“If Bitcoin transactions are public for everyone to see, privacy coins solve this lack of anonymity. In this sense, Zcash presented zk-SNARKs, a new zero-knowledge technology that enables transactions only revealing the validity of the transaction, no information at all about any of the involved parties…”
Coin Name: Zcash
Birth of project: 2016
Project Status: Privacy
Circulating Supply: 3,479,744 ZEC
Official website: https://z.cash/
Introduction to Zcash (ZEC)
Zcash was created in 2016 by a team lead by Zooko Wilcox, and had Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin involved as an advisor. The crypto community was excited with anonymity and privacy, and Zcash presented itself as competition for Dash and Monero, both top ten cryptos at the time.
To easily understand Zcash, we can mention that it’s a Bitcoin fork that has precisely the same code base and supply, 21 million coins total. There are differences though, namely the faster block times, the founder rewards, and the privacy aspect.
The launch of Zcash was made with zero units mined with the goal of growing in an organic way, where the miners got paid Zcash for their work. This slow start was deliberate and was also a safety measure against eventual bugs on the Zcash code.
If Bitcoin transactions are public for everyone to see, privacy coins solve this lack of anonymity. In this sense, Zcash presented zk-SNARKs, a new zero-knowledge technology that enables transactions only revealing the validity of the transaction, no information at all about any of the involved parties.
The development of Zcash is made by the Zcash company, who also gets 20% of all the mined coins for the first four years, in what is called a founders reward. Not everyone agreed with this measure, namely the developer Rhett Creighton, which lead to the fork of Zcash to Zclassic, where those 20% don’t exist.
Bitcoin Private is another fork from Zcash undertaken by Creighton, something that naturally divides the community. Funny enough, Zcash transactions are private, but this is optional. As anonymizing a Zcash transaction consumes computational resources and time, some wallets might choose not to use this feature.
In this sense we find transparent and shielded Zcash addresses, where the second one anonymize the sender, the receiver or both. Transactions can be made from transparent to shielded addresses as well, and partially shielded addresses also exist. For a coin that should be all about privacy, only 11% of the transactions were anonymous in February 2018, against 32% in the same month of 2017, what can show a trend in what concerns privacy.
Zcash Company hopes that shielded addresses become the norm, but full privacy for Zcash is still a distant reality these days. The growth of the Zcash network is not based on the adoption of the privacy features, but it’s also possible that the users don’t know how to activate them.
The next Zcash version promises faster anonymous transactions, so this might be a good opportunity for users to embrace privacy, but this is something only time can tell.
This is a brief introduction to Zcash, but if you want to know more about the coin, what people are saying about it, technical details, jump right in any of the links we present below. They are well worth reading before investing!
Feb 19, 2018: $449.52
Jan 19, 2018: $486.59
Dec 19, 2017: $595.79
Nov 19, 2017: $298.22
- Edward Snowden: Zcash Is ‘Most Interesting Bitcoin Alternative’
- JPMorgan Integrates Zcash Privacy Tech Into Quorum Blockchain
- Titan Digital Asset Group: The Right to Privacy
- How Private Are Privacy Coins: A Closer Look at Zcash and Zclassic’s Blockchains
- Zcash, oh Zcash. Talk About Hype!
- Zero-knowledge proof
- Cultivating Sapling: Faster zk-SNARKs