Electric Coin Company (ECC), the firm behind Zcash, has unveiled Halo Arc, the product that will kickstart the next Zcash generation.
The Halo Arc suite comes with Zcashd updates, ECC reference wallet apps, and ECC wallet SDKs (software development kits. The ECC wallet will allow the ‘shielded by default transactions,’ currently only available as an option for Zcash.
Halo Arc, which was set to be unveiled this summer, will be launched on Oct. 1, 2021. This will be in conjunction with Zcash’s activation to its new network Upgrade 5 (NU5). According to the press release, NU5 is set to be the inaugural mainnet activation of the Halo Arc.
The planned October network upgrade is set to bring onboard unified addresses, a feature set to formulate a solo Zcash address compatible with all Zcash value pools. This will also include shielded and transparent pools whereby users will not need to use various addresses anymore. Currently, upgrading the protocol required new addresses.
The new Halo Arc is set to eliminate Zcash's trusted setup. The trusted setups lead to the formulation of a secret number and a derivative of the Zcash protocol number. This number can be created in various parts by various actors.
“This is all built on top of Halo, which will usher in a new era of zero-knowledge cryptography and means, for this first release, increased confidence in the money supply by removing the trusted setup necessary for current zero-knowledge proving systems,” explained ECC Vice President in charge of company growth, Josh Swihart.
While Halo Arc comes with numerous products, the most notable one to enhance the users’ security and privacy is its wallet.
With Halo Arc, we’re making it easy for wallets to support shielded Zcash by default. “Users of supporting wallets will be able to give counterparties a single address and know that funds will be sent to their shielded address, regardless of whether the sender supports shielded addresses,” said Swihart.