Zcash is Moving to Zebra!

You can run the ziggurat crawler and get a node count. zcash/src/tools/crawler at main · runziggurat/zcash · GitHub

Theres a zechub wiki article on how to set up and run this along with the other software it includes. My last crawl showed about 120 total nodes, of which 8 or 9 zebrad.


Hi @autotunafish, is there any method to understand the scanned nodes ability, "pruned node, full nodes, mining nodes, exchange nodes, machine sizes etc… ?
Have you ever tried to analysis the nodes in the network, such as which are associated with lightwalletd infrastructure, zfnd infrastructure, ecc infrastructure, etc to try to better understand zcash network?
Thanks for the article its great @zechub !!


Good question. The crawler itself doesn’t make use of any Zcash specific libraries so I dont think any more info than what the ip server crawler gets could be obtained, and that assumption is based largely on how well the crawler makes use of the existing info with the metrics it supplies.
Remote rpc calls to any given node are basically out of the question because they are disabled by default, otherwise require the username and password, auth cookie (plus port forwarding and other fun things) so whatever info that might reveal is likely safe. You could maybe glean insight about usage from connection up/down counts, geolocation, shrug. Public LWD infrastructure is known (obvs) but for other nodes it would take targeted analysis to correlate any specific network traffic to, say, a particular cex or point of sale.

My back of the napkin node estimate:
40 miners,
20 zf + ecc,
20 grantees,
10 lightwalletd
15 cex
25 individuals

I estimate an average monthly operating cost per node $100 x 130 = $13 000
Year: $156 000, lets round up for simple math to $200 000.

$200 000 Is being spent on the zcash network which is what underpins all other economic activity in the ecosystem ?

Running a node doesnt cost that much. Also, rounding up almost $50k is way too much.

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my low budget node has been running zebra on max $2/m so $24/y
its not a server like solana nodes. its nuc computer.

raspberry pi-s take even less and can run Zcash nodes.
until the network gets more scaling i guess.


Hi @zerodartz, using your low budget node for either zebrad or zcashd did you ever experience any difficulty in sending or receiving zec during the last 18 months of sandblasting or mempool challenges?

Personally, using a full node or pruned node on cloud instances or physical hardware never experienced any difficulty in making transactions which was widely reported by other zec users.

The amount of resources being spent on core infrastructure (node operation) maintaining the zcash network is not happening. Are you aware of resources being invested anywhere to maintain the zcash network that I could be pointed too?

What do you mean by “promote”?

Right now, our focus is on building out Zebra’s functionality to:

  1. support the work of ecosystem teams like QEDIT and Equilibrium (who have both indicated that they prefer building on Zebra versus zcashd), and
  2. to make it possible for Zebra to fulfil - either directly or indirectly* - the use cases that people rely on zcashd for today, so that we can eventually sunset zcashd.

In that latter respect, I think there’s full alignment between ECC and ZF…

…so I look forward to greater collaboration, including promoting the use of Zebra to current zcashd users when the time is right.

(﹡ An example of Zebra indirectly supporting a use case would be ensuring that it provides the necessary functionality to support potential replacements for the zcashd full note wallet, like the new cli-wallet that ECC are considering, or the potential Zenith full node wallet project. )

Anecdotally, Zebra is the preferred platform for teams like QEDIT and Equilibrium, and I believe Zebra is the preferred option for running lightwalletd servers. Certainly, if you’re using Ywallet, you’re (indirectly) using Zebra!

Hi @Dodger, great work on the re-alignment & on zebrad!

What do you mean by “promote”?
Zcash network averages 130 nodes, which 10 are zebra’s , my interest is in highlighting that such low numbers of either zebrad or zcashd nodes illustrates a core weakness in under allocation of resources for upholding the strength and security of the network which all other ecosystem partners & activities depend on. In order, to strengthen user adoption of zec, encourage enterprise investment in the zcash ecosystem these low node usage stats suggest underlining challenges.
Its great leadership of QEDIT, Equilibrium & ywallet in assisting in transitioning into zebrad! The path to this transition will not be as easy for all node operators or their teams. In order to help the current 130 node operators and more importantly the future node operators the network needs to attract, there needs to be a plan, allocation of resources to execute the plan for ramping up the growth of nodes operating for greater impact on user adoption.

“The use of Zebra to current zcashd users when the time is right”

Time is now, planning is now, communicating and executing is now! If Zebra is the preferred platform, that is the first I’ve heard of it. Meaning lets get a megaphone and blast that out, and show why that is the case.

Are you aware of any cex, miners using zebrad in current operations?

Zebra to Moon

@dismad Is there a guide to getting a Zebra node running on ARM hardware somewhere? How much disc space is needed?

I have a Pine64 board I would like to fire back up.


As soon as I get my raspi5, that’s precisely what I’ll be investigating :student: I have a new external SSD for storage ready to roll.

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Zebra is installed with cargo, and the method is the same on Pi as it is for a regular 64bit computer. The current chain size is about 247 GB and growing and youll need enough RAM and virtual memory. Syncing the node can be heavy in the spam but just running it normally is not very intensive.


I have a question: does Zebra have an integrated wallet like Zcashd?

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No, it does not (thats the simple answer, we can discuss what it implies and stuff obviously)

The user docs contain recommended system requirements: System Requirements - The Zebra Book, and they also mention ARM: Installing Zebra - The Zebra Book. We haven’t determined the minimal system requirements. If you come up with suitable minimal requirements, feel free to open an issue or PR. Also, feel free to do so for any other parts of the docs. For example, adding details for ARM.


Mine is the 8 GB variant, which is actually the most physical ram as I have on any of my nodes. The pi however did seem to require a fairly chonky paging file, as it did oom twice (I think) in the deep spam. The laptops also have a paging file, but not quite as big and I never had an issue so I think that may be linked to the reduced circuit features or whatever behavior b/c its so small.

If someone has a PI and wants to help ZecHub we can definitely arrange a bounty! (documentation and or video) Otherwise I’ll play when my new raspi5 comes in and find out for sure.

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Will Zerbra support Sprout?

The only type of sprout txs allowed are withdrawing into the transparent pool and its been that way for years. Supporting legacy transparent stuff is the fulcrum of any intended replacement for zcashd fullnode wallet because those functions weren’t intended to really outlive the wallet after NU5. Only zcashd internal wallet supports them it seems, but some institutions rely on them, supposedly.
Sprout deshielding functionality is all that you’d get but, imho, the current zero-usage of sprout (and the fact its been deprecated for like 6 years now) does not justify it’s continued support. We dont even mention sprout as a pool option anymore.