We’re happy to announce that the Zcash Sapling network upgrade activated today at block height 419200. Sapling introduces new shielded addresses with significantly improved performance: a time reduction of 90% for constructing transactions, and a memory reduction of over 97%. Sapling activation, occurring on the momentous occasion of the currency’s second birthday, brings us one step closer to widespread adoption of an open, permissionless and private payment system.
Immediately upon activation, zcashd users were enabled with Sapling addresses. The ecosystem will need time to integrate the new addresses as demand permits. Meanwhile, the Sapling upgrade brings other tangible benefits to users, such as parameters generated by an improved ceremony and the BLS12-381 curve, which benefits all shielded address users.
Currently, funds cannot be transferred from legacy shielded addresses to the new Sapling shielded addresses without revealing amounts. This allows us to audit the monetary base of ZEC held in shielded addresses. We are developing a tool to automate the migration of funds in a way that allows users to minimize the impact on their privacy. We recommend that users wait for the release of this tool, if feasible.
Making shielded addresses ubiquitous is at the heart of our mission. ‘Empowering everyone’ is more than just words to our team. In fact, it is the light that guides our sense of purpose and direction as we continue to innovate, create and experiment. We look forward to future milestones, outlined in our operational roadmap, that showcase how privacy is a pathway to economic freedom and opportunity.
We consider this a collaborative endeavor and invite you to join us in our ongoing work by learning more about Sapling, connecting with the community or reaching out to our ecosystem team to assist with enablement. We also request that you to reach out to your favorite wallet providers and exchanges to ask them to begin working on adoption of those features currently supported in the protocol.