Last week The Block covered the state of privacy in Ethereum. This week we take a look at the state of the leading privacy coins and privacy protocols. We will examine the network data, protocol upgrades, and research coming from Zcash and Monero. This privacy series will provide quarterly updates on the state of privacy in major cryptocurrencies.
The highly anticipated Sapling network update was implemented into Zcash on Oct. 29, 2018. Sapling was announced in early 2017 as an upgrade that brings efficiency to the Zcash network. Specifically, it improves the composition of Zcash’s shield transactions.
Prior to the Sapling upgrade, there were two versions of a Zcash address: (1) Sprout shielded (private) addresses that start with “zc” and unshielded (transparent) addresses that start with “t.” The decision for implementing unshielded addresses was to ease Zcash adoption for exchanges, wallets, and users — unshielded Zcash addresses have similar structures to Bitcoin addresses.