Zcash Proof of Stake Megathread 🧵

Zcash is a global network, as is its user base, so I feel that catering to the transient opinions of transient USA based money-regulatory entities is quite short sighted and seemingly spineless (we’re cypherpunks, right). Again I defer to the point about keeping as-is because of comfort and ease. We all expect great things from Zcash and its teams, so this is why many of us expect to see an evolution to consensus and coin emission by Proof of Stake for the protocol layer.

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I have recently been trying to wrap my head around Babylon, a new Cosmos project whose vision is to leverage the security of Bitcoin for enhancing the security of Cosmos zones and other PoS chains.

The Babylon architecture is shown above. It consists of three components with two levels of checkpointing:

  1. Bitcoin, as the timestamping service.
  2. The Babylon chain, a Cosmos zone, as the middle layer.
  3. Other Cosmos zones, as the consumers of security.

a hybrid PoS+PoW concept has been discussed in the community as one of the paths forward, and although going the Tendermint/Cosmos route for the Zcash PoS consensus mechanism is a full transition to PoS, I think Babylon could maybe be a way to get some combo of both security models potentially but still have the Zcash protocol be full PoS…

Side thought: could Babylon be forked to use Zcash(equihash) instead of Bitcoin? That way the Zcash miners who have helped to bootstrap the network since inception don’t get bricked on the PoS transition? But maybe it is not worth it because the whole point of Babylon is to use Bitcoin’s POW because of its longstanding security due to the large global hashrate. IDK

Would love some feedback on this if anyone else decides to dive deeper on the topic.

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Podcasts/Talks

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What benefit does babylon bring except shorter unstaking periods?

From one of their blogs:

Use cases

  1. Fast Stake Unbonding: Proof-of-stake chains require social consensus to thwart long range attacks and this leads to long unbonding periods. In Cosmos, this is typically 21 days. Bitcoin security replaces social consensus and reduces unbonding periods to 5 hours.
  2. Bootstrapping new zones: Bitcoin security can be used to bootstrap new zones which have low token valuation.
  3. Protecting important transactions: Bitcoin security can be used to protect important transactions while normal transactions get fast finality.
  4. Censorship resistance: Transactions that are censored can use Babylon as a backup to enter the ledger.