Zcash is moving to Zebra

by Alan Fairless, Jack Gavigan, Andrew Miller and Zooko Wilcox

Zebra download

Following conversations at Zcon4 in Barcelona, the Zcash Foundation (ZF) and Electric Coin Co. (ECC) are excited to announce that we’ve agreed to move core Zcash protocol work from zcashd to Zebra! 🦓🛡️

Zebra is a brand new Zcash full node implementation written from the ground up in Rust. Both the ECC and ZF teams believe the modern architecture and good engineering in Zebra will provide a safer and more efficient implementation of the Zcash core protocol. 

Zebra was created by ZF with significant support and assistance from ECC developers, and relies on Zcash core libraries authored at ECC. Both organizations’ teams will collaborate to identify what functionality needs to be added to Zebra to address the necessary use cases, and to encourage and support key users to migrate to Zebra. Zcashd will continue to be supported during the transition, which will take an undetermined amount of time. ECC plans to continue independently supporting core Zcash protocol upgrades, such as its planned implementation of proof of stake, using Zebra.

ECC engineers built the original Zcash full node (“zcashd”) and have maintained and supported it through 69 releases and 6 network upgrades since 2016. This original implementation inherits the Bitcoin codebase and has grown challenging to maintain. Today’s announced transition will reduce the time it will take to deploy new features for Zcash, and allow more engineering time toward wallet SDKs and a transition away from PoW consensus. For ECC, this is part of its strategy of “Decentralize Zcash and Focus ECC”. For ZF, this marks a significant milestone for the Zebra project.

As part of this transition, Zooko at the Electric Coin Company has gifted a zebra suit previously seen on stage at Zcon1, to Jack Gavigan of ZF.