New upgrade to Tezos blockchain will include ZCash privacy features

  • Tezos developers are adding a new privacy feature to the blockchain.
  • A new ticketing system will empower smart contracts to issue tokens.

Developers of the Tezos blockchain are gearing up for some significant upgrades as they hope to attract new users. Yesterday, Nomadic Labs, Metastate, and Marigold shared a joint press release where they proposed a new upgrade to the Tezos blockchain. The upgrade, dubbed “Edo,” plans to bring in some new privacy and smart contract upgrades as Tezos hopes to branch out and expand its user base.

Meet “Edo”

Most prominent on the list is the introduction of Sapling, a library used by the ZCash blockchain. The feature essentially introduces “transaction shielding,” a component that allows users to send transactions privately. Sapling is one of the many features that have made ZCash the force it is today. As the developers explained:

Our proposal allows smart contract developers to easily integrate Sapling in their smart contracts and create privacy-conscious applications. Because Tezos can be amended, it was possible for us to add this exciting new feature directly to Tezos itself.

The developers have also introduced a new ticketing system that enables smart contracts to grant portable permissions and issue tokens. They pointed out that ticketing makes it easier to write functional contracts, and incorporating it could allow the Tezos blockchain to appeal to more users.

Also, prominent is the incorporation of a new adoption period for protocol upgrades. The developers highlighted that before now, changes to the blockchain have gone live just one block after voting on them is done. Ideally, this takes about a minute – much less time for network users to understand and acclimatize to the changes.

“Edo” brings a change to that. Instead of four periods of eight cycles during voting, the developers are introducing a five-cycle gap between new protocol adoption and activation. This should take about two weeks, ensuring that integrations from network users can be seamless.

Treading murky waters

The new upgrade will be the second for Tezos in less than a month. On November 13, the developers announced the successful implementation of “Delphi,” an upgrade that primarily reduced smart contract fees by 74 percent. As they explained, the changes had been implemented to attract users from fledgling areas like collectibles, gaming, and decentralized finance (DeFi).

With DeFi mainly growing strong, most of the market remains on the Ethereum blockchain. Tezos hopes that reduced gas fees can attract some protocols, essentially giving it a foothold on the market.

While “Edo” appears to be another step in the right direction, it is worth noting that it could have some ramifications. The industry – especially regulators – is becoming more aware of privacy coins and their use for criminal activity.

Earlier this month, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of South Korea announced that it would ban the use of privacy coins like Monero and ZCash from March 2021. Calling the assets “dark coins,” the agency highlighted that tracking these coins has proven difficult. Looking to curb criminal activity, it would simply cut them from its economy.

Crypto companies are also following suit. This month, top exchange platform ShapeShift confirmed that it would delist Monero, ZCash, and DASH. Therefore, Tezos might not want to get the same “privacy coin” tag.

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