First announced back in March, today marks the alpha release of Zebra, the first Zcash (ZEC) client written entirely in Rust. Tasked by the Zcash Foundation to create a new alternative client to zcashd, Parity Technologies completed the initial implementation of a new Zcash client two months ahead of schedule.
The Zebra client offers the Zcash community an independent alternative to the zcashd client.
Parity’s experience in building blockchain clients fused with the Zcash Foundation’s expertise in cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs. Both teams reported gaining new knowledge and skills, while providing the Zcash community with a multi-client ecosystem.
“During our work on this Zcash client at Parity, we’ve gained insight and expertise into what it takes to build a Zcash client, while laying the foundations for a future Polkadot bridge. At the same time, the Zcash Foundation has been able to quickly kickstart a client implementation, creating a useful, competitive alternative to zcashd. The community wins across the board, as there are now more core developers working on clients, with more interests represented and clients taking different approaches on how to build apps on top. Zcash can now boast a more diversified community that can effectively tailor experiences for Layer 2 developers as well as end-users.”
Alternative client implementations help developers quickly detect implementation-specific bugs that could cause consensus-related issues. Multiple client implementations also attract a broader audience of developers, who can start contributing in a language they’re familiar with. Zebra allows Rust developers to easily start hacking on and contributing to Zcash.
Open-source and licensed under GPL v3.0, Zebra has already been handed over to the Zcash Foundation’s Github repo where it will continue to be developed into a full-featured Zcash client.
With Zebra, users, developers and miners have a new avenue to engage with the Zcash ecosystem. Check out the documentation within the Zebra repo, which will continue to be updated regarding new features added by the Zcash Foundation.