Author: changehero
September 16, 2021

Most cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have fully transparent ledgers but some argue it turns them into a surveillance nightmare. What is Zcash doing to solve this problem? Learn in our Zcash guide! Key Takeaways Zcash is a cryptocurrency that lets users hide information about the balances and exact addresses. To make it possible they utilize a […]

What is Zcash? A Beginner’s Guide

Most cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have fully transparent ledgers but some argue it turns them into a surveillance nightmare. What is Zcash doing to solve this problem? Learn in our Zcash guide!

Key Takeaways

  • Zcash is a cryptocurrency that lets users hide information about the balances and exact addresses. To make it possible they utilize a cryptographic technique called zero-knowledge proof, or zk-SNARKs.
  •  Zcash’s viewing keys enable the selective disclosure of fully encrypted transactions, helping make Zcash compliant with financial regulations such as AML.
  • Migration to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm is in the discussion, and the community decides whether to go ahead or not. PoS privacy coins are not unheard of but were not possible without zk-SNARKs.

What is Zcash?

Zcash logo
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Zcash is an open-source cryptocurrency with enhanced privacy features. It sets out to provide an alternative to the pseudonymous transparent ledgers.
Zcash enables privacy options on-chain, leveraging cryptography to conceal information. How does it work and what cryptographic technology exactly does it use? Here is an explanation.

What is Zk-SNARK and How Does It Work?

It is only natural that a cryptocurrency would use cryptography to encrypt and hide data. The technology Zcash uses is called zk-SNARKs, or Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge.
Using cryptography, Zcash blockchain can help users transact with one another without disclosing transaction information on-chain. This is what “zero knowledge” stands for: you know the transaction is valid but specific information about transaction itself is concealed.
When opting in for a shielded transaction using a z-address, a user can send currency to someone else without their balances or addresses being visible to everyone else. A thought experiment called “Ali-Baba Cave” is often used to illustrate it. 

Zero knowledge proofs
Source: Visual Zero-Knowledge Proof of Identity Scheme: A New Approach
by Abdullah Jaafar and Azman

Peggy (Prover) enters the cave and chooses a random path to a “magic door”. They know the code (key and prerequisites for a transaction) to open it. 
Victor (Verifier) follows into the cave and stands at the branching point. They don’t know which path Peggy chose or on which side of the door they are standing. 
Victor can ask them to come back to the branching point either through path A or B at random, and Peggy can do it because they can pass through the door. 
The whole process can be repeated until Victor is convinced Peggy knows the magic word. Thus, without explicitly knowing the process or the prerequisites to confirm the transaction, a verifier can approve or decline a prover’s action.
In the case of Zcash, provers are the users sending out a transaction and verifiers are the miners who decide if transactions can be accepted.

History and Team

The history of Zcash started in 2013 when it was proposed as a privacy extension to Bitcoin. The proposal was turned down for being too computationally intensive and too experimental at the time.
With a dedicated team of researchers and developers, the Zerocoin protocol was made from an extension into a stand-alone cryptocurrency protocol. On October 28, 2016, it was finally launched under the name Zcash.
The launch was overseen by the ECC — Electric Coin Company (prior to 2019 — Zcash Company), which was founded by Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn in 2016. ECC, Zcash Foundation, Zcash Open Major Grants (ZOMG), Zecwallet Lite and many others contribute to the development of Zcash. But, it’s the community that plays a crucial part in the governance.

What is ZEC?

Zcash is first and foremost a cryptocurrency protocol, and its native currency has the ticker ZEC.
When it comes to supply and tokenomics, ZEC is not that different from Bitcoin: it is also limited by 21 million coins. It is also using a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm, which means it is mineable, and like Bitcoin it undergoes halvings.
In an event called halving, the miner’s rewards decrease in half. This event takes place at specific block heights, roughly every four years. 
There is one detail that makes Zcash mining very different from Bitcoin.
In ZEC, each new block produces 3.125 ZEC, 80% of which go to the miner. The rest is distributed to a Community Development Fund. The Community Development Fund allocates funding to Zcash Foundation, ECC and Zcash Open Major Grants.

What is Zcash used for?

Zcash is a privacy-preserving alternative to traditional currencies and pseudonymous cryptocurrencies. As such, its primary use case is payments and value transfer.
Online registries such as Cryptwerk, Accepted Here or Pay With Zcash have hundreds of vendors and merchants who accept ZEC. The latter even has a category for businesses where you can pay with a shielded z-address.

Comparison with Similar Projects

Zcash is just one of the privacy coins but what makes it stand out among the competition: Monero, Dash and Verge?
Monero is a currency in which transactions are opaque by default, and users have to opt-in for transparency. For this reason, it has some issues with regulations and compliance.
Unlike Monero, Zcash can leverage the argument of optional privacy to secure more exposure at exchanges and services that comply with anti-money laundering measures.
Dash and Verge Currency both have privacy options as well. Dash uses mixing to obfuscate coin paths and Verge obfuscates user’s IP addresses.
In Zcash, privacy is achieved through cryptography while Verge relies on Tor and I2P and Dash makes tracing harder but not impossible.

