Zcash team has done a really great job recently. Thus, a couple of days ago they reported on the news about Atomic Trades development.
Now, the developers announce its next major upgrade, the new privacy technology called zk-SNARKs.
Matthew Green, Ian Miers and I are happy to announce that we have made significant performance improvements to the zk-SNARKs that Zcash uses. These improvements are being published open source, free of patents, for the broader crypto community.
Thus, Zcash uses the bleeding-edge cryptographic technique zk-SNARKs to hide balances and user addresses. Now, a living prototype of a new form of zk-SNARK is released. It is believed, that this would ead to the huge improvements in speed.
As reported, Jubjub, an elliptic curve which is efficient to perform operations on inside of zk-SNARK circuits, is built over the new BLS12-381 curve.
We achieve record-breaking performance for fixed-based exponentiation.
According to the team, "fast elliptic-curve cryptography in this context allows to use more efficient primitives for commitment schemes and collision-resistant hashes". Combining the various techniques, the team can get a rough idea of the performance improvements.
Zcash zk-SNARK perfomance improvements
Thus, this rough estimate indicates an 80% reduction of proving time, and a 98% reduction in memory usage which is a key requirement for opening up mobile support for Zcash shielded addresses.
Therefore, Zcash will be rolling out the technology in an upcoming upgrade, Sapling, expected in 2018. The change is scheduled to occur as a hard fork, meaning all users and miners will need to upgrade their software to take advantage of it.