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About Zcash

“Privacy protecting, digital currency built on strong science”

Zcash (CEZ) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that focuses on anonymity. Released in 2016, Zcash was invented to be like Bitcoin but for privacy. It has a 21 million total ZEC supply just like Bitcoin’s 21 million total BTC supply. Both cryptocurrencies are also mineable and rely on a proof-of-work consensus method to verify transactions.

Zcash sends transactions so that the sender, recipient, or value of the transaction is not known. It maintains its fungibility by unlinking shielded coins thus separating them from their history on the blockchain. How does this work? Zcash utilizes a protocol called zk-SNARKs to ensure privacy, a mechanism that allows one party to prove to another that the piece of information is true without revealing any other information. In this way, a hash of random numbers that makes up a transaction can be proven to be correct without the need to disclose the sender, recipient, or value for the transaction.

However, Zcash is only optionally private: in fact, users of the cryptocurrency can opt to use it much like Bitcoin without the privacy benefits. Some Zcash wallets do not even support the shielded pool and many instead opt for transparency which has led some to question whether Zcash is actually necessary. However, Zcash has claimed they have provided the option of “selective disclosure” on the grounds that it allows private transactors to choose whether they want to comply with existing tax regulations or anti-money launder stipulations. Zcash has made it clear that they have not developed the currency to facilitate illegal activity, but have simply created a protocol to ensure anonymity on a decentralized network: in their eyes, it is the purest function a cryptocurrency can have.

ICO Price

Zcash emerged onto the cryptocurrency scene in 2016 from a prior project known as Zerocoin. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Zcash did not have an ICO. Rather, the fees were extracted from mining rewards which led to a natural growth rate among the currency depending on how much work was being done on the network. Similarly to how Bitcoin started, the starting supply for ZEC simply emerged from the mining.

The founders of Zcash will continue to extract fees from the network until they have 10% of the entire circulating supply which is 2.1 million ZEC. The rest of the ZEC token distribution is based on miners on the network which has its own steady inflation rate and has exponentially diminishing mining returns over time, like Bitcoin.

Features of Zcash

Zcash is among the most popular and best-known privacy coins currently live, bested by only Monero (XMR) in market capitalization.

  • Hard cap of 21 million ZEC in circulation.
  • Optional privacy through the use of a zk-SNARKs, a protocol specifically invented for Zcash.
  • When private, the sender, recipient and value transacted is completely hidden.
  • A mineable cryptocurrency with a proof-of-work consensus system like Bitcoin.
  • Has had a live, tested blockchain for two years now with support on virtually all exchanges.

You can read more about Zcash’s many features in their whitepaper.

About the Team

The Zcash project was started by Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Christina Garman, and Aviel D. Rubin at John Hopkins University. Soon, this evolved into a collaboration between engineers at MIT, The Technion, and Tel Aviv University in 2014. Although initially conceived as an “add-on” to Bitcoin, this was changed during its early stages of development to better account for its privacy mechanisms. Today, Zcash boasts one of the strongest teams in the entire cryptocurrency space with engineers, advisors, scientists, and business-minded folks.

Zcash also has its own Zcash foundation to better facilitate the business-side of its ventures. It was formed in 2017.

Price History

The price history of Zcash matches that of the overall market trend with the cryptocurrency peaking in January of 2018 at around $763. However, since then the price has drastically declined to its current price of $65 at the time of writing.

Website & Social Media

Zcash today has a strong social media presence. Their twitter is very active and the best means of keeping up with up-to-date developments on the project. Discussions can be had on either their official Telegram group or their subreddit. For more details on Zcash, be sure to check out their website.

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