What is Zcash criticized for?

Privacy coins often get criticized by the regulators, and Zcash is no exception.
There’s a common misunderstanding that Zcash does not comply with the AML standards. In reality, the regulatory bodies can implement AML as Zcash offers optional privacy.
On the other hand, this may not make privacy enthusiasts happy.
The anonymity set of Zcash depends largely on the amount of z-addresses used: the more users opt in, the more opaque the ledger is.

Partnerships and Future Plans

Zcash news of late are reporting on a new and unexpected path Zcash wants to take: transition to Proof-of-Stake. However, the decision is in the hands of the community.
There are hardly any prominent PoS privacy coins on the market right now because a staker’s balance has to be known. Zk-SNARKs make a PoS privacy coin possible because the conditions for staking can be checked without disclosing them to the public.
Thanks to the support and efforts of ECC, ZEC can keep expanding the user base via integrations. The ECC team is in the process of changing their strategy from engineer- to user-focused, meaning ZEC will be treated more like a product.

Social Media posts


User Dr. El Don gave instructions on how to use a shielded address in Zcash. The latest release allowed mobile users to enable auto-shielding in a wallet of their choice.


Anonymous user, going by Francois Delacroix Boreaugard, voiced an opinion on the future of ZEC. They consider privacy synonymous with security and Zcash being able to offer more than just being a privacy coin.


The official account of ECC underlines the importance of community consensus when it comes to drastic changes such as PoS transfer. Of course, the company will be the one developing it but ignoring community input would go against everything cryptocurrencies stand for.

What is the Best ZEC Wallet?

To use Zcash to the fullest extent, meaning both transparent and shielded addresses, one has to download specific wallets. The most reliable way to store ZEC and use its privacy features is to run a full node or to use a Zcash-specific wallet like Zecwallet Lite on desktop or Nighthawk Wallet on mobile are available.
For hardware storage of Zcash, users can choose Trezor devices. Many multi-currency wallets like Coinomi, Trust and Exodus also have support for ZEC transparent addresses. 
In Exodus and Trezor, you can use the exchange option provided by ChangeHero right in the app to swap crypto with Zcash.

How to buy Zcash?

Privacy coins can be tricky to find on centralized exchanges. You don’t have to worry, though, because we have handled the search of trusted liquidity providers already! 
You can get it on ChangeHero at the most competitive rates. We made sure that the experience will be easy and secure.

How to Exchange ZEC?

To make our Zcash guide complete, here are the step-by-step instructions on how to buy Zcash on ChangeHero with crypto. It’s really easy:

  1. Choose the currencies on the home page, amounts and the type of exchange. Provide your ZEC wallet address in the next step and check the amounts;
  2. Double-check the provided information, read and accept the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy;
  3. Send in a single transaction the sum of cryptocurrency you will be exchanging. For  Fixed Rate transactions you have 15 minutes before it expires;
  4. From here on, you won’t need to do anything. At this step we are doing all the work: checking the incoming transaction and doing the exchange as soon as it arrives;
  5. As soon as the exchange has been processed, your ZEC is on the way to your wallet. And so, the transaction is finished!

Remember that you can reach our support in the chat on our website or through the email: [email protected].

Conclusion

Zcash is able to combine the security of privacy coins with regulatory standards, making it future-proof in comparison with the alternatives. What Zcash’s future is going to look like is being decided right now, so now might be the best time to dive in.
To check out other articles similar to our Zcash guide, make sure to subscribe to our blog and ChangeHero on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Telegram.

Frequently Asked Questions

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h4″ question-0=”What is Zcash?” answer-0=”Zcash is a cryptocurrency protocol with optional privacy features. They are made possible by zk-SNARKs, a cryptographic technique that only needs a proof without disclosing the solution.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h4″ question-1=”How is Zcash different from Bitcoin?” answer-1=”Zcash made significant changes from the original Bitcoin protocol. It includes shielded z-addresses using which transactions can be made without disclosing amounts or addresses.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h4″ question-2=”Does Zcash have a future?” answer-2=”Electric Coin Company, Zcash Foundation and ZOMG are some of the many independent bodies contributing to the development of Zcash. In a more distant future, Zcash is planning to migrate to a Proof-of-Stake but it requires community support.” image-2=”” headline-3=”h4″ question-3=”Where is Zcash accepted?” answer-3=”Hundreds of businesses listed on Cryptwerk, Accepted Here or Pay With Zcash accept ZEC.” image-3=”” headline-4=”h4″ question-4=”Is Zcash legal?” answer-4=”Zcash cannot be traded in Japan and South Korea. Everywhere else in the world there are no regulations stating that privacy-enabling coins are illegal.” image-4=”” count=”5″ html=”true” css_class=””]


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Author: changehero
November 17, 2020

The first halving in the Zcash network is tomorrow, November 18, 2020. Though in the short term it will reduce the miner’s rewards by half, it is considered a bullish event in the long term. In this article by ChangeHero read why, as well as find latest Zcash news and the top Zcash price predictions. […]

ZEC Price Prediction for 2020–2025 and 2030

The first halving in the Zcash network is tomorrow, November 18, 2020. Though in the short term it will reduce the miner’s rewards by half, it is considered a bullish event in the long term. In this article by ChangeHero read why, as well as find latest Zcash news and the top Zcash price predictions. We will even try to give a ZEC price prediction of our own!

