Zcash is Moving to Zebra!

Following conversations at Zcon4 in Barcelona, the Zcash Foundation (ZF) and Electric Coin Co. (ECC) are excited to announce that we’ve agreed to move core Zcash protocol work from zcashd to Zebra! :zebra::shield:

Zebra is a brand new Zcash full node implementation written from the ground up in Rust. Both the ECC and ZF teams believe the modern architecture and good engineering in Zebra will provide a safer and more efficient implementation of the Zcash core protocol.

Zebra was created by ZF with significant support and assistance from ECC developers, and relies on Zcash core libraries authored at ECC. Both organizations’ teams will collaborate to identify what functionality needs to be added to Zebra to address the necessary use cases, and to encourage and support key users to migrate to Zebra. Zcashd will continue to be supported during the transition, which will take an undetermined amount of time. ECC plans to continue independently supporting core Zcash protocol upgrades, such as its planned implementation of proof of stake, using Zebra.

ECC engineers built the original Zcash full node (“zcashd”) and have maintained and supported it through 69 releases and 6 network upgrades since 2016. This original implementation inherits the Bitcoin codebase and has grown challenging to maintain. Today’s announced transition will reduce the time it will take to deploy new features for Zcash, and allow more engineering time toward wallet SDKs and a transition away from PoW consensus. For ECC, this is part of its strategy of “Decentralize Zcash and Focus ECC”. For ZF, this marks a significant milestone for the Zebra project.

As part of this transition, Zooko at the Electric Coin Company has gifted a zebra suit previously seen on stage at Zcon1, to Jack Gavigan of ZF.


As a team that depends on zcashd for some of our infrastructure, it would be helpful to know if the full node wallet functionality will be ported to zebra as part of this.


any plans on releasing a dappnode package?

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:zebra: :laughing:

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Sure but what does this mean? Why? As you said zcashd was built using Bitcoin. That wasn’t safe? How much more efficient? What new features? Adding more fluff goes along way.

Yes, it can’t replace zcashd until it supports everything zcashd does (except things that people are willing to deprecate…)


good news,
it will make things much easier in the future.

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On safety/security:

The zcashd codebase is written in C++ (a memory unsafe language) and is behind on a lot of the maintenance and refactoring PRs that have been made to bitcoin since zcash was forked from it. Moving to zebra should speed up development because its code is cleaner, and zebra is much safer due to it being written in Rust.