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Zcash (ZEC): Beyond the Zerocoin project

What you need to know about Zcash, a cryptocurrency built to protect user privacy.

Zcash is a cryptocurrency with a strong emphasis on privacy and identity protection. Zcash maintains the features of a public blockchain while enabling completely anonymous transactions.

Learn more Buy Zcash (ZEC)

Disclaimer: This information is not financial advice or an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and high risk. Do your own research and seek financial advice before buying. Please check with providers if their services are available in your state.

What is Zcash?

IconSymbolInitial release dateAlgorithm typeMax. supply
ZEC28 October, 2016zk-SNARKs21 million ZEC

While cryptocurrencies are often hailed as “anonymous,” in many cases user identity can be traced by following the transaction history on the blockchain. Zcash was born from a project called ZeroCoin, originally geared towards improving anonymity for bitcoin users. Using a specialized form of zero-knowledge cryptography, Zcash makes it possible for fully encrypted transactions to be validated by the network’s consensus protocol.

How is Zcash different from bitcoin?

Zcash, itself, is a fork of the bitcoin protocol. While ZEC is a separate cryptocurrency and maintains its own blockchain, the infrastructure is built on top of bitcoin’s core code. Additions to the underlying code that are specific to Zcash include updating the proof-of-work consensus model and introducing zero-knowledge proofs to enhance user privacy.

Bitcoin, and many other cryptocurrencies, rely on private keys to identify users. While these keys are cryptographically generated, an address that is used for multiple transactions over time can become linked to a particular key, leaving a “paper trail” of sorts that is tied to that user. The bitcoin blockchain keeps a record of every transaction, including the addresses of both parties involved and the amount of the transaction, which is accessible to the public. The Zcash blockchain, on the other hand, only shows that a transaction occurred, without revealing the amount exchanged or information about the identity of either the sender or the recipient.

Selective disclosure in Zcash

Zcash grew primarily out of a desire to increase privacy protections for bitcoin users. That being said, within Zcash users can choose whether to use certain privacy features. When making a transaction in Zcash, you have the option to opt in or out of publishing information about your wallet address and the amount of the transaction to the public blockchain. The option for “selective disclosure” within Zcash is designed largely to give users the option to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, tax regulations, and audits.

Where can I use ZEC as payment?

Like bitcoin, ZEC can be used as payment anywhere that vendors are willing to accept it. Notably, the multi-currency Jaxx wallet, available for both iOS and Android, has integrated support for ZEC. Services designed to offer users enhanced levels of identity protection, such as certain VPNs, have been some of the first to offer options for Zcash payment.

How to purchase ZEC

You can purchase ZEC on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bittrex, Poloniex, and Shapeshift. In some cases, depending on the particular exchange, you can buy ZEC directly with fiat currency, otherwise, you will need to use bitcoin or another cryptocurrency for your purchase.

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
eToro USA LLC Cryptocurrency Trading
Wire transfer, Online banking


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Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform. Non-US residents can read our review of eToro's global site here.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, PayPal, Wire transfer, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA


Finder exclusive: Sign up and use code 1xf56 for one month of VIP 1 benefits. Deposit/transfer more than 0.1 BTC to KuCoin within 7 days of registration for 1 month of VIP 2 benefits. T&Cs apply.
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Binance.US Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Wire transfer


Get a US$15 bonus when you trade US$100 or more of any supported crypto. T&Cs apply.
Trade with USD on Binance.US, the American dollar onramp of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Non-US residents can read our review of Binance's main exchange here.
Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)


Trade bitcoin, Ethereum and more at a US-based exchange where payments can be made in USD.
Robinhood Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cash, Debit card


Trade a handful of leading cryptocurrencies with this easy to use mobile app.
Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Debit card, PayPal, Wire transfer, Apple Pay


Buy and sell major cryptocurrencies on one of the world's most renowned cryptocurrency exchanges.
Webull Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH), Wire transfer


New users get 5 USD worth of SHIB when they activate crypto trading and make a trade before October 20, 2021. T&Cs apply.
Trade a handful of leading cryptocurrencies on this mobile app with as little as $1 per trade, plus access to stocks and ETFs.
Bitfinex Professional Trading Exchange


Cryptocurrencies are a highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Spot trade all of the major cryptos on this full-featured exchange and margin trading platform.
Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash, Cryptocurrency, SWIFT, Wire transfer


Huobi is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.

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Historically, there has been some stigma attached to cryptocurrencies that place an emphasis on anonymity, fueled by the assumption that anyone who uses them must be engaging in some sort of illicit behavior. However, with the rise of identity theft, ad targeting, data mining, and other forms of surveillance, many people are beginning to take increased measures to protect their identities.

It is also possible to mine ZEC. By contributing to the Zcash network, miners can earn rewards by devoting computing power to validating transactions on the Zcash blockchain.

What to watch out for

  • Zcash can be used as a privacy enhancement tool, but it is not anonymous by default. Furthermore, because shielding transaction data from the public blockchain is an optional feature, it is possible that only a minority of users will take advantage of this ability, potentially making it easier to trace the history of private transactions on an otherwise largely transparent blockchain.
  • Zcash uses a new form of cryptographic algorithm. Like any new technology, zk-SNARKs is still being tested, explored, and developed. The possibility for unknown vulnerabilities to be exploited is something that users should be aware of.
  • Unlike some other cryptocurrencies, there is a company behind Zcash. Zooko Wilcox, generally considered to be the creator of Zcash, is the CEO of the Zcash company. 10% of all Zcash mined within the first four years, called the “Founders Reward,” goes to stakeholders in the Zcash company.

What’s next for Zcash?

  • Collaboration with Ethereum. The team behind Zcash is working with the developers at Ethereum to integrate the algorithms behind Zcash’s privacy features into the Ethereum platform. Ongoing collaboration between these two projects includes a vision to create a larger bridge between the Zcash and Ethereum blockchains.
  • Cross-chain atomic swaps. Often abbreviated to XCAT, cross-chain atomic swaps are on the development roadmap for Zcash. These allow instant trades between cryptocurrencies and blockchains. In addition to integrating with the Ethereum blockchain, Zcash is also working on developing interoperability with bitcoin and other blockchains.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    Mar83September 5, 2019

    Zcash is also available on CoinDeal now as a result of cryptocurrency voting. I think I will invest one day because of pretty good opinions about ZEC, seems to have great potential

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelSeptember 6, 2019Staff

      Hi Mar83,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment. We really appreciate your business. Please let us know what we can do for you in the future.

      Kind Regards,

    Default Gravatar
    SmehranOctober 12, 2018

    i am going to buy a9 miner and i am so confused about what crypto to mine,zcash or bitcoin gold or another Equihash Coin?
    i am worry and too confused
    please help me

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Smehran,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      We are not permitted to provide personalized advice. However, what I can suggest is for you to explore your different options. Aside from reading about Zcash on this page, you can also read about what bitcoin mining is, prediction about cryptocurrency, and other information about cryptocurrencies.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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