What is Zcash and ZEC?

Zcash is a privacy-oriented cryptocurrency that is traded under the ticker ZEC on cryptocurrency exchanges. Its signature feature is masking the transaction amounts and addresses, which is achieved by the technology called zk-SNARKs (zero-knowledge proofs). If users want to, they can anonymously send Zcash to other users, and no one except the transaction participants will be able to see the details.

Learn more about Zcash and the tech it pioneered, read our ZEC Guide for Beginners!

Zcash Halving

The privacy-oriented crypto is modeled after Bitcoin, so its issuance model is the same. It has a limited supply of 21 million coins and roughly every four years the rate at which new coins are minted is reduced in half. Now the reward for every block is 6.25 ZEC, but after the halving it will be 3.125 ZEC.

Outstanding supply of ZEC and BTC
Source: Bitcointalk

In Zcash, at the time of the halving, Founder’s Reward will also be replaced with funding streams. The key difference between the two is the destination of the collected funds: from the halving onwards, the founders reward will be replaced with developer’s fund. Developer’s fund will be used for grants and bootstrap projects.

Before we look into any ZEC price prediction and try to forecast the future, it is important to try to understand what can drive the changes in price.

ZEC Price History

Zcash Price in 2016–2018

ZEC price in 2016-2018
Source: CoinMarketCap

What is Zcash all-time high? Surprisingly, ZEC reached its ATH in 2016 on launch. It even surpassed Bitcoin on that day: on October 29, 2016 ZEC was worth $5,941.80. It is surprising because for most other currencies the record prices were seen at the peak of the 2017 Bitcoin rally. In this case, however, the Zcash price was driven up by the anticipation of the currency’s launch. 

In 2017 Zcash price, too, was taken up by the rally of Bitcoin. The second highest price of ZEC was $858.38 on January 7, 2018.

After that, the market was correcting from the surge for about a year. The long bear market became known as the “crypto winter”. By the end of 2018, Zcash cost $58.05.

Zcash Price in 2019–2020

ZEC price in 2019-2018
Source: CoinMarketCap

Zcash, like most altcoins, follows the same trends as Bitcoin. In mid-2019 it rallied briefly, and Zcash gained almost 100%, rising from $58 to $108. The second half of the year, ZEC was on the decline and the closing price for 2019 was as low as $28.24.

2020 had a good start for all currencies, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the markets to plunge. The aftermath of the crash was the yearly low for ZEC, $22. But from there on, it has been on the rise.

At the moment of writing, ZEC costs $64.07 and is ranked #32 on CoinMarketCap.

What can influence the Zcash price?

Halving

Despite the fact that the upcoming halving will be the first for Zcash, long-time investors and bulls are already looking forward to it. The idea behind reducing the minting rate is that the supply of Zcash will be growing shorter. If the demand stays the same or increases, the decrease in supply will drive the price of ZEC higher. On the other hand, halving can make mining momentarily twice less profitable, and can cause miners to leave. Miners secure the network by performing computations, so if they leave, the network might become less secure and susceptible to a possible attack.

Regulatory Challenges

Due to the anonymous nature of the currency, Zcash warrants more attention from the law enforcement that is now entering the blockchain space. Centralized exchanges, to avoid having regulatory issues, prefer not to list privacy-centered currencies.

Privacy in Zcash is optional. Most users do not opt in to use the Z-addresses (or shielded addresses that anonymous transactions can be made with) because they are slower and require more computational resources. Despite that, Zcash is strongly associated with privacy currencies and still has difficulties with listings on most centralized exchanges.

Surveillance and Privacy Laws

Bitcoin started as a pseudonymous means of payment that was supposed to give the people control over finance back. However, as time went by, blockchain analysis developed and the regulators became more savvy in tracking the funds. As mass surveillance is getting more widespread, some believe that in search for privacy, more people will turn to privacy coins.

Zcash news can also have a short-term impact on the price. Let’s have a look at the latest Zcash price predictions and news on Twitter to see where it is headed.

Zcash on Twitter

In a most recent technical analysis, trader Crypto Live is following the price movements of ZEC before halving. The graph may be on the low, but according to them, it only means that the price is about to bounce!

