Zcash, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies for those that are into privacy, is going to be having a hard fork that is expected to occur on October 28, or when it block #419,200 occurs. This will be activated to bring about a new update called Sapling, which is going to be running on the testnet starting at block #280,000. To prepare for all of this, a new software update was released on Thursday, 2.2.0, and all users are advised to update “as soon as possible,” as per advice by its development team. This will be the second hard fork of this year alone in an effort to push out new features and further solidify existing ones.

What’s New in Sapling

Sapling brings about a few new updates to the Zcash coin. These include:

  • A significant reduction in the storage requirements for private transactions
  • An update to zk-SNARKS to increase its security
  • Fixes a bug that slowed some nodes that were attempting to sync to the network when banning peers, which was set up to help negate DoS attacks from Sprout nodes. Instead of this function, the new update simply ignores invalid transactions
  • Adds support for remote procedure calls so that code can be executed on a remote computer like it was remotely called. Do note that this will not be available until the release of update 2.0.1

An Uncontentious Hard Fork

While some coin hard forks give a bad vibe, in the case of Zcash, they are uncontentious. As a result, while it is important to keep updated on the software to ensure all transactions are still valid, there’s no real fear of chain splits or other issues arising as a result of the forks. For example, its last fork, Overwinter, was done in June, including various software improvements such as:

  • Versioning
  • Replay protection for network upgrades (to ensure that if users do somehow end up on a new chain it can not be abused)
  • Performance improvements for transactions that are transparent
  • A transaction expiry feature

Quick updates like this shine brightly upon its development team, showing that they are constantly looking to add new things and make the network as strong as possible.

Pricing and History

Zcash has held well through time, remaining in the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap as of this writing, with a total value of just under $699 million. It has been on a roller coaster ride along with most of the other cryptocurrencies, going from under $30 in February 2017 to a high of almost $870 in early 2018 and now at around $150. It is, however, the crypto that focuses the most on privacy-based transactions, and it goes through many software updates to ensure it’s always pushing the bar for new features and security. Shielded transactions, for example, hide the sender, recipient, and value being sent on the blockchain, ensuring that no information is available for the public.


Disclaimer: Please do full due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrencies and only invest what you are willing to lose. The market is still in its infancy and the past does not guarantee the future.