New releases to help enable Zcash Shielded by Default

ECC plans to release the Halo Arc for Zcash product suite later this year. With it, we’re introducing “auto-shielding” in our mobile wallet SDKs and unified addresses at the Zcash protocol level. In supporting wallets, these two features ensure your Zcash transaction and balance information is automatically encrypted — Shielded by Default — in the latest, most secure shielded pool.

How it works

Auto-shielding automatically moves funds from a transparent Zcash address to the latest shielded ZEC pool supported by the wallet. This includes all ZEC received to the wallet, transparent or shielded, so users can rest easy that all their funds will be shielded. 

The unified address is a single address encoding that currently includes up to three Zcash address types (i.e., Transparent, Sapling and Orchard). This future-proof Zcash address format improves usability and increases the ease of interoperability between shielded-only and transparent-only wallets and exchanges, and supports shielding Zcash by default. Wallets and exchanges that support auto-shielding along with unified addresses that include the latest ZEC shielded pool will facilitate increased user privacy and a better overall user experience. These features together represent Shielded by Default.*

Shielded by Default

Auto-shielding plus unified addresses plus support for the latest shielded pool in a supported wallet facilitate increased privacy and a better user experience.

UX feature in ECC Wallet SDKs that moves funds from a transparent address to a shielded address
Unified Addresses

Protocol feature that creates a single address encoding with multiple address types (ex – Transparent, Sapling, Orchard)
Support for the latest shielded pool

Orchard will be released with NU5. It is the latest, most secure ZEC pool and uses the Halo 2 proving system, removing the need for the trusted setup and upgrading the protocol’s underlying cryptography.

ECC would like to see 100 percent of our ecosystem partners support unified addresses and as many as possible adopt Shielded by Default. Here’s how everyone from ecosystem partners to end-users can get involved. 


As with any network upgrade, ECC is creating resources and documentation, including a Network Upgrade Guide, so that partners can easily integrate the new features of the Halo Arc for Zcash product suite.

ECC has also created additional tools to support developers such as parsing libraries and technical demo videos.  

Partners who support Shielded by Default at NU5 Mainnet Activation will be listed on as first-class wallets. Wallets that are shielded by default offer a massive usability improvement for their users, making it easier to move funds into the shielded pool and benefit from the latest Zcash technology. 

These features activate on testnet in mid- to late-August. ECC is doing everything in our power to ensure ecosystem partners have what they need to test out and implement Halo Arc features. UAs, along with auto-shielding represent an exciting new era for Zcash, one where users don’t have to juggle between multiple address types.

The broader Zcash community can also get the word out. Contact your favorite wallet providers and let them know you want your Zcash Shielded by Default. 

* Note that after the activation of NU5, all stand-alone addresses (transparent, Sapling and Sprout) will be considered legacy addresses. Unified addresses will be completely compatible with Sapling and transparent legacy addresses.

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