Zcash 101 – the dark horse among privacy coins
Zcash is an open-source, decentralized cryptocurrency which fully protects the privacy of the transactions carried out on its blockchain. The cryptocurrency shields transactions in a way such that the transactions are listed on a public blockchain but the sender, receiver, and amount details are not.
How does Zcash work?
Zcash is cryptographically private. The network employs a zero-knowledge proof construction which allows it to maintain a secure balance ledger without having to reveal the parties and amount involved.
The coin is built upon and extends the Bitcoin protocol. It adds an enhanced layer of security to offer privacy to its users and cater to the problems of anonymity. Through the zero-knowledge proof, the platform guarantees the validity of transactions without revealing additional any information about them.
Choice of Privacy
A salient feature of the network is that it allows for both shielded and transparent transactions thereby offering a choice of privacy to users. What is to be noted is that the transactions made from a shielded address to a transparent one will reveal the balance but the other way around, it will be protected.
Zero-knowledge proofs are a breakthrough in the crypto ecosystem. The Zcash platform uses a particular type of zero-knowledge proof called the zk-SNARKS (“zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge”) which guarantees the creation of a unique nullifier which is used to mark tokens as spent when they have been actually been spent therefore allowing for the validity and verification of transactions without compromising the privacy.
Zcash has been built on the proof-of-work consensus algorithm and currently uses the Equihash for mining.
Block Speed and Limit
The platform offers a 2.5 minutes average block time and allows, in the beginning, mining of 12.5 ZEC per block. The maximum block size is 2 MB.
The Zcash Team
Zcash was founded by Zooko Wilcox who has almost 2 decades of experience in open, decentralized systems, information security, start-ups, and cryptography. The project has a strong team of advisors including Gavin Andersen (chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation), Gordon Mohr (creator of Thunkpedia) and Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum).
Zcash was officially launched in 2016 and by the end of last year, the team has done a wonderful job in executing what they promised.
Up until 2017, the Zcash team has delivered 14 software releases and implemented all of their stated priorities. The coin witnessed a strong adoption in its first year with a large volume of it being directly converted to fiat currencies and multiple hardware and software wallets.
The 2018 Roadmap
In 2018, the project intends to further upgrade its performance, usability, and security by bringing its encryption technology to smartphones.
By September 2018, the project aims to carry out two network upgrades. In the meantime, it will also work on further enhancing the scalability. A possibility of including the PoS consensus algorithm and scalable and private smart contracts is also present.
The Bottom Line
Zcash is the perfect coin for those who appreciate the convenience of cryptocurrencies but would also like to have a little more privacy added to it. The platform provides all the functions of Bitcoin with the option of a shielded address.
However, since the platform is not private by default, it can potentially have the same problems as with other optionally private blockchains. In spite of that, it appears to have a bright future and will potentially expand.
Token Value Information
Total Supply: 21 million ZEC
Circulating Supply: 3,797,344 ZEC
Market Cap: $1,094,770,406 USD
ICO price: $5,941.80 USD
Currently Trading at: $ 303.44 USD
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