Grayscale Investments is the leading investment company in digital asset space. Among other assets they own Zcash and in the daily updates they disclose the retail prices for their products and the returns from them.

While other centralized exchanges avoid privacy coins, Gemini supports Zcash. They also shared the news that the exchange has enabled withdrawals to shielded addresses. The Winklevoss twins motivate this as a necessity in the age when privacy in digital space matters a lot.

ZEC Price Predictions for 2020

BraveNewCoin ZEC Price Analysis: bearish

Despite the upcoming upgrade and halving, Josh Olszewicz’s short-term forecast for ZEC is bearish. By analyzing several technical signals over different time frames and pairs, he arrives at the conclusion that Zcash is experiencing a long-term downtrend. For ZEC–USD, the support level is sitting at $50. In ZEC–BTC, the multi-year bearish pitchfork will invalidate around 0.01 BTC. All in all, the analyst thinks that traders that have long positions in these markets might be forced to short.

CoinCodex ZEC Price Analysis: Neutral

Analysts at CoinCoidex evaluate the current price of Zcash to be in the neutral range. There is no dominant bearish or bullish trend. To go bullish, the price would need to top $65.86 and hold above the October high of $76 for a while. Zcash cannot go bearish yet, too. For that to happen, the price will have to sink below $51.

FXStreet ZEC Price Analysis: $75 target

FXStreet author Lorenzo Stroe came to the conclusion that it is very possible that the halving in Zcash will reduce its inflation rate and play out like it does in Bitcoin. In other words, his Zcash halving price prediction is that in the short term the price may not react at all, but it can start a rally which can take up to a year.

Stroe’s short-term ZEC price prediction is as follows: the sentiment around halving can also help ZEC breach the $60 resistance. If it is rejected, though, the price can test the support at $51 and if bears win, dip down to $44.

ZEC Price Predictions for 2021–2024

Is Zcash a good investment in 2020? Maybe not if you seek to get rich until the end of the year, but as a long-term investment, it might turn you a nice profit, some of these predictions claim.

CoinArbitrageBot ZEC Price Prediction for 2021: $413.949–$506.050

Using historical and algorithmically derived data, the CoinArbitrageBot service gives a forecast that in a year from now, on November 17, 2021 ZEC will be worth $506.050. At the same time, they predict that the year 2021 will close with ZEC at $413.949.

PrevisioniBitcoin Zcash Price Prediction 2022: $262.72–$588.67

ZEC price prediction 2022
Source: PrevisioniBitcoin

Another forecast with a similar approach claims that in the year after that, the ZEC price will be four to ten times more than it is now. In this ZEC price prediction, the service forecasts Zcash to slightly depreciate over 2022 from $588.67 and close at $326.85.

WalletInvestor Zcash Price Predictions for 2023–2024: $5–$200

According to the WalletInvestor forecasts for Zcash in 2023 and 2024, the price of it is going to be extremely unstable. The asset’s evaluation might drastically change in a matter of days: for example, they predict that October, 2023 will see ZEC open at $8.783 and close at $187.390. Same goes for November 2024: in the first days the ZEC price will be around $170 but two weeks later it will drop to $5. It might seem like a mistake, but considering that right now ZEC is traded for fractions of its ATH, not too far-fetched.

Zcash Price Predictions for 2025

Coinliker ZEC Forecast: $1,482.87

Coinliker is so bullish on crypto, they are sure that the growth curve of ZEC will look parabolic in 5 years. With an exponential growth like they expect, ZEC will be trading for $1,482.87 in five years from now.

CryptoGround Zcash Price Prediction: $1,230.5105

Zcash price prediction 2025
Source: CryptoGround

This website’s analytics recommend Zcash as a long-term investment over short term. According to CryptoGround, in five years from now ZEC will be trading for $1,230.5105.

DigitalCoinPrice ZEC Price Prediction: $120.69 on average

The projections from the DigitalCoinPrice’s data show that in 2025, it is likely that ZEC will be trading within the range between $91.93 and $155.80.

Zcash Price Prediction 2030

Despite the fact that the whole crypto market has been around for at least ten years already, it is almost impossible to know for sure how it may change ten years into the future. Any ZEC price prediction for such a long term is as good as a guess.

YourCryptoWizard has bright hopes for Zcash, but they try to be moderate about the expectations. They took Kay Van-Petersen’s prediction about Bitcoin, projected it onto Zcash and got $60,000. However, they expect this to happen sometime between 2025 and 2030.

The price prediction generated by the Coin Price Forecast website gives an estimate of $485.83 for 1 ZEC at the end of 2030.

ZEC Price Predictions for 2020–2030

Summing up all the price predictions we collected, we get the following picture:

[table id=14 /]

ChangeHero ZEC Forecast

In the big picture, Zcash can be the currency to be adopted for privacy purposes. The new developer’s fund will favor research and coding over early investors, so the technological advancement of the protocol can improve its fundamentals.

