Launched in 2016 by Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn and based on the Zerocoin protocol, Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized and open-source privacy-focused cryptocurrency that enables selective transparency of transactions. Zcash transactions can either be transparent or shielded through a zero-knowledge proof called zk-SNARKs. This allows the network to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties or amounts involved. Instead of publishing spend-authority and transaction values, the transaction metadata is encrypted and zk-SNARKs are used to prove that nobody is being dishonest.
what is Zcash ?
Zcash is a cryptocurrency aimed at using cryptography to provide enhanced privacy for its users compared to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Like Bitcoin, Zcash has a fixed total supply of 21 million units.
Transactions can be “transparent” and similar to bitcoin transactions in which case they are controlled by a t-addr, or can be a type of zero-knowledge proof called zk-SNARKs; the transactions are then said to be “shielded” and are controlled by a z-addr. Zcash coins are either in a transparent pool or a shielded pool; as of December 2017 only around 4% of Zcash coins were in the shielded pool and at that time most wallet programs did not support z-addrs and no web-based wallets supported them. The shielded pool of zCash coins were further analyzed for security and it was found that the anonymity set can be shrunk considerably by heuristics-based identifiable patterns of usage.
Zcash affords private transactors the option of “selective disclosure”, allowing a user to prove payment for auditing purposes. One such reason is to allow private transactors the choice to comply with anti-money laundering or tax regulations. “Transactions are auditable but disclosure is under the participant’s control.”The company has hosted virtual meetings with law enforcement agencies around the U.S. to explain these fundamentals and has gone on the record of saying that “they did not develop the currency to facilitate illegal activity”.
How do I buy cryptocurrency?
While some cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are available for purchase with U.S. dollars, others require that you pay with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
To buy cryptocurrencies, you’ll need a “wallet,” an online app that can hold your currency. Generally, you create an account on an exchange, and then you can transfer real money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
Coinbase is one popular cryptocurrency trading exchange where you can create both a wallet and buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.