In an open and programmable financial system, privacy is the only way to ensure fungibility and guarantee that cryptocurrency can be interchangeable as a fluid medium of exchange for users. Companies need the protection of privacy along their supply chain in order to conduct their business, especially in the context of public blockchains. In addition, we believe that personal privacy is necessary for core human values like dignity, intimacy, and morality.
We wrote an article a while back on What Privacy Coins Are. You can check out the article to learn more about the different type of privacy coins and the power behind it.
Zcash is one of those privacy coins that is looking to make blockchain a more decentralized place.
Since Zcash is an open-source protocol, the Zcash Company (ZcashCo) does not control it (including controlling the mining or distribution of it) or have special access to private or shielded transactions.
Just like anyone else, ZcashCo only has the ability to see a private or shielded transaction if it is a party to that transaction or someone provides it with the correct view key. ZcashCo’s role in the ecosystem is to offer updates to the Zcash protocol which the public may choose to implement or ignore.
ZcashCo does not sell, exchange, transmit, or retain custody of Zcash for consumers or the public at large.
Zcash vs Bitcoin when it comes to privacy
Zcash (ZEC) uses a new technology involving zero-knowledge proofs which allow one to prove something (e.g. prover owns greater than 10 ZEC) without requiring the prover to reveal any sensitive information (e.g. the total number of ZEC owned by prover).
It gets its name from the fact that zero knowledge is revealed to the verifier in the process. The anonymous transactions produced from this technology are referred to as shielded transactions in Zcash.
This is in sharp contrast to Bitcoin where if your bitcoin address is ever shared publicly, anyone can view your balance and all other bitcoin addresses you have ever transacted with.
Even if you don’t share your address publicly, companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic have built software that can de-anonymize your address if you have transacted with other addresses that are not anonymous.
Imagine if everyone you knew, and even strangers, could know how much money you had in your bank account, and how you spent your money. Despite perfectly legitimate transactions, you likely do not want the entire world to know this information.
The Zcash team is a mish-mash of scientists, engineers, designers and business pros from across the globe including MIT, Johns Hopkins and Tel Aviv University. Developer team members include: Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, and Madars Virza
One unique aspect of Zcash is that the corporate development team (the Zcash Company, CEO Zooko Wilcox) and the non-profit Zcash Foundation (Chair of the Board, Andrew Miller), are funded directly from the blockchain.
To achieve this, 20% of the mining reward for Zcash for the first 4 years goes to the stakeholders of the Zcash company (founders, employees, advisors, investors) resulting in 10% of the overall total supply. This “Founders’ Reward” provides funding and incentive-alignment for the continued support and improvement of Zcash.
There was no crowd sale or ICO for Zcash but rather private investments from renowned individuals like Naval Ravikant (Angel list founder), Roger Ver (early Bitcoin investor), Erik Voorhees (Shapeshift founder), Barry Silbert (Digital Currency Council founder) and Fred Ehrsam (founder of Coinbase).
Where can you buy Zcash?
Zcash can be bought on most major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bittrex and Poloniex are among the top two exchanges with high volume and liquidity. You can also purchase it on Binance.
Zcash, founded in Oct 2016, is a relatively new cryptocurrency with powerful technology and a strong focus on development. Below are some links that may help you understand Zcash further and keep up with the development.
Keeping up with Zcash
There’s a whole data world out there and most people are unaware of how it works or is being used against us. Zero-knowledge proofs and projects like Zcash protect us from the purview of age-old institutions while paradoxically offering compliance with the rules and regulations imposed by those same authorities today.
The promise of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies and new security layers like Zcash and zk-SNARKS are a refreshing reminder of important often overlooked needs in an increasingly centralized and data-driven world.
CryptoMeNow is on a mission to make cryptocurrency easy for everyone to understand.
Our core product is our free daily newsletter where we send you need to know information about cryptocurrency that everyone can understand in less than 3 minutes a day.
Please subscribe to our newsletter and share it with your friends! You can subscribe directly at CryptoMeNow
You can also follow me on Twitter @itswilson8