ZCash’s protocol upgrade, known as Sapling, has been successfully activated. ZCash, on their official website for Sapling, announced,
“Activated at block 419200, mined at October 29, 2018 02:15 UTC+00:00“.
Sapling protocol improves upon the “Shielded transaction” features of ZCash. Private transactions are not mandatory on Zcash, meaning the sender has a choice to use private or public transactions. Private transactions are slow, as they are hidden cryptographically via algorithm known as “zk-SNARKS”. Forming “zk-SNARKs” is slow and computationally expensive.
Sapling protocol works on improving the zk-SNARKs making them lighter and faster. According to the website,
“Payments involving the new Sapling z-addresses can be constructed in as little as a few seconds and with only 40 megabytes of memory.”
Apart from improvements in the performance of the privacy algorithm, two new features have also been added, Decoupled Spend Authority and Improved Keys.
Battle with Monero (XMR)
ZCash’s sapling update just comes a week after Monero’s bulletproof upgrade, which reduced Monero’s transaction fee by almost 96%. ZCash and Monero communities have constantly argued as to which cryptocurrency is better. Monero’s Ring CT algorithm was faster than zk-SNARKs used by ZCash, but the optional privacy of ZCash is better received by the governments.
Both Bulletproof and Saplings have changed. With Sapling zk-SNARKs are faster while with Bulletproof Monero has a smaller transaction size, which in turn leads to a reduced transaction fee. As to the question which currency is better? Only time will tell.
Monero has a larger market capitalization than ZCash and is currently at 10th position with a market cap of $1.6 billion. While ZCash on the other hand is at 19th position with a market cap of $591 million. The Sapling upgrade did not have much effect on the price of ZCash, while Monero was up by almost 5% due to Bulletproof upgrade.
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