Unlike Monero, Zcash does not currently allow for a separation of the wallet and the node. If you’re not familiar with how this “remote node” concept works in Monero, there are many guides that explain the concept and provide instruction for running your own publicly available node or for connecting to an existing remote node. Here’s one such guide: https://coinguides.org/remote-nodes-monero-wallet-gui-cli/
This is a very convenient feature that is used all the time, and even beginners can easily operate a remote node.
Why is this split architecture useful? Because you are separating the wallet (monero-cli), which has minimal storage and compute requirements, from the node (monerod), which has very serious compute and storage requirements. You are not escaping any bandwidth requirements, so this arrangement will not work well (or at all) for users in any region which does not have excellent network infrastructure. But you are creating possibilities for access that weren’t there before, and you’re especially making it possible to build a proper mobile wallet. This is because you can ensure:
- The user’s keys are generated on the user’s hardware, and never have to leave that hardware
2. The user does not necessarily have to operate their own node. The requirement to run your own node is a serious roadblock to adoption. A third party or company can operate a “default” remote node, with minimal capability to observe the user’s transactions. As users become more sophisticated, they will learn to operate their own node. In fact, it’s not always sophistication, it’s a need- in the world of Monero users who need to recover their mobile wallet (when they use a proper wallet) often must restore their balance with a full node, then send their funds back to their mobile wallet, rather than restore directly on the mobile wallet.
Before Sapling, it was not even possible to consider creating a Zcash mobile wallet, as the compute resources required to sign transactions far exceeded even what was available in top-end flagship smartphones. Now it’s possible, but because of the “monolithic” architecture inherited from Bitcoin, mobile wallet development is moving about as fast as molasses in wintertime.
Does anyone know if there is any progress being made towards a split-architecture ala monero, or some other initiative which would allow developers to achieve the same ends?