Technical AMA w/ Zcash team December 14, 2018 noon PST


You are correct that some either don’t understand how Zcash works, or have an agenda to cast it in a negative light. The best we can do is to make sure truthful and accurate information is out there and address concerns as they come up.

It also helps if members of the community who know better provide links and engage in respectful conversations with people that may not have the full picture about Zcash.

(PS: I work for Zcash Foundation, not Zcash Company)


Thanks for your questions! I’ll answer a few of them:

Question 1: The Zcash team has been working tirelessly on the reference wallet and they are on track to have it working with the ability to receive shielded transactions by the end of 2018. They are also planning on adding the ability to send shielded transactions by Feb 15th, 2019. We are planning to release the (unfinished) light client library in the beginning of 2019 for feedback as well.

Question 2: Zcash Company is very excited about the work the BOLT Project is doing and we think it could have an incredible impact on the way people use cryptocurrency across the globe. As a result, we are working closely with them to incorporate BOLT-friendly changes to Zcash in the Blossom upgrade set for October 2019. For interesting updates about BOLT specifically, I’d recommend checking with the BOLT Project directly.

Question 3 (the one about crypto pricing): Please check out elisehamdon’s response to Klimenos above.


I have to fine tune the question than. After it’s neither ok nor accepted what are the plans to counter this currently not avoidable centralization issue?

  1. Daira has some calculations in this github thread regarding the harmony mining because it is a proposed goal for Blossom.

  2. See this response


Can the foundation or zcash co host a snapshot of the blockchain on AWS? One that’s updated every month or so?

Currently, syncing a node from scratch takes ~7 hours, and a one-time download + import speeds this up quite a bit.


The Zcash team is obviously watching the evolution of Ethereum towards PoS. We’ve also been keeping an eye on the Decred project, which has a hybrid PoW/PoS consensus algorithm. We’re also particularly interested in the work that the Coda team has done with respect to leveraging ZK-SNARKs for succinct blockchains. If there are other projects that you feel are doing particularly innovating things with respect to PoS, please let us know!


Think this AMA thread is a great idea.

Thoughts on doing this more often, maybe once a month?


Thank you for the answers. Really appreciate it.

A couple more questions:

  1. When is the iOS Zcash wallet coming out?
  2. Do you plan on adding a payment processor for your mobile wallets? (RFID payments with mobile)
  3. Are there any new companies interested in Zcash?
  4. What do you think of Dr Craig S Wright’s claims about Zcash? To name a few: he mentioned that Zcash’ privacy is a false promise, that “Zcash even gets taken in proceeds of crime cases - now”, that “Zcash will not be legal.” and “With the founders reward, zcash is a regulatable security. More fun, I will be publishing a paper on how law enforcement can trace it later this year.”.


Zexe is currently just a research paper. It would require significant development to be included in a Zcash network upgrade. I’ve commented about this before on the forum:

(In fact User Issued Tokens are feasible in the NU3 timeframe, although I don’t know whether they will actually be included in that upgrade.)

Yes. If we did add this (with the caveats above), it’s likely that the payment protocol would not be implemented as a special case of the programmable functionality, for security, efficiency and compatibility reasons.


Syncing the blockchain right now is CPU bound. I understand that a lot of the optimization work done on upstream bitcoin core has not made it down to zcashd yet, but even with these optimizations, a sync will still take a long time.

What would be the implications if zcashd imported blocks verifying only the PoW (instead of the full verification, which is very very slow), and used the checkpoints to verify it’s on the right chain?
This obviously reduces security, but can you quantify by how much? Will this be better than SPV-level security that bitcoin has?

I did some experiments skipping the verification, and the zcash blockchain imports in almost 1/3rd the time.


yeah i get that, but people are not just falling for trolls. they can face serious problems by using those networks!
we need more education. maybe a simple 5 min video showing the different privacy approaches available. i learned a lot in IANS talks, but most other people don’t take 30min of their time to watch it.
just compress IANS talks to 5min. and we as a community have something to share and help educate others.


We completely agree that it’s quite time consuming to sync the node from scratch and many people would get value out of a hosted snapshot of the blockchain in any cloud. We’d love to work on this; with many competing priorities we’re not sure when we would get to it. We highly encourage any motivated folks out there to get that moving if they’re interested!


That would start with research so we can better understand. We are currently looking at harmony mining, as you perhaps are aware of.
I would say it’s difficult to do proper research to conform to such a quickly fluctuating market, though.


Glad to hear this is helpful! Previously we did host AMAs more frequently but there were too few questions so we switched to a 2x/year schedule.


What are some of the major marketing plans planned for Zcash in 2019 for the exposure to the general population ?


Hi @Klimenos.

  1. The foundation has announced they are funding an iOS project. See here:

  2. We do not currently have any plans.

  3. I’m not sure what you mean. Which kind of companies?

  4. We support good research and feedback that will improve the safety and security of Zcash users. These assertions, however, don’t qualify. :slight_smile: If Craig produces good research, we’ll certainly review it.


Good timing! We’re actually planning on releasing an overview of this before the end of the year. Keep an eye on the blog. :wink:


I would be interested how a day as a zcash employe looks like, could you do a video on that?
pretty sure a lot of people would be interested.


For the reference wallet we are quite deliberately trying to avoid privacy compromises, even if that does involve higher bandwidth usage. We believe this is the right approach because it is important to demonstrate the feasibility of a high-security solution.

It may be possible to reduce bandwidth consumption further without compromising on privacy, by use of Private Information Retrieval schemes. We’re actively researching this area, and my impression is that there have been substantial improvements in practicality and deployability of these protocols recently.


Daira answered you re: zexe here