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What is Zcash?

What is ZCash?

Source: Shutterstock

With the development of new technologies, there has been an increased demand for cryptocurrencies. However, there are several interesting things that distinguish Zcash from other similar currencies, such as partnership with JPMorgan 1, through the open-source project Quorum. Zcash privacy technology could soon be applied to different crypto and blockchain networks, including Ethereum-based tokens. CoinMarketCap estimates that Zcash's global market cap is more than $960 million. 2

What is Zcash?

ZCash (ZEC) is a cryptocurrency project that originated from the Zerocoin/Zerocash idea, proposed back in 2013. Zcash was forked out of Bitcoin and launched in October 2016, and it was previously known as Zerocoin.

It uses cryptography which in theory should provide privacy to its users. Cryptography aka cryptology analyses different protocols that prevent third parties, or the public, from reading private messages. 3

How is Zcash Different from Bitcoin?

Zcash is a Bitcoin fork. Because of that simple fact, they have a lot in common. There are two types of Zcash transactions: private and public (similar to BTC). When you download the official Zcash wallet, you will notice it offers two types of addresses: t-addr, your public address, and z-addr, your private address.

You can choose which one to use. Bitcoin transactions are fully transparent. Everyone can use a BTC block explorer to check if a transaction has been sent from one BTC address to another. Zcash is private if the user chooses a z-address. There is a special key view that can provide selective transparency.

According to the source, "Zcash offers total payment confidentiality, while still maintaining a decentralised network using a public blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin, Zcash transactions automatically hide the sender, recipient, and value of all transactions on the blockchain" 4.

How does Zcash Defend Its Privacy?

Being a decentralised and open-source cryptocurrency that offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash payments are published on a public blockchain, but the sender, recipient, and amount of transactions remain private.

Due to the encryption of the contents in the shielded transactions, the protocol uses a cryptographic method to prove transaction validity.

This method is called zk-SNARK. These constructions allow the network to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties or amounts involved. Instead of publicly demonstrating spend-authority and transaction values, the transaction metadata is encrypted, and zk-SNARKs are used to prove that nobody is cheating or stealing.

What are Pros and Cons of Privacy?

As we already explained, ZEC uses zk-SNARKs privacy protection technology.

Privacy Pros

  • Sender's address is hidden;
  • Recipient address is hidden;
  • Amount sent is hidden.

We think that strict privacy is beneficial for companies that want to protect supply chain information from competitors, all individuals who don't want any payment information publicly known as well as wealthy people who don't want any of their activities publicly exposed.

Privacy Cons

Zcash uses a new form of cryptography. Nobody can guarantee that there are no bugs in the system that will make it possible to deanonymise transactions or create coins out of thin air unless it has been tested for years. So, if coins are being created, it will not even be detectable because, unlike Monero, you can't verify the total amount of coins in the ZCash blockchain.

The blockchain and the network keep track of the amount of coins that are shielded and don't care who unshields a portion later. The coins go into a big pool and when you pull a little piece out, there's no way to correlate it to what went into the pool. 5

How are New Zcash Coins Created?

They are created through a process called mining. It will take up until 2032 for all 21m coins to be mined. It basically started with $US1m, pre-funded by investors. Zcash was not pre-mined or ICO-funded like many other cryptoprojects. Instead, it follows a unique funding and distribution approach. 6

What is the ZEC Price Movement?

Source: ZECUSD daily chart, Admiral Markets MT5, Jun 2017 - Mar 2018

After a strong uptrend that began in September 2017, the price reached 800 ZEC/USD for a coin. Then, the price reversed towards 200 ZEC/USD and now, obviously, we see the support around 250 ZEC/USD. At this point, it looks like the uptrend might continue and buying the dips on the ZEC/USD might be a good option.

Trading Zcash CFDs with Admiral Markets? Sure!

You can trade Zcash and all major cryptocurrency CFDs in one place – with Admiral Markets. Explore our product range to know what we are offering!

Looking to test your trading skills first? Take as much time as you need opening our Demo account, polishing your strategies and plans in a risk-free environment.

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References

1. Forbes

2. CoinMarketCap

3. Wikipedia

4. ZCash

5. Ibid

6. Consensys