Technical AMA w/ Zcash engineers Dec 8, 2017 noon PST

We’re hosting our last AMA of the year with the Zcash Company developers Friday, Dec 8th at 12:00 PST/15:00 EST/20:00 UTC. Devs will be online taking questions for 2 hours.

This will be the thread which the developers will be taking and responding to your questions - please keep questions focused on technical topics.

Edit: for some context, please check out our newly released roadmap update blog post.

We hope you can join us!

You can read our past AMA’s from Dec '16, Feb '17 and May '17.

Edit: This AMA is now over. Thanks to all who participated!

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I wish I could participate but I guess I am always on wrong calendar :pensive:

Thanks for doing this.

What are the plans regarding network privacy for Zcash? For example, ZenCash is implementing “secure nodes” and Monero though its Kovri project is implementing I2P. Will the focus be on Tor or are there alternatives being planned?

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Hi team, thanks for hosting this!

My question: When will 1 ZEC = 1 Lambo?

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Are there any efforts toward making a light wallet for zcash like electrum? If one were to go about, say porting electrum to zcash, are there any particular technical hurdles to worry about? I’m somewhat familiar with the details of SPV in bitcoin, but I dunno how it meshes with zk-specific stuff like z-addrs.

I’m running the official zcashd + swing wallet gui right now, but the memory and disk IO of the full daemon is pretty taxing to my poor old laptop. 8GB of RAM should’ve been enough for anyone…

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Are you planning to co-operate with Cosmos network to create a ZCash cosmos hub? Apart from Cosmos implementing a light client for ZCash, there has to be an ability to lock ZEC in while they are travelling around Cosmos and unlock them when they are “coming back”. That would require some opcodes to validate Cosmos validator signatures. Are you open to this?

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Thanks for taking time to do an AMA. My question is:
Is the work on the code for transparent proofs (zk-starks) still proceeding and is this initiative being pursued by ZCash? If so, will ZCash plan to implement this in a future release once it is published?

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Can someone explain the viewing key feature as in #3 here https://github.com/zcash/zcash/wiki/Concepts-in-Zcash or rather is there an actual implementation of this (and if not when will it happen)?

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Hey, thanks for being here, but please keep questions focused on technical topics! Thanks

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We are still researching/supporting research on zk-starks, but the technology is not mature enough to be integrated into Zcash yet. We don’t quite know when it will be ready to be integrated, but we hope we can incorporate it.

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There is a foundation grant approved for a light wallet Mobile project!


Their prediction is that it will take 4 months.
One of the things that enable this is the significant reduction in memory in the latest release 1.0.13

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We definitely want to enable more consistent network privacy for Zcash users. Zcash has the same Tor integration as Bitcoin (the ability to connect to an external client), so the simplest next step towards this would be bundling a Tor client (#12).

I also plan to work on I2P support (#1111) - and not just because I’m an I2P developer (though I’m probably biased here :smile:). I2P is a good test case because it will require extensions to the network protocol layer, as its addresses are too long to fit into the current network address packets (Tor is supported by “massaging” its .onions into an IPv6 subspace). This work will also be useful for Tor’s new v3 Onion Services (which are now as long as I2P’s B32 addresses).

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Is there a plan to split the zcash daemon into a client (that has the wallet, keys, transaction creation etc…) and a server (with the blocks)? I’d love to run one server and have multiple users connect to it.

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There is an implementation that is still being reviewed and not merged https://github.com/zcash/zcash/pull/2143.
The idea is that it lets you store only a viewing key, enabling you to track incoming transactions to a z-addr, but not to spend from it.
This is useful, e.g. when you want to store the spending key only in offline storage for extra security.

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We have no plans to co-operate with the Cosmos network to build this. I’m actually not very familiar with how Cosmos hubs work, but couldn’t hash time-locks be used to lock funds for transparent addresses? We currently do not have opcode functionality for shielded addresses and are not planning on adding that in the immediate future.

The more general purpose the functionality, the more open we would be to adding it. If you’re interested in a feature like this, please feel free to start a discussion by opening an issue on our github repo describing the details of how it would work.

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I don’t understand the Cosmos technology, but I love the idea of cross-network interoperation in general. (Hence https://z.cash/blog/htlc-bip.html, https://z.cash/blog/project-alchemy.html, There are three different flavors of “Project Alchemy”, https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/152, etc.)

I’m not sure how to proceed. Maybe someone who understands the Cosmos technology could create some kind of prototype of this and demo it on a hangout-on-air?

@adityapk00 That’s a good idea but we haven’t spent any time looking into this. Of course, btcd has already done this and I think in the long run, cryptocurrency software will become much more modular than it is today. Please file a Github ticket to help the community keep track of this long-term goal. Thanks.

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Is there a simple overview of the payment offloading feature that is coming soon. What are the potential use-cases enabled by this technology and as importantly what are the major drawbacks of it?

edited, sorry I think it is called remote proving service?

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Thanks for doing this AMA.

I remember reading about a plan where a client could offload joinsplit creation to a different server? Is this still on the roadmap? Or will the new circuits’ performance be good enough to run on phones and other less powerful devices?

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I would like to see (optional) end-to-end encryption between nodes, whether BIP 151 or something else.

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