In the nearest couple of years, we can expect to see a rally like in Bitcoin after the halving. Another possibility, however, is that nothing significant will happen. Bitcoin forks with larger market caps like Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash did not experience any significant change after their own halvings. In that case, Zcash growth will be driven by other factors.

How to get ZEC on ChangeHero

Getting your hands on privacy coins is getting increasingly difficult on centralized exchanges. Do not worry, as you can safely exchange your crypto to Zcash with no hassle on ChangeHero!

  1. Choose the currencies on the home page, amounts and the type of exchange. Provide your ZEC wallet address in the next step and check the amounts;
  2. Double-check the provided information, read and accept the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy;
  3. Send in a single transaction the sum of cryptocurrency you will be exchanging. For  Fixed Rate transactions you have 15 minutes before it expires;
  4. From here on, you won’t need to do anything. At this step we are doing all the work: checking the incoming transaction and doing the exchange as soon as it arrives;
  5. As soon as the exchange has been processed, your ZEC is on the way to your wallet. And so, the transaction is finished!

Remember that you can reach our support in the chat on our website or through the email: [email protected] — they are available round the clock!

Conclusion

Halving is expected to drop tomorrow but this is only the start! Subscribe to ChangeHero Blog and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and in Telegram to not miss further Zcash news, important updates and developments.


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Disclaimer

This article is not a piece of financial advice. No price prediction is guaranteed to provide exact information on the future price. 

When dealing with cryptocurrencies, remember that they are extremely volatile and thus, a high-risk investment. Always make sure to stay informed and be aware of those risks. Consider investitions in cryptocurrencies only after careful consideration and analysis and at your own risk.

Author: changehero
September 26, 2020

Zcash (ZEC) is one of the most prominent privacy coins in the current crypto scene. The upcoming ZEC halving in November piques the interest of many investors. In this ZEC guide, we will cover the basics and fundamentals of Zcash, as well as ZEC news and give practical advice on how to buy Zcash before […]

zcash guide by changehero

Zcash (ZEC) is one of the most prominent privacy coins in the current crypto scene. The upcoming ZEC halving in November piques the interest of many investors. In this ZEC guide, we will cover the basics and fundamentals of Zcash, as well as ZEC news and give practical advice on how to buy Zcash before this event.

What is Zcash?

Before we take a deep dive into the features and specifics of what Zcash is, let’s start our Zcash guide with the origins of the currency.

Like with many other privacy coins, the issue that started Zcash was the lack of privacy in Bitcoin. As we know, the transactions in Bitcoin’s blockchain are recorded in a pseudonymous but also transparent way. Given enough information, it is possible to trace the addresses and transaction history back to a certain person in the real world. Additionally, in Bitcoin, flows of cash and balances would also be transparent, meaning that it is not suited to store confidential financial information.

Zcash logo
Source: Zcash

Zcash was initially developed in 2013 as a privacy extension to the original Bitcoin protocol by a group of cryptographers from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD (USA). The Bitcoin core group of developers turned down the proposal due to protocol’s novelty and computational intensity. With some further additions, the Zerocoin protocol was made into a fully-fledged blueprint for a cryptocurrency of its own.

To launch and support the endeavour, Zooko Wilcox was recruited to the project as the CEO of a newly established Zcash Company. They managed to raise initial funding and launch Zcash as we know it. In 2019 ZEC news reported that Zcash Company was rebranded as Electric Coin Company.

So what exactly did these companies and researchers work on? This is what the next sections of our ZEC guide are about.

What is ZEC?

Zcash is centered around its native currency with the same name and ticker ZEC. Despite the protocol being designed in 2013, the currency itself was launched in 2016. The time was taken to complete the protocol from Bitcoin extension up to a complete and independent structure, and also to seek funding and create the opportunity for a successful start.

Zcash price chart
Source: CoinMarketCap

Zcash is a rather rare case of an older coin when the all-time high was not recorded in December 2017 or January 2018. Instead, its highest price actually was observed on launch ($5,941.80 on October 29, 2016). In fact, the first Zcash news reported it surpassed the price of Bitcoin on that day.

The second highest price of ZEC was around $900, at the same time as the peak of 2017 Bitcoin rally occurred. By the end of 2018, ZEC was down to double digit numbers.

In June 2019 and February 2020, in bull markets ZEC was also able to exceed $100 and $70 respectively. From the looks of it, it may seem that the price tends to get lower over the years. This August, though, it was able to near $100 again.

At the moment of writing the ZEC guide, its market capitalization is $541,924,337 (rank 32), and with 10,105,700 ZEC in circulation the price of ZEC is $53,63.

ZEC Halving

This November, there will be the first miner reward halving in ZEC. The reward will be reduced from 6.25 ZEC to 3.125 ZEC. This is a mechanism that might in short-term make Zcash mining less profitable but in the long run deflate the currency, so all its units should be more valuable. Halvings are generally considered bullish events in BTC because of that, but we will have to follow the ZEC news this November and further to see how it will play out for Zcash.

