Buzz, Debate Around ZCash Amid Overwinter Fork, Zcon0

Buzz, Debate Around ZCash Amid Overwinter Fork, Zcon0

The Zcash (ZEC) privacy coin just succeeded in its inaugural upgrade, Overwinter, which included various future-minded performance improvements. There’s also been buzz over the similarly inaugural Zcon0, a three-day Zcash-based conference that started June 26th in Canada. Some debate has been stirred over Zooko Wilcox’s financial transparency report at the conference, with Monero’s Riccardo Spagni hailing a “misalignment of incentives” in the revelations while others like Udi Wertheimer have called the pushback “so unfair.”

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Overwinter Activated

Zcash’s Overwinter software facelift went live at block 347500 on June 25th, making the project’s first official upgrade a successful one.

The upgrade implemented a range of new optimizations, per the Zcash team:

“Its purpose includes versioning, replay protection for network upgrades, performance improvements for transparent transactions, a new feature of transaction expiry, and more.”

Moreover, Overwinter also activated a new “two-tiered governance model for protocol upgrades” that seeks to bring clarity and responsibility to the way future protocol upgrades are approached:

“The first tier is an opt-in upgrade. This means that all nodes on the system have the option to upgrade their node with the latest protocol rules. The intent of the opt-in upgrade is to remove chaos introduced by other governance models where users are forced down a certain path, potentially without their knowledge or consent.

The second tier is advocacy and education. Node operations should be able to make a well-informed decision, within a reasonable amount of time. The Zcash Company advocated for the Overwinter upgrade by educating and working with miners, exchanges, wallets and vendors on their implementations well in advance of the activation.”

ZEC supporters have applauded the upgrade as an important step forward, while some companieshave worked quickly to bring it into the fold, like hardware wallet titans TREZOR.

First Zcon0 Begins

The first-ever Zcon0 conference, running June 26th through 28th at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal, Canada, has already generated considerable buzz upon the end of its first day of activities.

The participants and the conference, which is “void of booths, product/ICO promotions, and sponsors,” have stressed the expected suspects of decentralization, privacy, usability, and transparency.

Detractors Chime In on Zooko’s Earnings

ZCash Company founder Zooko Wilcox’s aforementioned financial transparency report on the first day of Zcon0 set off a great deal debate in the space, with sentiments splitting along expected lines.

Zooko Wilcox.

As Wilcox reported in his presentation, he presently receives 0.9 percent (2,033 ZEC) of ZEC’s monthly issuance while the ZCash Company and the ZCash Foundation take in 2.8 and 3 percent respectively. Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer was able to confirm with Wilcox that such figures were indeed accurate.

Many honed in on the large sums at hand, like Monero (XMR) thought leader Riccardo Spagni, whose charge of misaligned incentives against the ZEC ecosystem typified many like-minded detractors’ responses.

Others, like Bitcoin coder Udi Wertheimer, defended Zooko on the grounds that he had accepted his issuance deal years prior when ZEC were worth much less and has since steered the project toward success.

“Glad to see that critics wasted no time in using our new—even more extreme—level of financial transparency against us,” Zooko sarcastically noted of the fallout on Twitter.

Vitalik Buterin’s Got Nice Things to Say

Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, who serves as an advisor to the Zcash team, hailed what he called the “ZCash community’s strong and consistent commitment to security and privacy” at Zcon0.

Inspired by the discussion of the day, Buterin also posited how a hack of the coin’s ZK-SNARK scheme might be handled, earning himself a retweet from the Zcash Foundation.

An interesting thread to dig through and interesting times for the Zcash community, to say the least.

What’s your take? What’s your opinion of ZEC? Sound off in the comments below.


Images via Hacked, Zcash

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