Key points to remember

  • Tezos will add Zcash’s Sapling privacy protocol to its code.
  • This allows developers to create dApps that improve user privacy.
  • Tezos is not the first blockchain to introduce this functionality.

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Tezos Developers announced plans to introduce new privacy features based on Zcash’s Sapling protocol in the coming months.

Data protected in dApps

Once Sapling is added to Tezos, developers will be able to use the feature in their Tezos smart contracts. This allows developers to create blockchain dApps that keep user data private. Sapling works by providing a feature called “secure transactions”, which only allows transaction participants to view amounts and addresses.

Tezos says that since first announcing Sapling’s integration, the functionality has been “extensively tested”, has been “improved in many ways” and delivers faster performance.

The new feature will be part of Tezos’ “Edo” upgrade. Edo will also introduce a feature called “tickets” for managing smart contract permissions, along with a number of bug fixes and enhancements. A date for the upgrade has not been announced.

Three development groups, Nomadic Labs, Marigold, and Metastate, are responsible for the upgrade.

Other privacy projects

Tezos says that “no other major smart contract platform” has added Sapling so far. He says he was able to introduce Sapling through Tezos’ self-modifying upgrades, an approach that allows new features to be added quickly.

Tezos is definitely the most important blockchain for adding functionality. However, at least two other blockchains – PIVX and Komodo – have also integrated Sapling, so this is not unheard of elsewhere.

In addition, other blockchains have similar characteristics. TRON introduced zk-SNARK-based privacy in a summer upgrade this year. Meanwhile, Litecoin is in the process of enabling Mimblewimble-based privacy, which is expected to arrive next year.

More generally, interest in Sapling and similar protocols indicates that there is interest in the confidential functionality of the blockchain beyond the basic level of privacy offered by standard privacy coins.

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