Retire Transparent Pool on the 10th Zcash Birthday - Let's Make It Official!

Update 1: The results are in. Its 38 Yes and 10 No out of 48 who decided to participate in this poll.

Update 2: To further encourage discussion on this matter, I have also created Draft ZIP: Disabling Addition of New Value to the Transparent Pool to discuss the possible technical implementations on this matter.

Inspired by what @jelly5649 proposed in the Potential Binance Delisting thread. I think we should try to formalize community decision on getting rid of transparent pool on October 28th 2026, on the 10th birthday of Zcash. 34 months should give ample time for Zcash users and contributors to adapt with this decision. CEX can also prepare if they want to keep listing Zcash after that.

To ensure inclusivity and representation of our diverse community, I suggest conducting temperature check polls across multiple platforms, including this forum, official @zcash Twitter, and the Zcash Global Discord server.

Let’s kick off the process with a poll right here on the forum. Your input is crucial, so please take a moment to share your thoughts and preferences regarding the removal of the transparent pool.

Do you support retiring transparent pool (t-addr) when Zcash turns 10 on October 28th 2026?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Notes:

  • This poll will be closed on Jan 28th before the start of Zeboot. Hopefully this can be a topic of discussion there.
  • Only users with forum trust level 1 (basic) with at least 10 mins of forum reading time can vote in this poll. If you just sign up, spend some time reading posts before voting, for example Principles for deprecating t2t transactions is an excellent thread on this topic.
12 Likes

I actually don’t know how I feel about depreciating t-adds, I go back and forth. It’s not something that should be made lightly, and while Zcash is trading near all time lows the temptation to make large changes to the project is near an all time high.

5 Likes

I believe we should make this kind of decision ASAP so that we understand users expectation :grinning:

Also, if community decides “Yes” on this matter. It will mean easier decision making when it comes to roadmap planning and grants acceptance. As, projects that will leverage Transparent pool can predict if their implementation will be usable in the long term or not.

4 Likes

As a counter-point, THORchain only supports transparent addresses. So if we depreciated t-adds, we would be potentially closing ourself off from that DEX, likely others (I’m not familiar with all DEX options).

3 Likes

As a counter-counter point, Namada and Penumbra will be shielded-only and yet will support IBC transfers and swaps.

5 Likes

As a counter-point, If we ever want to see a Zcash ETF, like what Grayscale is attempting with their privacy ETF featuring ZEC (maybe we don’t want this!), I’m guessing they will require t-adds.

Regardless, there are pros and cons on both sides, which is why I say I go back and forth on this issue. They should be discussed before we make any decisions!

2 Likes
2 Likes

I am definitely in favor of retiring T addresses. The issue is we will lose support on pretty much all the on and off ramps so we have to be careful with timing.

What’s interesting though is the fact that Zcashd is transitioning to Zebra, so alot of these exchanges/pools/etc… that added T addresses because they are similar to Bitcoin will have to do some backend work anyway once the last release of Zcashd is done.

So if they have to do that work anyway, why can’t they agree/decide to use UAs exclusively? Then we could pick a timeframe to get rid of T addresses without affecting on ramps , to them it wouldn’t make a difference?

12 Likes

Something of a “compromise” may be keeping t-adds but “depreciating” them in the sense that their use is highly discouraged. Have wallets default to shielded, and make t-adds harder to use, not default, very high fees, etc. This way we can still connect to ecosystems (eg. THORchain) that require t-adds, and any regulated entities that require t-adds can still use them. Users will largely opt for shielded txs because the incentives push them there.

4 Likes

I think we will have more options with ZEC on or off ramp to fiat. It will not be surprising for big exchanges to go down in two years while other will take their place. Also, with new projects that uses Sapling go main net (e.g. Ironfish, Namada, Penumbra), we will see a more mature ecosystem for shielded transactions. I suspect view keys and payment disclosure will be a huge part in enabling ZEC on/off ramp in the future without relying on Bitcoin-style Twitter-for-your-bank-account transactions.

3 Likes

would we still be able to verify the amount that is in circulation?

holding your ZEC in the transparent pool gives you a headache free investment that the supply won’t get inflated due to a bug. whereby holding it in the shielded pool is could turn thousands of ZEC into 0 if it gets exploited.

i am in favor to remove transparent addresses, but what are the downsides?

2 Likes

Based on more than 7 years of Zcash existence, this has been proven wrong. Even with mobile-enabling Sapling. Even with no-trusted-setup Orchard. Even with one-address-for-all UA.

Also, I believe removing transparent address will make it easier to develop new features like ZSA, PoS and others.

