As part of the Heartwood network upgrade, Zcash miners and mining pools will have the option to mine directly to a shielded coinbase. ZIP 213 defines modifications to the Zcash consensus rules that enable this feature.
Shielded coinbase allows Zcash users to have completely shielded ZEC from its creation. In addition to increased privacy, a considerable benefit to shielded coinbase is that miners have the option of getting their mining rewards issued immediately into a z-address. For transparent coinbase transactions, there is a standard maturity delay of 100 blocks before miners can transfer or spend the mined funds. Shielded coinbase transactions can be spent after a standard confirmation delay, just like any other shielded note, instead of waiting 100 blocks.
Currently, mining pools receive coinbase rewards in a transparent address. Mining pools are required to move coinbases to a shielded address before paying out to miners. Some mining pools like FlyPool, give miners the option to receive payouts in a shielded address. With ZIP 213, the Zcash mining community will have more options. They can continue to mine to a transparent coinbase if they so choose or they can get their mining rewards faster by mining directly to a shielded coinbase.
Shielded coinbase has been on the Zcash roadmap since the project’s inception almost four years ago. The massive performance optimizations from Zcash Sapling make shielded coinbase possible.
ZIP 213 was authored by Jack Grigg. Sean Bowe and Daira Hopwood contributed to the design.
For the past four years, ECC has established a reputation of shipping quality, production-ready code. We are proud of our regular and reliable release schedule, having already begun work on NU4. Heartwood is a mandatory network upgrade designed to improve interoperability and privacy. If you are a miner or network node, please stay tuned for more information regarding the Heartwood activation date. If you have any questions, reach out to us.