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A beginner buyer’s guide to Zcash (ZEC): Learn how it works, where to buy it and what to consider before buying.
Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized, open-source cryptocurrency that offers transaction privacy through the use of zero-knowledge cryptography. This means that every transaction is shielded so as to hide the sender, the recipient and the amount of the transaction on the blockchain. However, ZEC is not completely anonymous. Every payment is visible on the public blockchain – only the participants in the transactions and the amounts are hidden.
If you want to learn more about ZEC, read on. Our simple guide will show you where it is available in the US, steps to buy and sell ZEC, as well as things to consider when buying it.
Where can I buy Zcash (ZEC)?
You can buy ZEC with a credit card on Changelly, or you can buy it on some exchanges using fiat currencies like USD, including HitBTC, Kraken, Mercatox, YObit and EXMO. You can also buy ZEC with cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
Exchanges listing ZEC include the following:
A step-by-step guide to buying Zcash (ZEC)
Once you’ve decided to buy ZEC, here are some steps you could follow to buy it:
Step 1. Create an account at an exchange that offers ZEC
Compare exchanges listing ZEC to find your exchange of choice. In doing so, you are undertaking due diligence while empowering yourself to select the exchange that best suits your needs. Once you have chosen an exchange, sign up for an account at its website. Most of the accounts will be created using your email.
Some exchanges require that you submit ID documents for verification. After that, you will be able to deposit funds and trade.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
Most crypto exchanges accept only cryptocurrency deposits, so you would have to acquire cryptocurrency that can be paired with ZEC, like BTC, first.
If you have opted to buy ZEC from an exchange that only accepts cryptocurrency deposits and don’t have any crypto, you can follow our guide on how to buy BTC.
Step 3. Buy ZEC
To buy ZEC, find a button that says “Exchange” or “Markets”, depending on the exchange you selected. Find the relevant pairing from a list of currency pairs; for example, ZEC/BTC if you are buying ZEC with BTC or ZEC/USD if you are buying ZEC with USD. You can then proceed to the “Buy” tab, where you can enter in the amount you wish to purchase and hit a button to confirm this.
How can I sell ZEC?
You can sell ZEC on the same exchange where you buy it. This process is similar to step 3 above, except this time you would use the Sell ZEC function.
Which wallets can I use to hold ZEC?
There are multiple types of wallets you can use to store ZEC.
- Desktop wallets. You can use the wallet included in the official Zcash client, which was designed for Linux but was recently modified to work on Windows and Mac OS X. You can also use the Jaxx desktop wallet for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
- Mobile wallets. Freewallet app for Android and the Jaxx mobile app for Android and iOS. You can also choose the Bitpie or Coinomi app for Android and iOS.
- Web-based wallets. You can use the Jaxx Chrome extension.
- Hardware wallets. You can choose either the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Blue or TREZOR hardware wallets.
While wallets that support ZEC have private keys as a minimum layer of protection for your cryptocurrency, hardware wallets are usually considered the safest among all cryptocurrency wallets.
How does ZEC work?
ZEC uses a zero-knowledge cryptography known as zk-SNARK (zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge) and developed by the team behind ZEC. Zero-knowledge proof works by allowing one party to prove to another that a statement is true without revealing any information beyond the validity of the statement. This allows the network to maintain a secured ledger while keeping the sender, recipient and amount transferred private.
ZEC also has the option to send public payments that work similar to BTC. Users can choose whether to send private or public payments. If you send a payment from a shielded to a transparent address, the received amount is public, while if you send payment from a transparent to a shielded address, the received amount is private.
Additionally, ZEC is a fork of bitcoin (BTC), and it works on the Equihash memory-oriented proof-of-work algorithm, which means mining is determined by how much RAM you have.
What should I consider if I’m buying ZEC?
If you are wondering whether to buy ZEC or any other cryptocurrency, it’s important that you are aware of the risks involved, as prices are unpredictable. In addition to this, you should consider the points below if you want to buy ZEC:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap, the circulating supply of ZEC at the time of writing (March 2018) was 3,398,219 tokens. The maximum supply of all coins is set at 21,000,000 tokens.
- Use. ZEC is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that uses zero-knowledge cryptography. While transaction payments are visible on the public blockchain, participants and amounts are hidden.
- White paper. To find out more about ZEC and the aims of the company behind it, you could read its white paper.
- Partnerships and developments. Bearing in mind that cryptocurrency is speculative and volatile, you can also consider significant recent developments for ZEC. The team behind ZEC has released a list of organizations and individuals accepting ZEC donations, and it was announced in May 2017 that ZEC and JP Morgan would be collaborating on blockchain developments.
- Availability. ZEC is one of the more popular cryptocurrencies and is available on a number of crypto exchanges. You can also buy ZEC with a credit card and fiat currencies.
- Market competition. ZEC is a privacy-oriented cryptocurrency but does not provide full anonymity. Cryptocurrencies similar to ZEC, some of which are completely anonymous, are Monero, Bytecoin, Dash, Verge, Spectrecoin, CloakCoin, Hush, NavCoin and PIVX.
Bearing this in mind and using the above as a starting point for your own research, you should be able to make a more informed decision about buying ZEC.
Frequently asked questions