New Alpha Release: Solidifying the Consensus Protocol

Today, we deployed a new alpha release of the Zcash reference implementation, v0.11.2.z9, to the testnet. The new release includes the following changes [1]:

  1. Decreased block header size to address a bug interfering with the testnet (#1289).
  2. Ensured that Zcash secrets are saved along with Bitcoin secrets in wallets (#1198).
  3. Implemented more space-efficient encodings for Equihash solutions (#1175).
  4. Implemented more space-efficient encodings for zk-SNARK proofs following an IEEE standard (#1262).
  5. Increased the size of the memo field sent with notes, to 512 bytes (#1187).
  6. Merged in upstream Bitcoin patches related to Denial-of-Service protection (#1251).
  7. Implemented the first stages of adding a new higher-level RPC interface so that clients don’t have to deal with details of the underlying cryptographic protocol (#701, #756, #1197).
  8. Began addressing issues found by NCC Group as part of our security audits (#1214, #1215).

We do not expect to make any other changes to the consensus protocol, except for possible security fixes, until after 1.0.

This alpha release will reset our testnet, invalidating all previous coins and breaking backwards compatibility. To get connected to the new testnet, follow the instructions on the Public Alpha Guide.

To follow our progress, watch the github project and join the forum. To
get an email announcement when Zcash Sprout is ready, put your email address
in here.

[1] For more specific detail, view our z9 release github milestone.

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