Announcing Zcash Overwinter, the first “software-updates-required” network upgrade for Zcash.

The purpose of Overwinter is to strengthen the protocol for future network upgrades, paving the way for the Zcash Sapling network upgrade later this year. Overwinter includes versioning, replay protection for network upgrades, performance improvements for transparent transactions, a new feature of transaction expiry, and more.

Keep your Zcash software updated, and you’ll be on the newly-upgraded main chain along with everyone else. You will not miss the network upgrade, unless you are running your own full node and have manually configured your client to continue running the old code. There is no need to do anything else besides keep your Zcash software up to date. This network update is not expected to result in a fork of the blockchain or the creation of a new currency.

The first version of zcashd that supports Overwinter will be 1.1.0, which is planned for release in April. This release will set the Overwinter activation block height on the main network, currently targeted for June 25th, 2018. Once activated, the main chain will start enforcing the new consensus rules.

We have begun reaching out to third-party developers for their feedback and to offer any support needed for a smooth Overwinter activation. The network upgrade guidelines list what is necessary (if anything) from third-parties to get ready for Overwinter.

If you have any questions, see the network upgrade FAQ and the Overwinter information portal, and join the forum. For more information on our plans to test Overwinter, check out the 1.0.15 release announcement.

We’re excited about taking this next step into the future together with you!