What’s Next in Development?
After the completion of the Zcoin core upgrade, this opens up a range of improvements that the team can now work on.
With the assistance of Tim Ruffing, he has identified several fixes that are required in the software library that underpins Zerocoin and Poramin has implemented them into our codebase based on 0.8. Work is being done to port these fixes over to the new core 0.13 and we intend to roll this out by the end of the month or early October. We believe this is the first major improvement to libzerocoin in a long while and represents a major step forward in providing a secure Zerocoin protocol. Our next step after implementing these fixes is to do a code cleanup and refactor of the Zerocoin code to make it easier to audit.
As our commitment to open source, we will release the source code for this that will allow other projects that are using Zerocoin to secure their own Zerocoin implementations. We hope other projects can contribute to the development of Zerocoin as well.
Besides the backend, we understand the importance of having a aesthetically pleasing graphical interface especially when it relates to the use of Zerocoin. Our next task is making the wallet easy and intuitive to use.
We also will have some commands to recover Zcoin that has been stuck in unconfirmed spends from the previous version so make sure you don’t delete your old wallets with funds. As long as you have the wallet where you did the original mints, your funds are safe.
At the same time, work will begin on Znodes, the long awaited update that allows incentivized nodes to support the Zcoin network and makes Zcoin into a hybrid Proof of Work and Proof of Stake system. Znode owners will earn a proportion of the block rewards as an incentive to maintain a full node, keep it updated and maintain the network. A certain number of Zcoin will be required as a ‘collateral’ to start a Znode to discourage Sybil attacks. This number will be announced as we come closer to launch but we aim to achieve a balance between allowing people to participate while maintaining a decent profitability for node owners to keep them sufficiently incentivized.
Reusable Payment Codes / Stealth Addresses
We are considering between either implementing BIP47 Reusable payment codes or Stealth Addresses. The benefit of Stealth Addresses is that it can be implemented very quickly given that Poramin was actually the first developer to successfully implement it in a QT wallet in Vertcoin. However, BIP47 has certain advantages over Stealth Addresses in that it can be used in light wallets and they are not distinguishable from regular Zcoin transactions however thought has to be given to how to implement it in the UI and also development will take longer.
Currently there are only two BIP47 implementations out there being the Samourai wallet and the Dark Wallet while stealth addresses are well understood and implemented in many coins.
MTP Porting to new codebase
We will port our existing MTP code to the new 0.13 codebase so that we are ready to implement MTP as soon as we can after the researchers Alex Biryukov and Dmitry Khovratovich publish their revised paper with improvements to MTP both in the areas of security and performance. We will only be able to comment on how long this will take when extended a copy of the revised paper which is expected sometime in October.
Proof of Concept Ethereum Zerocoin mixer
Tadhg is currently well underway with coding of his smart contract for ZEth (Zerocoin mixing on Ethereum). We hope to deploy a functional proof of concept mixer for Zerocoin on Ethereum soon. We hope that this project will bring greater recognition of our project with the Ethereum community along with opening up synergies between the two currencies together with cross atomic swaps which allow decentralized conversion between Zcoin and Ethereum and vice versa.
Poramin and Riordant will be attending Devcon3 in November 1-4 and aim to have the proof of concept smart contract ready by then.
Hardware Wallet Integrations
Community members have started integrating Zcoin with Trezor and Ledger. The Bitcoin core upgrade now makes their task a lot simpler and hopefully will accelerate development here.