Zcash Successfully Activated Overwinter, a Network Upgrade
Zcash, a cryptocurrency offering privacy to users, has announced the successful completion of Overwinter, the first network upgrade. The purpose is to strengthen the protocol for future network upgrades. It includes versioning, replay protection for network upgrades, performance improvements for transparent transactions, a new feature of transaction expiry, and more. As planned earlier, the hard fork is planned was carried out at block 347500.
It can be remembered that Zcash team released the first Overwinter-compatible version of the Zcash node software in April 2018. Overwinter also indicates the first Zcash implementation of a two-tier governance structure for protocol upgrades. The first tier, an opt-in upgrade, provides an option to the nodes on the system to upgrade with the latest protocol rules. The main aim of the opt-in upgrade is to eliminate chaos brought-in by other governance models where users are forcefully made to tread along a path, potentially without their consent or knowledge.
The second tier is education and advocacy. Node operations should have the capacity to make a well-informed decision, without undue delay. The Zcash Company canvassed for the Overwinter upgrade by educating and working with miners, wallets, exchanges, and vendors on their implementations well in advance of the activation.
Zcash team also explained the steps taken to ensure user safety
- The Zcash Company supported client was updated to, by default, shut down legacy nodes through the “end-of-support halt” introduced in release 1.0.9.
- Alerts were sent to all nodes running 1.0.15 or earlier. The alert forced those nodes to enter “safe mode”, lock down wallet RPC methods, and is returning errors so that nodes are aware of the upgrade and can act accordingly.
- The Zcash Company and members of the community have been communicating details of the upgrade through social media, forums and the Z.cash website.
Zcash team has also stated the in cases where nodes have not received an alert, “client still entered safe mode and the user is unable to transact until the software is upgraded.” Zcash team has highlighted that those nodes running old version or 3rd party software such as Zcash4Win would be facing such issues.
Zcash team has also stated that all funds and private keys are unaffected “by the end-of-support halt or by triggering safe mode.” The team has suggested the nodes to upgrade to the latest Zcash client software and hold on until the nodes sync “at least past the activation block height.”