Electric Coin Co. (ECC) has been working tirelessly since June 2022 to resolve Zcash wallet performance issues that are affecting users of third-party apps such as Edge, Nighthawk, and Unstoppable. ECC is responsible for developing the software development kit (SDK) utilized by these mobile wallets. Solving these issues is the company’s number one priority, taking precedence over their long-term roadmap.
The problem began when the Zcash network experienced a massive increase in shielded transaction volume, causing a “data pileup” that prevented some wallets from syncing in a reasonable amount of time. This syncing issue prevents users from accessing or spending their funds. It requires developing and implementing a faster algorithm that does not require a linear sync of all blocks on-chain, as well as tooling modifications that will allow users to spend funds without having a fully synced chain.
ECC released two updates to zcashd that resolved full node issues, and work was underway on the SDKs. The company also released zcashd 5.3.0 to fix out-of-memory issues. However, further public releases relevant to syncing issues were delayed, as ECC engineers were pulled off task to build zcashd 5.3.3 and 5.4.2, critical updates that remediated vulnerabilities inherited from Bitcoin Core.
The table below shows the estimated release schedule to address the wallet syncing issues. After these releases are made available, third-party developers may need a number of days or weeks to implement and test.
Date Release Details
First half of April 2023 zcashd 5.5.0 Transaction-fee structure change based on overall size (inputs/outputs) and frequency of transactions (ZIP-317) will make attempts to spam or flood the network with txs much more expensive and unlikely. Fund availability improvement will provide the ability to spend funds before a wallet is fully synchronized. The second half of April 2023 lightwalletd 0.5 Partners currently running lightwalletd servers will need to apply this update to allow the future SDK capabilities to properly function and deliver an improved user experience via the mobile wallets. Supports future zcash 5.6.0 update. Second half of April 2023 ECC prototype wallet Initial distribution will be limited with a broader product launch later in 2023. Second half of May 2023 zcashd 5.6.0 DAGSync capability, which will enable fast sync and scanning of the blockchain. Second half of May 2023 Mobile SDK updates 0.6 (iOS & Android) This update will include support for third-party app access to funding availability and improved sync capabilities.
The ECC team has made progress on these wallet performance issues, but work remains. The solution requires changes to every component in the shielded mobile wallet stack, including zcashd, lightwalletd, the ECC wallet SDKs, and the ECC prototype wallet. Once the updates are live, it will be up to individual wallet developers to integrate new features into their applications, enabling users to access their funds without issues and improve the overall Zcash user experience.