainName": "main",
  "saplingActivationHeight": "419200",
  "consensusBranchId": "c2d6d0b4",
  "blockHeight": "2106878",
  "gitCommit": "2d3943b8e995a3b2c5648ec9859dccc67c535386",
  "buildDate": "2023-05-13",
  "buildUser": "root",
  "estimatedHeight": "2106878",
  "zcashdBuild": "v5.5.0",
  "zcashdSubversion": "/MagicBean:5.5.0/"
}

South America

grpcurl sa.lightwalletd.com:443 cash.z.wallet.sdk.rpc.CompactTxStreamer/GetLightdInfo
{
  "version": "v0.4.13",
  "vendor": "ECC LightWalletD",
  "taddrSupport": true,
  "chainName": "main",
  "saplingActivationHeight": "419200",
  "consensusBranchId": "c2d6d0b4",
  "blockHeight": "2106878",
  "gitCommit": "2d3943b8e995a3b2c5648ec9859dccc67c535386",
  "buildDate": "2023-05-13",
  "buildUser": "root",
  "estimatedHeight": "2106878",
  "zcashdBuild": "v5.5.0",
  "zcashdSubversion": "/MagicBean:5.5.0/"
}

Europe & Africa

grpcurl eu.lightwalletd.com:443 cash.z.wallet.sdk.rpc.CompactTxStreamer/GetLightdInfo
{
  "version": "v0.4.13",
  "vendor": "ECC LightWalletD",
  "taddrSupport": true,
  "chainName": "main",
  "saplingActivationHeight": "419200",
  "consensusBranchId": "c2d6d0b4",
  "blockHeight": "2106878",
  "gitCommit": "2d3943b8e995a3b2c5648ec9859dccc67c535386",
  "buildDate": "2023-05-04",
  "buildUser": "root",
  "estimatedHeight": "2106878",
  "zcashdBuild": "v5.5.0",
  "zcashdSubversion": "/MagicBean:5.5.0/"
}

Asia & Oceania

grpcurl ai.lightwalletd.com:443 cash.z.wallet.sdk.rpc.CompactTxStreamer/GetLightdInfo
{
  "version": "v0.4.13",
  "vendor": "ECC LightWalletD",
  "taddrSupport": true,
  "chainName": "main",
  "saplingActivationHeight": "419200",
  "consensusBranchId": "c2d6d0b4",
  "blockHeight": "2106878",
  "gitCommit": "2d3943b8e995a3b2c5648ec9859dccc67c535386",
  "buildDate": "2023-05-04",
  "buildUser": "root",
  "estimatedHeight": "2106878",
  "zcashdBuild": "v5.5.0",
  "zcashdSubversion": "/MagicBean:5.5.0/"
}

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There are no lightwalletd.com warrant canary updates for April and May of this year nor I have seen any other announcements from Nighthawk or the Light Client Working Group to explain these discrepancies. The Nighthawk 2023 roadmap included, "Continue maintaining the monthly warranty canary on https://lightwalletd.com "

Per Nighthawk’s policy, " If a warrant canary has not been updated in the time period specified by us, users are to assume that we have indeed been served with a secret subpoena. The intention is to allow us to warn users of the existence of a subpoena passively, without disclosing to others that the government has sought or obtained access to information or records under a secret subpoena.

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Does it include @adityapk00 PR that filters transactions based on the number of spends/outputs/actions?

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Hey @kowalabearhugs :wave:

We appreciate your attentive monitoring of the lightwalletd.com service status.

Myself and @vamsi have been issuing a monthly warrant canary for 2 years to ensure transparency and trust. However, based on the recommendations of leading privacy experts, we have decided to switch to a Quarterly User Information Request Report, which is consistent with the best practices of public infrastructure service providers.

We have communicated this change in our 2023 grant application document, the March Warrant Canary, and our social media channels.


Furthermore, I vehemently oppose any form of mass surveillance.

Based on the version number and vendor info, this looks like the latest version of github.com/zcash/lightwalletd

I believe Zecwallet fork has lower version number and lists Zecwallet LightWalletD as its vendor

Thanks for the investigation. I’m actually interested in a particular PR.

and Add spam filters by adityapk00 · Pull Request #413 · zcash/lightwalletd · GitHub

This has a huge impact on the performance of the spam filter because it avoids downloading the spam transaction from the server. Otherwise, the filtering happens at the client.
As a result, I always recommend using the ZecWallet server when synchronization speed is an issue.

3 Likes

This is a really cool advancement if it works - so basically Remote synchronization (lightweight) should be possible for wallets now?

1 Like