Yes. Even today we know the amount of ZEC in Sapling, Orchard, and Sprout pools. Also, it will not take years for someone to notice if something is wrong.

3 Likes

You didn’t read my post. I said create more incentives to discourage t-add use and encourage shielded use. The only incentive pushing people to shielded now is the privacy. Also, IMO the main reason we don’t see more people storing in the shielded pool is because there is currently, after nearly 8 years, no HW wallet support for shielded addresses. Give us the ability to shield in a HW wallet and I promise you we will see the % of ZEC shielded sky rocket.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we need t-adds for the turnstile? Meaning losing t-adds we are sacrificing some auditability.

3 Likes

Sapling to Orchard transactions reveals the amount without going to a t-addr, right?

We should see if this is true in a couple of months with Ledger Shielded app coming soon. I don’t think it will result in huge move out of transparent pool. My prediction: there will still be more than 10 million ZEC in the transparent pool at the end of 2024.

3 Likes

we know the amount that is in the shielded pools, but if someone exploits the shielded pool and transfers the ZEC to the transparent pool, those that are still holding their ZEC in the shielded pool could be the ones that loose their ZEC, because it’s only possible to withdraw as much as has gone into the shielded pool.

transparent ZEC gives you peace of mind for this attack vector.

please correct me if i am wrong here :pray:

1 Like

There’s probably going to have to be some sort of t-addresses for staking purposes, but they can probably be limited to staking-only functionality.

1 Like

This is a common misconception; while the amounts crossing between pools in a transaction is public information, the transparent address system is not involved in any way. The amounts crossing the pool boundaries are just values in the transaction; for example, a transfer from Sapling to Orchard will publicly reveal the amount leaving the Sapling pool and the amount entering the Orchard pool, but there are no transparent inputs or outputs to the transaction at all.

8 Likes

Weird logic here. It’s not like:

  • we need them
  • they can’t integrate it

Looks like you found the right thread…

1 Like

Thanks a lot for pushing for this @tokidoki.

There are many groups of Zcash users, but two groups end up clashing a bit: those in it for the privacy revolution and those in it for the financial gain. Even though I do hold ZEC and enjoy the value increase, I am squarely in the first group. Ultimately both groups are important though, as the value of our token is a decent proxy for how valued our project is by the world at large. Therefore, certainly, the financial arguments for or against this move should be heard.

There are three fundamental things that we should keep in mind:

  • How to make Zcash the “private, fungible, cash for the world” that was initially envisioned by Satoshi, then revived by @zooko. Community discussions would point to the fact that it may not be a realistic objective to have ZEC as The cash for the world; however we could certainly be the blockchain where myriad of currencies could safely and privately reside. A place also where user controlled compliance, is equality good to its privacy. I think it would also be strategic to see how we could make Bitcoin better, as a L2 chain to Zcash. It might sound like a funny exercise at this point, but pursuing it may indeed be beneficial to give some perspective to Bitcoin, and other blockchain, communities.

  • We need to be fearless. There is a lot of fear related to token price, which is very unfortunate. ZF/ECC, imho, have been very wise to not put all their eggs in the same basked. They would be in a much worse position today if they had only kept ZEC. Bitcoin was selling at pennies for a long time. Ethereum was selling just a low for a long time as well. It’s what happens with paradigm shifting technologies. On the plus side, it gives time to spread ZEC tokens to more pockets than wealthy ones. So, fearless we should be. First, because we have a lot to achieve and fear will only limit what we can achieve, and second, because we need to clearly display who we are and what we are in this for. This point is of particular importance for the third fundamental here:

  • We need to be a strong, diverse, respectful, beautiful community. One could fork Zcash and technically, make it exactly as described above, but would it be enough? No, it’s the believers, the people participating in various ways to the ecosystem, that gives it value. Our main place of discussion should be a place where all people interested by, curious about, or affected by financial oppression should be able to express themselves. We need not just to give a voice to financially oppressed people, we need to figure out how Zcash can help them. Do we want ZEC token holders to be those who need it, or do we want a ZEC ETF? I am not against the latter, but definitely here for the former.

That’s a bit of a wall of text, but it’s important context for my approach to this question.

I will just summarize what I said before: we need to deprecate t-addrs because they are an impediment to the project goals; they are weakening the privacy of the whole ZEC ecosystem at best, and giving a false sense of security to t-addrs users at worse. If we commit to it now and execute on our 10 year anniversary, we’re both sending a clear message of what to expect of Zcash going forward, and giving enough time to address most resulting issues.

No fear.

6 Likes

My vote is no. What is the problem with T-addresses? T-addresses allow us to be supported by so many platforms.

1 Like