Moreover, the Founders Reward, which accrued 20% of the block rewards, will expire at the same time. It is planned to be replaced with a new funding mechanism, developers’ fund.

If you are already thinking about purchasing ZEC, do not hurry so much. Read on this ZEC guide for more fundamentals and practical tips on how to buy Zcash until the end.

ZEC Use Cases

Basically, Zcash is supposed to be used in the same vein as Bitcoin: as peer-to-peer digital cash, but with privacy functions.

There are hundreds of shops and merchants that accept ZEC either through cryptocurrency gateway or with their own means. According to Cryptwerk, in the past month the number of businesses that accept Zcash grew to 675. It’s in the top-10 most used cryptocurrencies. The most popular categories that accept ZEC are Internet and crypto services, and shops and markets.

Now that we know more about the currency, we’ll be passing over to the specifics of the protocol that it is powered by in the following section of our ZEC guide.

How does Zcash work?

Despite Bitcoin Core code being a foundation for its code, Zcash is not a fork of it per se. It is an original open-source protocol developed by cyber security experts, aimed at providing privacy to all its users.

Its trademark feature is zero-knowledge proofs. With it, ZEC users can fully or partially obscure addresses of one or both parties participating in the transaction, as well as the amount of funds transferred. 

zero knowledge proofs analogy
Source: Visual Zero-Knowledge Proof of Identity Scheme: A New Approach
by Abdullah Jaafar and Azman Samsudin, 2010

Zero-knowledge proofs, in essence, are cryptographic functions which do not communicate the mathematical solution to the validator. Instead, they provide proof that the solution was indeed found. A thought experiment called “Ali-Baba’s Door” is often used to illustrate it. Peggy (Prover) enters the cave and chooses a random path to a “magic door”. They know the code (key and prerequisites for a transaction) to open it. Victor (Verifier) follows into the cave and stands at the branching point. They don’t know which path Peggy chose or on which side of the door they are standing. Victor can ask them to come back to the branching point either through path A or B at random, and Peggy can do it because they can pass through the door. The whole process can be repeated until Victor is convinced Peggy knows the magic word. Thus, without explicitly knowing the process or the prerequisites to confirm the transaction, a verifier can approve or decline a prover’s action.

Zcash implements an advanced form of zero-knowledge proofs, zk-SNARKs which stands for Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge. In short, it does not require prover and verifier to interact and is faster and efficient. How does it enable shielded transactions?

Instead of public UTXOs (unspent transaction outputs) like in Bitcoin and analogous cryptocurrencies, Zcash uses encrypted “commitments”. Nodes keep track of commitments and corresponding nullifiers (function that helps provers verify transactions).

Zcash is not the first and only coin with privacy features, though. In the next section of the Zcash guide we cover the differences from other well-known protocols and currencies.

How is ZEC different from other privacy coins?

Monero

  • Private by default, in Zcash privacy is optional. Because of this, Monero has issues with regulatory compliance;
  • Monero is funded by donations, Zcash keeps a founders reward fund which accrues 20% of all miners’ rewards for Zcash development.

Dash

  • Sometimes Dash is also treated as a privacy coin due to the PrivateSend function. However, it is fully optional and is achieved through output mixing, which is not a cryptographic method of obfuscation.

Verge

  • Verge also has privacy features. They are more focused on obscuring the user’s IP. Verge Currency also has stealth address functions, which works not with cryptography itself but rather with generating several addresses that only the owner can claim.

In comparison with other privacy coins, Zcash has on-chain cryptography to enable privacy functions, but only if a user opts in. zk-SNARKs cover all the ground, not only IP obfuscation or transaction history.

So far it sounds very positive, doesn’t it? But we think it is fair to also look at the criticisms and people’s opinions to make our ZEC guide comprehensive.

Is Zcash Controversial?

At the time of ZEC’s launch, there were two major ways to launch a cryptocurrency. Some developers went for a “fair” launch with no premine, and others chose to kickstart their project with an ICO. Zcash chose to launch with a hybrid model. However, it became a point of contention anyway, because the core group of developers still hard-coded a rewards program for themselves to put into development of the chain. Many crypto community members argued that this is not exactly in the spirit of decentralization, to put it lightly.

Zcash has also had a history of very buggy releases. Having a steady developer team has helped them in fixing those bugs in time, but nevertheless, the community remembered. For instance, one of the bugs, if exploited, could have led to infinite inflation, and another exploit could have been used to render privacy features useless by disclosing an IP address of a full node.

These blunders are a thing of the past now, even though they are not erased from history. What about the future of Zcash? We’ll be moving on to that section of our ZEC guide.

What is the Future of Zcash?

The Electric Coin foundation has a plan for ZEC development for a few years ahead.

