The next set of updates to privacy coin Zcash – Halo Arc – has been revealed by the Electric Coin Company (ECC).
Modifications to Zcashd (Zcash’s consensus node), an ECC wallet prototype, and ECC wallet software development kits are all included in Halo Arc (SDKs). The wallet will support shielded-by-default transactions, which are currently only available as a feature in Zcash.
The Halo Arc Protocol
Halo Arc comes out on October 1, 2021. It comes out this summer as supposed. This is just in time for the implementation of Zcash’s Network Upgrade 5. (NU5). In addition, the Halo proving mechanism will be activated on the mainnet for the first time on NU5. Therefore, this will boost the advancement of zero-knowledge-proof cryptography.
Consumers will no longer have to learn how to handle different address types thanks to the October protocol upgrade. This will include unified addresses, a mechanism that produces a single Zcash address that is valid throughout all Zcash value pools. It also includes the shielded and transparent ones. Protocol updates currently necessitate the use of new address forms on occasion.
Halo is a “trustless recursive” variant of zero-knowledge proofs that provides increased scalability. Moreover, removing the contentious “trusted setups” from the equation.
A trustworthy configuration generates a secret number. They use Zcash protocol as a derivative. Several roles makes up this number. Different actor plays each. Following that, they must all destroy “cryptographic poisonous trash” without revealing its nature. Each hard fork would have required a trusted setup.
However, if no one removes that waste, potentially by deliberate planning, or if the secret number is discovered, the protocol possesses fundamental fault. This would allow the person or people who find it to manufacture Zcash at will and without anyone’s knowledge.
This is all constructed on top of Halo. It will herald in a new age of zero-knowledge cryptography and signifies elevated confidence in the monetary supply. They discard the trusted setup required for current zero-knowledge proving systems, especially for this first release.
What are the Benefits?
The most tangible benefit for consumers will be the opportunity to guarantee that their transactions are secret from the start by using Halo Arc, which covers a variety of products.
“We’re making it simple for wallets to offer protected Zcash by default with Halo Arc,” Swihart stated. The company permits the consumers of compatible wallets to offer counterparties a single address and trust that they deliver payments to their shielded address whether or not the sender offers shielded addresses.
Halo Arc supports auto-migration in conjunction with the automated shielding capability seen in NU5-compatible wallet SDKs. This enables wallets to transfer funds to the wallet’s most recent protected pool. This functionality will also make deprecating older pools a lot easier.
As per a blog article reporting the release, Halo Arc also offers “enhanced note management.” Consumers will be able to transmit transactions more quickly as a result of this, as they will not have to wait as long between transactions.
Instead of depending on intermittent or one-off instances, ECC will combine improvements, products, and innovations into periodic releases in the future.
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