Zcash Successfully Executes its First Hard Fork, Overwinter
Finally, Zcash, a digital currency that focuses on the privacy of transactions, conducted its initial and much-awaited hard fork on midnight UTC on June 26, 2018. The process, known as the Overwinter, was initiated upon the successful mining of block 347,500 on the Zcash blockchain. Reportedly, the Overwinter fork is a precursor for the impending Sapling hard fork on the Zcash source code. The latter is expected to bring in radical changes and will take place in October. Besides noticeable improvement in performance, the fork will feature protection for future forks and versioning.
According to Josh Swihart, the marketing manager at Zcash, the successful conduction of the overwinter hard fork is a result of the deployment of a two-tiered governance approach by the Zcash network. The first tier, an optional upgrade, has an objective of eliminating fracas that emanates from the implementation of governance models that compel their user to adhere to specific practices, mostly without their consent. On the other hand, the second tier aims to educate the users and assist them in making sound dictions reading the execution of future hard forks.
Previously, Simon Liu, an engineer at the Zcash network, stated that the overwinter hard fork had support from all stakeholders of the ecosystem. However, the company is yet to release official information showing the number of participants in the recently concluded process. Nonetheless, the Zcash website displays multiple crypto trading platforms that were in favor of the hard fork. Additionally, several external mining pools have also conveyed support for the process.
After the glitch-free execution of the overwinter hard fork, Zcash immediately released a two-year strategic plan. To this end, Josh Swihart revealed that the roadmap outlines underscore the network’s dedication to enhancing the privacy of its transactions. Consequently, Zcash users will leverage the network's Z-addresses, which are capable of obscuring balances and transaction records from other members of the blockchain. Currently, the default privacy mechanism is t-addresses.
Furthermore, Zcash will advocate for the mass adoption of shielded transactions, especially across third-party platforms. Besides, the company is working towards market research on the subject of transaction privacy. The survey will seek to understand the situational use of the concept and areas which need improvement. On top of these, Zcash also intends to establish a reference wallet for third-parties, conduct a scalability study, engage in an aggressive marketing camping, and continuously develop its decentralized ecosystem.