Due to the computational intensity of ZEC’s cryptography, full nodes are given a higher priority from the developers than light wallets. However, this has been changing over 2020, and the team plans to keep delivering on that front and cater to the users of Windows and ChromeOS. With Cosmos peg-zone on the table, Zcash development team is also considering cross-chain integrations for ZEC.

Zcash Foundation is currently working on fine-tuning the governance structure. They frequently hold calls and inquire the community on the future of the Major Grant Review Committee (MGRC), which will distribute the funds from the Dev Fund towards research and development (most proposals are public here).

Next in the Zcash guide, to learn what the investors say about ZEC, we will cover some Zcash news from Twitter.

ZEC Posts from Twitter

It does not really come as a surprise that Edward Snowden is pro-privacy coins. He even seems to like a controversial idea of the developer’s fund. This is not the only time that Snowden has voiced his support for Zcash, and it speaks volumes.

Ryan Selkis of Messari is also a longtime supporter of Zcash. Not only he often endorses the technology and modus operandi of the coin, but also he has faith in them as an investor. Won’t be unfair to assume that Selkis is closely familiar with the fundamentals we covered in our Zcash guide so far. 

In the ZEC news, Electric Coin Company recently presented a thesis to Grayscale LLC. It’s the leading company for digital currency investment funds, and being endorsed by them can attract investors to ZEC.

In other Zcash news, the report that proves that Zcash is compliant with the FATF (Financial Action Task Force, international organization that combats money laundering and financing of terrorism) AML regulations is in. There are many concerns surrounding privacy coins about their possible use in money laundering, but the opt-in nature of Zcash privacy features allows it to stick to the regulatory requirements which might be the question whether the coin survives in the world where cryptocurrencies are regulated or not.

Zooko Wilcox is also very active on Twitter, always sharing the latest ZEC news and updates. This quote from another investment thesis highlights the mission of Zcash: to give the people their basic right to privacy back.

And now that we have had enough talk about the fundamentals of the project, we will be going forward to a more practical part of our ZEC guide. Here are our tips on how to buy Zcash, store and exchange ZEC.

How to buy Zcash?

Privacy coins can be sometimes tricky to find on some centralized exchanges. You don’t have to worry, though, because we have handled the search of trusted liquidity providers already! You can get it on ChangeHero at the most competitive rates by exchanging it with any other cryptocurrency from our long list. We made sure that the experience will be easy and secure, and if anything goes wrong you can get help from our support specialists at any time of the day.

What is the Best ZEC Wallet?

To use Zcash to the fullest extent, one has to be an advanced user. The most reliable way to store ZEC and use its privacy features is to run a full node, but not everyone has the memory and data bandwidth to keep it active. Alternatively, Zcash specific wallets with shielded address support like ZecWallet Lite on desktop or Nighthawk Wallet on mobile are available.

For hardware storage of Zcash, users can choose Trezor devices. Many multi-currency wallets like Coinomi, Trust and Exodus also have support of ZEC transparent addresses. In Exodus and Trezor, you can use the exchange option provided by ChangeHero right in the app to swap crypto with Zcash.

How to exchange ZEC?

To make our ZEC guide complete, we include the step-by-step instruction on how to buy Zcash on ChangeHero with crypto. It’s really easy:

  1. Choose the currencies on the home page, amounts and the type of exchange. Provide your ZEC wallet address in the next step and check the amounts;
  2. Double-check the provided information, read and accept the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy;
  3. Send in a single transaction the sum of cryptocurrency you will be exchanging. For  Fixed Rate transactions you have 15 minutes before it expires;
  4. From here on, you won’t need to do anything. At this step we are doing all the work: checking the incoming transaction and doing the exchange as soon as it arrives;
  5. As soon as the exchange has been processed, your ZEC is on the way to your wallet. And so, the transaction is finished!

Remember that you can reach our support in the chat on our website or through the email: [email protected].

Conclusion

Many crypto-savvy investors and developers, as well as human rights advocates, think that the future is behind privacy coins. Right now, they might be a challenge for users and regulators, but sooner than later this might as well change to the better. Zcash has all the opportunities to be at the forefront of this revolution. To check out other articles similar to our ZEC guide, make sure to subscribe to our blog and ChangeHero on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Telegram.


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Author: changehero
September 26, 2019

We live in a world where every movement of ours is under surveillance and the issue has been debated over the past few years. Zcash is a cryptocurrency that paid unconditional importance to the privacy of the users and gained traction in the community. The hype around this private cryptocurrency pose a few questions: How did Zcash […]

We live in a world where every movement of ours is under surveillance and the issue has been debated over the past few years. Zcash is a cryptocurrency that paid unconditional importance to the privacy of the users and gained traction in the community.

The hype around this private cryptocurrency pose a few questions: How did Zcash perform in the past? How would it perform in the near future? And what factors might affect ZEC?

ChangeHero delved into Zcash and got all the answers for you.

