A ZCash Improvement Proposal ZIP was submitted to the ZCash community to migrate the privacy focused blockchain from the Proof of Work protocol to Proof of Stake.
The proposal was made by a user rebekah93. According to the community member, “Zcash was launched using Proof of Work. This meant that as well as removing the risk of POS being in some way faulty, the developers could focus on snark development rather than proof of stake development. Now the situation is a little different, as POS is a little mature and shielded transactions in zcash have come leaps and bounds.
This means that we should be able to switch from POW to POS without diverting developers too heavily away from other protocol improving works.”
The motivation according to rebekah93 for the improvement proposal was “by not wanting to have ‘destroying the planet’ as one of zcash’s most prominent achievements.
This is related to the amount of power needed to maintain the proof of work blockchains with Bitcoin being the highest consumer as the largest pow blockchain.
In order to achieve consensus, the community will have to answer some questions such as:
what properties does it want from POW? BFT or not?, Which are the best POS protocols that satisfy the needed properties, who gets to have the loudest/definitive say, when will it be implemented, who will implement it, will there be a transition period, when will the transition go live?
The ZIP which is currently in draft stage has attracted comments from the zcash community with one member Faddat defending POW by saying it doesn’t harm the environment and that it is one of the most efficient uses of stranded energy. According to him, POS chains have more favourable performance characteristic, but POW is more secure.
Another member of the Zcash community by the name OliverNChalk is of the opinion that the migration to POS should be put on hold and wait to see how the Ethereum imminent migration to POS goes as this would give an idea of how POS looks in the ‘wild’.
A member of the Zcash foundation by the name Sonya said concerning the ZIP “I like proof-of-work because the economics are straightforward and the model is battle-tested. I don’t think proof-of-stake has been around long enough that we should jump on it — maybe another couple of years.”
The proposal was created over 40 hours ago, it has received 1500 views and 12 replies. At current it is still a draft.