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--Press Release June 8th 2021–

Zcash Open Major Grants (ZOMG) is pleased to announce a grant of $670,000 to the Tor Project, to build a Rust implementation of Tor that will let Zcash developers ship Tor “built-in” with widely-used Zcash tools.

ZOMG believes that privacy is a fundamental human right and we are proud to support The Tor Project in an effort to bring increased network-layer privacy and censorship-resistance to Zcash users.

The Tor Project is well known for its effort to bring private access to an uncensored internet to everyone in the world, and Tor has become one of the world’s strongest tools for privacy and freedom online. Tor’s new Rust implementation Arti, an acronym for “A Rust Tor Implementation,” will be built from the ground up to give Tor a next generation codebase that will focus on flexibility in embedding, straightforward maintenance, flexible deployment, and performance.

Zcash is an open-source decentralized privacy protecting digital currency. Using zk-snarks, Zcash offers the strongest privacy available on a public blockchain. The primary Zcash client Zcashd can currently support connections over Tor but the user has several extra steps they must go through to do so. Arti, when complete, will make it easier for Zcashd and Zebrad network client nodes to include built-in Tor support, thereby facilitating much greater levels of network-layer privacy for Zcash users.

Furthermore, thanks to Tor’s censorship circumvention capabilities, Arti could someday allow users in countries with heavily censored Internet to use Zcash.

Key Zcash teams, such as Electric Coin Company, Zecwallet, and Nighthawk Wallet have indicated interest in using Arti to ship built-in Tor support with their products, and Zcash Foundation has committed to building Arti into its Rust-based Zcash node, Zebrad.

Much more than a tool for a single network, Arti will help drive the next generation client that will benefit all Tor users. Arti plans to prioritize its API for usefulness and stability, maintain strong protocol security, and work towards future parity with Tor’s current C implementation.

The Zcash Community looks forward to working with Tor on this project!

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About ZOMG:

(Zcash Open Major Grants) exists to fund projects that advance the usability, security, privacy, and adoption of Zcash, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. ZOMG’s funds come from the community’s decision via ZIP-1014 to allocate a portion of the Zcash block reward over a four year period to the ZOMG. Legally speaking, ZOMG is a technology advisory board that constitutes a committee of the Zcash Foundation (a 501©3 non-profit organization) under its bylaws. Please visit our website to learn more: https://zcashomg.org/

About Arti:

Arti is a project of the Tor Project which is a 501©3 not-for-profit charitable corporation incorporated in 2006. Tor Project builds tools that safeguard against mass surveillance and believe that freedom and private access to uncensored internet is a human right. Learn more at https://www.torproject.org/ Details about Arti can be found here