Zcash and its Unique Features

ZEC was designed to offer exceptional privacy for cryptocurrency users. Created by the Electric Coin Company in 2016, the coin was fast to become one of the favourites of the crypto community. Zcash differs from other cryptos in many ways. The private coin provides the solution to Bitcoin’s drawbacks by enhancing privacy. It avoids the total transparency of Bitcoin’s blockchain and provides its customers to keep the details of their operation in private with the ability to send money whatever the user wants.

Zcash is the first of its kind to merge ZK-SNARKs, a zero-knowledge proof construction, with the blockchain technology. Zk-SNARK is an acronym for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge,” and referring to a proof construction where the user can prove possession of certain information. It allows the transaction between two parties to be verified with a specific set of information, without revealing completely what that information is.

Zcash website
Source: Zcash

Zcash users have the convenience of choosing among private shielded addresses or unshielded addresses. So the user’s transaction amount, address and memo are all securely hidden. With the help of the viewing key, the owner of a shielded address can disclose the transaction details for confirmations but doesn’t have access to the sender’s address and details only if the identifying information is included in the memo. The payment disclosure feature enables the users to disclose the transaction information to the third parties for auditing and references. All of these features including ZK- proofs and multi-signature transactions make the coin very suitable for safe digital transactions. In addition, Zcash supports fast transactions with a low fee of 0.0001 Zcash on a large number of top wallets and exchanges. And that makes Zcash a really valuable coin in the modern crypto market.

Historical Analysis

Three years ago on October 27, right before the launch of Zcash, Arthur Hayes, described the enthusiasm for Zcash to CoinDesk. He said:

“No one wants to miss the next bitcoin or ether. Everyone is trying to get their hands on ZEC.”

After two days, Zcash’s price reached $5941.80 and remained to be its all-time high since then. The numbers show how the launch of the coin was met with a lot of hype in the crypto community. Despite the initial hype, ZEC price dropped after it’s peak and remained stable throughout the year trading under a hundred dollars.

Zcash price chart 2017-2018
Source: CoinMarketCap

In 2017 the ZEC remained considerably stable during the first quarter and the crypto has performed fairly well during the year in the successive months despite some fluctuations. In the same year, ZCash also partnered with JPMorgan to present a zero-knowledge security layer (ZSL) into JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain and also with Ethereum. The capacity of Zcash privacy of transactions has attracted numerous customers and later established partnerships with major wallets like Jaxx and Coinomi. These collaborations must have fuelled the growth of the coin’s price and traded at around $600 in December.

Digital coins that allow privacy and anonymity also gain popularity amongst criminals which makes it easier for them to hide the identity and use it for unlawful acts. In 2017, Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), Europol mentioned that Zcash is gaining popularity within the digital underground. Undoubtedly, such references to criminal activities could influence the public perception of the coin.

Zcash price chart 2019
Source: CoinMarketCap

During the year, 2018 Zcash witnessed a drop in its price in the first half and did not go through any major fluctuations the rest of the year. Zcash announced two major upgrades — Overwinter and Sapling in the same year. In 2019, Zcash opened at a price $56.01 and remained almost stable for the next few months. In the mid-2019, the price has crossed a hundred dollars due to the increase in the number of locations where ZEC was accepted.

At the moment of writing the article Zcash is being traded at $36.83 with a total market cap of $276,163,274 according to CoinMarketCap.

Expert Opinion

Most crypto experts and analysts have mixed opinions on the Zcash value. One of Deloitte’s blockchain experts, Tim Davis, said that it would be hard for Zcash to grow, due to the problem of the chain and the fact that a private transaction can be very expensive. WalletInvestor implies that there will be a negative trend in the future for Zcash, which makes the coin, not an ideal investment for making a fortune.

Edward snowden about Zcash
Source: Twitter
Most prominent people are positive about ZCash. Edward Snowden himself applauded the coin’s architecture because of its high-privacy protection many times which influence the price growth. And Zk-SNARKs proofs have also been directly promoted by Edward Snowden in his tweet a couple of years ago.

Matthew Beck, an analyst from Grayscale Investment, is positive about ZEC-coin. The coin will be widely used by investors, and it might hit $60,000 in the long-term, says the expert. Sounds quite promising for the coin’s future. Zcash price growth may be driven by the coin’s integration into mobile wallets, as smartphone payments are gradually becoming popular.

ChangeHero’s Verdict

ChangeHero believes, in Q4 2019 the coin will likely grow and the upcoming upgrades slated for release in the near future will have an impact on the price. Moreover, Zcash’s technical advantages like anonymity, improved usability, payment disclosure might help the currency gain a more stable position in 2019 and 2020 as well. According to the most crypto analysts authorities mentioned before, Zcash is a promising cryptocurrency with lots of capacity for growth and offers a greater level of privacy. These benefits make the coin more attractive to users and can be an excellent tool for private transactions for crypto enthusiasts. In conclusion, ZCash might be a solid crypto ground for digital investments.

What are your opinions about ZCash price prediction? Let us know in the comments.

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