Umbra Upgrades its Registry and Moves Out of Beta

October 11, 2021 / Ben DiFrancesco

Today marks an important milestone for Umbra. With our deployment of a new and improved stealth key registry system, we are officially moving the project out of its Beta phase. What does this mean? Put simply, Umbra is ready for production use.

Out of Beta

In the four months since Umbra’s mainnet launch, it has processed hundreds of stealth transactions without issue. Furthermore, today’s upgrade addresses the biggest complaint we heard from our early adopters: an overly complex setup process and confusion about how the protocol interacted with ENS.

Using web3 software always comes with risks. We still encourage would-be users to be cautious, to do their own research, and to evaluate their adoption of Umbra accordingly. Nonetheless, Umbra has been put through its paces, and we believe you should feel confident in using it.

Registry Upgrade

Receiving payments with Umbra requires users to publish public stealth keys. These keys are used by senders to generate stealth addresses for payments. When we designed Umbra, we thought the best way to publish those stealth keys was by associating them directly with the user’s ENS or CNS name.

This choice, while logical, lead to two practical problems:

  1. An overly complex multi-transaction setup process

  2. Confusion over how to send funds to a user via Umbra

In today’s upgrade, we’ve deployed a simplified stealth key registry contract. With this registry, users can associate their stealth keys directly with their Ethereum address. This solves both problems in one fell swoop. Setup now requires only a single transaction, and sending funds via the Umbra app feels just like using addresses and ENS names in every other web3 app.

One consequence of this upgrade worth noting: our early adopters will have to migrate from the old system to the new Registry. This requires a single transaction, and can be completed easily via the setup screen.

If you’ve yet to configure Umbra, we encourage you visit and do so today. It takes less than a minute, and will enable you to receive privacy preserving stealth payments immediately.

What’s Next

When we announced our grant from MolochDAO in August, we highlighted several areas where we wanted to focus, one of them being user experience. While there is certainly still work to do here, the upgraded stealth key registry system represents the biggest ticket item in this bucket of work.

With the registry now deployed, we’ll be turning our focus to deploying Umbra on various scaling solution networks. In fact, we’ve already begun laying the groundwork for this in the app.

We want to close by once again saying thank you to the Ethereum community for your continued support. Umbra remains a fully grant funded project. In addition to the various companies, DAOs, and foundations in the ecosystem who’ve contributed, we owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands of individuals who have contributed via Gitcoin.

We continue to be blown away by the level of support we receive, and we’re committed to putting your funds to work as effectively as possible.