Unified addresses in Zcash defined

Among the options included within the subsequent Zcash community improve is Unified Addresses. The unified tackle (UA) is a future-proof Zcash tackle format that improves usability, will increase the benefit of interoperability, and helps shielding Zcash by default.

In this put up, we are going to clarify the advantages of unified addresses, how they work and the way they match throughout the broader Zcash ecosystem.


Zcash is all the time bettering — implementing cutting-edge cryptography with safe, professional-grade code. As Zcash evolves, new worth swimming pools are launched that provide higher options and advantages. This was the case when Zcash upgraded from Sprout to Sapling, and it will likely be the case when Zcash upgrades from Sapling to Orchard

Multiple tackle sorts can negatively impression the consumer expertise. They are usually not distinctive to Zcash; in actual fact, many protocols face this problem, together with Bitcoin. This is as a result of sure protocol enhancements (reminiscent of SegWit in Bitcoin) require a brand new tackle format. 

UAs make Zcash simpler to make use of by eradicating the complexity of a number of tackle sorts. This simplifies the consumer expertise — no extra juggling addresses — and will increase interoperability between shielded-only purposes and transparent-only purposes. If a pockets helps auto-shielding (a brand new characteristic included in Halo Arc), their customers may be assured that their funds might be shielded by default and saved within the newest shielded pool.

UAs can even make community upgrades simpler as a result of Zcash can iterate rapidly with out introducing new tackle sorts — fixing an enormous drawback confronted by many protocols as we speak. 

The single-address customary can even advance use instances associated to Layer 2, DeFi and interoperability, as a result of it will likely be simpler to construct purposes and instruments for Zcash.

What are UAs? 

Unified addresses are generated from a set of a number of Zcash tackle sorts (i.e., clear, Sapling and Orchard). Think of unified addresses like a common journey adapter that allows you to plug into totally different sockets. They make it straightforward for wallets emigrate funds to the most recent shielded pool whereas step by step deprecating older expertise. With unified addresses, wallets will default to shifting cash to the most recent shielded pool supported by the pockets. These options, auto-migration and auto-shielding, are a part of ECC’s Halo Arc product suite.

With the upcoming Orchard improve, there is not going to be a stand-alone Orchard tackle. Instead, customers will entry the Orchard shielded pool by means of a unified tackle.

A full checklist of detailed necessities for UAs is in ZIP 316. A full description of UAs can be out there within the Zcash protocol specification (pg 110).

Mobilizing the broader Zcash ecosystem 

Zcash is without doubt one of the most broadly supported digital currencies, out there throughout main exchanges and a rising variety of cell wallets. As with any community improve, the assist of ecosystem companions is crucial to the well being and stability of the Zcash community. 

While all companions are strongly inspired to assist Zcash unified addresses, some might proceed to solely supply assist for Zcash clear addresses. After the activation of NU5, all stand-alone addresses (clear, Sapling and Sprout) might be thought of legacy addresses. While unified addresses might be utterly suitable with some legacy addresses (clear and Sapling), ECC will prioritize partnerships with exchanges and pockets suppliers that assist UAs and defend Zcash by default.

With unified addresses, people don’t have to decide on between privateness and comfort or between a number of tackle sorts. Zcash can proceed to ship world-class innovation with seamless upgrades and a refreshing consumer expertise.

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