Nighthawk update for August 2022

In August, the Nighthawk Team was busy building & improving the product suite and taking part in collaborative events & technical discussions with developers from the Zcash ecosystem at Zcon3. Our priority continues to keep up with the demand for lightwalletd infrastructure and make incremental improvements towards wallet syncing issues.

We’ve drafted the ZIP around changing the conventional transaction fee following conversations with Zcash developers at Zcon3. We welcome the Zcash community and developer input towards changing the transaction fee rates for Zcash proportional to the combined input & outputs of transactions and avoid intentional or unintentional spamming of the Zcash blockchain.

We welcomed new language translation contributors from the Zcash community who’ve added translations to Korean, Spanish & Ukrainian. We invite everyone who can help with translations to check out the easy-to-use Crowdin platform and contribute language translations at Crowdin

Screen Shot 2022-08-31 at 11.24.14 PM

And at Zcon3, @aiyadt introduced the new Nighthawk Wallet design on Android!

Nighthawk Wallet updates:

  • Make 6 app releases across Apple App Store, Google Play Store & F-Droid with improved app stability & object-type safety.

  • Provide ongoing end-user support to users of Nighthawk Wallet via Twitter & ProtonMail channels.

  • App Changelog is published at

Light Client Working Group:

Goal: Keep up-to-date versions for zcashd & lightwalletd to continue providing high availability public infrastructure for light-wallet-based Zcash applications.

  • Upgrade servers to accommodate increased load and bandwidth demand. This has resulted in increased costs beyond the planned 2-year contract for the Light Wallet infrastructure grant and will need consideration for retroactive funding in the future.

  • Maintain 100% uptime via load-balanced main-net and single instance test-net services

  • Continue maintaining the monthly warranty canary on

Goal: Provide a fast, lightweight, Tor-enabled, no-tracker/no-analytics/no-logging Zcash transaction explorer.

  • Add support for new v5 transaction types published on the Zcash blockchain.

  • Implement incremental changes towards caching to withhold an increase in visitor load.

  • Monitor increased load on due to both visitor demand and zcashd resource usage.

  • Continue working towards architecting & estimating costs for a test-net version of Zcash Block Explorer.

Zcash <> Thorchain Integration

Goal: Adding Zcash to Thorchain to enable decentralized ZEC trading and LP incentives.

Following the OFAC review and sanctions towards Tornado Cash in early August, the Thorchain community has held several discussions about adding Privacy chains and we have been part of those calls. Currently, the Thorchain community is prioritizing supporting the Haven chain following the node validators’ vote.

The Zcash implementation has the following item pending and is currently on hold following upcoming conventional transaction fee-related changes and optimizations for zcashd core node software.

a) Work on bridging ancillary Python code for integration tests.

b) Executing smoke test suite on test-net infra with zcashd v5.2.0

c) Work on xchain.js wallet APIs for Zcash to support upcoming changes in conventional fee structure.

And that’s a wrap for our August update. We congratulate the Zcash Foundation team for organizing Zcon3 and bringing the best minds working on Zero Knowledge cryptography together!


Is Zcash-Thorchain Pending on hold based on the Nighthawk team discretion?

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When will Nighthawk implement one of the faster sync protocols? I asked about this a couple years ago and was told it was on the roadmap, but as of yet the wallet remains virtually unusable.

The zcashblockexplorer is noted as being “no-tracker/no-analytics/no-logging.” Is the same true for the servers? What metadata is logged by User privacy for the latter seems especially important given that the majority of lightwallet users are centralized around a few lightwallet servers.

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Yes, we want to deliver a functional implementation that meets & exceeds the high bar set by Thorchain for chains to qualify before being added to Stagenet. At this time, we are waiting on the updated transactions fee mechanism which applies to transparent transactions and optimizations in block synchronization to go live in zcashd.

Yes, we have evaluated the several syncing mechanisms available and will be choosing the optimal algorithm for mobile that works for both Sapling & Orchard note decryption.

Yes, the same admins of ZcashBlockExplorer are running lightwalletd infra. We have also turned off system logging (it is only turned on for short periods of time during service load monitoring & software updates to maintain high uptime & verify secure installations).

Additionally, we maintain a monthly warrant canary(soon to be transitioned to a quarterly transparency report) here at gh-pages · lightwalletd/ · GitHub
Note: This does not stop our cloud service providers from monitoring the IP addresses connecting to our service. And our team plans to work toward making available the best network-level-privacy options available in the future.