Overwinter Is Coming: Zcash Moves Closer to First-Ever Hard Fork

A new software release prepares zcash for its upcoming hard fork that is set to activate in June.

AccessTimeIconMar 2, 2018 at 2:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:38 a.m. UTC

Zcash has released new software in preparation for its first system-wide software upgrade.

Dubbed "Overwinter" and set to activate in June, the software finds zcash's developer team moving to fortify its technology in anticipation of future updates. Due to the nature of the code, which will be enacted via a mechanism called a hard fork, all users will be required to make the shift.

According to a blog post announcing the new software, Overwinter will include "versioning, replay protection for network upgrades, performance improvements for transparent transactions, a new feature of transaction expiry and more."

However, while the software implements new Overwinter rules, a further upgrade will be required when the precise block number has been finalized, the release states.

Zcash announced last year that it would release a further update, Sapling, in September, which is set to reduce the storage required for private transactions, as well providing a newly secured update to the blockchain's underlying cryptography, zk-snarks.

According to zcash forum posts, the zcash team has delayed the release of Overwinter several times, citing a need for extra time to review the software and fix bugs discovered during testing.

As of Feb. 27, an employee wrote on the forum that the team's "manual testing of the release candidate" was still in progress.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Zcash Company, the for-profit entity that develops the zcash protocol.

Concrete crack image via Shutterstock


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