By now, you have probably heard about Sapling, the second “software-updates-required” network upgrade for Zcash.

Sapling introduces significant efficiency improvements that will pave the way for broad mobile, exchange and vendor adoption of Zcash shielded addresses. To learn more,  read our recent post about What’s New in Sapling.

What Users Need to Know

The Sapling upgrade process mirrors that of our first network upgrade, Overwinter, which successfully activated earlier this year. Simply keep your Zcash software updated to version 2.0.0 or later, and you’ll be automatically upgraded to the new main chain along with everyone else. As long as your Zcash software is up to date, you will not miss the network upgrade.

Only those who are running a full node and have manually configured their client to continue running legacy software will  be left behind. This network upgrade 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 Sapling is 2.0.0, which was released on August 16th, 2018. This release set the Sapling activation block height on the main network to be 419200, which targets October 28th, 2018. Once activated, the main chain will start enforcing the new consensus rules.

We anticipate Sapling to be a significant step toward a shielded ecosystem.  Shielded address support by third-party services is critical to make this happen, but integration is not as easy as transparent addresses. For this reason, we expect shielded address adoption to happen in the months after activation. Making sure third parties are ready for the activation itself is the primary focus of our ecosystem team.

Getting Developers and Ecosystem Services Sapling-Ready

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

If you have any questions, see the network upgrade FAQ and the Sapling information portal, and/or join the forum. For more information on our ongoing testing of Sapling, check out the #zcashd-team channel in the community chat.

Sapling activation is a culmination of years of research and development, bringing us one step closer to widespread adoption of an open, permissionless and private payment system.