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Zcash (ZEC): Beyond the Zerocoin project

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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 should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is Zcash?

Icon Symbol Initial release date Algorithm type Max. supply
ZEC 28 October, 2016 zk-SNARKs 21 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 Supported Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, ICX, BNB, ZRX, APPC & 80+ more
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.
Bank transfer (ACH)
Cash
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
AUD, USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, SGD, HKD & 40+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, ETC, LTC, XLM, ADA, BTG, TRX, REP, BAT, DASH, DGB, DOGE, GNT, LSK, XMR, XEM, NEO, OMG, QTUM, SNT, STRAT, TRX, XVG, VTC, ZEC, ZRX
Buy and hold 28+ cryptocurrencies and more than 50 different fiat currencies in this all-in-one wallet and exchange app.
Cointree Cryptocurrency Exchange - Global
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, BCH, EOS, MIOTA, ZRX, AE, AION, REP, DGD, ICX, IOST, OMG, PPT, SNT, TRX, VET, ZIL, ZEC, LSK, DCR, SC, STEEM, GNT, DGB, BAT, KMD, BTG, ADA, DASH, ETC, OIST, LTC, XMR, XEM, NEO, ONT, QTUM, XRP
Buy and trade 30+ cryptocurrencies with no deposit fees.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
SWIFT
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC, XLM
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
USD
BTC, BCH, MIOTA, XVG, NEO, ADA, XRP, TRX, ONT, ZIL, GAS, LTC, ZRX, QTUM, ETH, ETC, VET, ICX & 300+ more
CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
CoinJar Trading Platform
Blueshyft
BPAY
POLi
USD, EUR, GBP, AUD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC
An all-in-one platform for buying, selling and managing bitcoin, this Australia-based platform supports users and currencies from various countries.
CoinJar Trading Exchange
BPAY
Cryptocurrency
POLi
AUD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, ZEC
Owned by the founders of the CoinJar platform, CoinJar Exchange is an advanced digital currency exchange suited for experienced traders.
Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, PAI, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, ZEC, XZC, OMG & 75+ more
Huobi is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ADA, QTUM, ETC, XMR, DASH, LTC, XRP, XLM, REP, MLN, ZEC, USDT, GNO, EOS
Exchange multiple cryptocurrencies through a range of payment methods, including Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA or Wire Transfer.
Bittrex Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, BOXX, XVG, SC, XRP, DOGE, STRAT, XMR, ADA, OMG, ETC, BCC, XLM, DGB, UKG, QTUM, ZCL, RDD, LTC, NEO, XRP, TRX, ZEC & 120+ more
Buy from one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a selection of over 190+ cryptocurrencies and 3 USD pairings.

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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

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SmehranOctober 12, 2018

    hello
    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
    thanks

    • finder 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!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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