Zcash 101

Zcash 101

By: William McCormick - Posted in:
Zcash, or ZEC, is a cryptocurrency best known for the level of security it provides in financial transactions

The Fast Emergence of Zcash in the Crypto-World!

Previously, WealthHunters has delved into the basics of cryptocurrency and many of its top assets including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dash. The time has come to explore a different kind of cryptocurrency called Zcash. In this piece, you will learn the history of Zcash, Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, it’s complicated zero-knowledge proof, the price history of Zcash, and the ins and out of how to buy Zcash. 

What is Zcash?

Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn developed Zcash as a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and many others. The biggest difference between Zcash and its competitors is the platform’s focus on privacy, anonymous, and fungible transactions. All major crypto exchanges expose your entire payment history to the public. Zcash is the first platform to utilize a public blockchain to record its transactions with complete privacy and protection for its users.

On the platform, there are four basic types of transactions for its users to choose from depending on their desire for privacy. The first type is a “z-address to a z-address“, which is known as a private transaction between the two sides.

The next type is a “z-address to a t-address“. This is a transaction where the sender’s information is private, but the receiver’s information is made public on Zcash’s blockchain.

The third transaction is a “t-address to a z-address”, which is the opposite. The sender’s information is private and the receiver’s isn’t.

The last type of transaction is a “t-address to a t-address“- which is an entirely public transaction. Obviously, users can manage their information as they see fit.

What Makes Zcash Different? 

Zcash’s coin is known as ZEC. ZEC is an open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that provides advanced privacy and protection to its users. The platform was developed by Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn to use a special proof called “zk-snarks.” Zero-knowledge proofs provide more transaction privacy than rival Bitcoin.

The Zcash network features shielded transactions to stop the blockchain from showing valuable information of the exchange. However, the transaction is still verified by one party without having to reveal the information of the other party. The system is so secure that not even the company controls its access to your personal information in private transactions.

ZEC allows provides users privacy options- which some view as allowing users the choice to comply against tax regulations, anti-money laundering laws, or other laws regarding financial transaction. Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn has denied the accusations and argues the optional anonymity is protects users from crime.

History of Zcash

Traditionally, most innovative ideas in cryptocurrency come from someone just looking to improve Bitcoin’s platform with a new concept. The history of Zcash is no different. In 2013, a unique collection of scientists and research cryptographers at Johns Hopkins University and other schools such as MIT began developing “Zerocoin.” Many believed it to be an “add-on” for Bitcoin to fix its security issues and ease people’s minds about cryptocurrency. It became something bigger once Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn became involved and changed the history of Zcash.

As the concept continued to develop and the cryptocurrency market started to evolve, the work expanded into 2013 and the original Zerocoin team designed the platform to be more efficient and private than any other cryptocurrency. It was clear immediately that Zerocoin had the potential to be more than an add-on. The team developed the technology into a digital currency of its own known as Zerocash.

Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn Enters the Picture

At some point, the Zerocash team began collaborating with Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn and his own team from Least Authority. Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn has 20 years of experience working with information security, cryptography, open and decentralized systems, and startups. The first record of Zooko’s involvement was on the Zcash Github in November 2014. Details are scarce of how the collaboration came to be, but the result was the transformation of Zerocash into Zcash.

Over the next two years, the entire team developed Zcash to fill a hole in the crypto market. The official history of Zcash began in October 2016 with the debut of the “Genesis Block.” Back in June, the “Overwinter” upgrade was activated to the public. It’s the first network upgrade in the history of Zcash with the purpose of strengthening the system for future upgrades. That just confirms the platform will become more efficient over the coming years.

Zcash’s Continual Evolution

One of the biggest weaknesses of the platform is most users and exchanges can’t support Zcash’s loaded platform because its core and software are computationally heavy to process. Crypto traders understand how to buy Zcash, but traders are willing to sacrifice privacy for usability. According to a recent report from CoinDesk, an upcoming upgrade schedule for October 29th is being regarded as a major improvement of the platform’s usability.

The upgrade has reportedly been the focus of the team at Zcash over the last two years. Several technical improvements have been made to allow more accessibility for wallets and exchanges to use Zcash effectively. The team believes this will be a major change in the history of Zcash and the entire cryptocurrency market. With more exchanges and users having access to private transactions, the belief is the upgrade could be the start of a “privacy-by-default” era. Soon, all cryptocurrencies will need to be private.

Zcash Price History

After its launch, Zcash price history reached a value of nearly $4,300. The crypto world embraced the platform’s new standards for privacy. However, their success was short-lived. Within two months, the price of ZEC dropped 98.8 percent. Fortunately, the currency has bounced back over the last two years and is doing well in 2018.

The Zcash price history is still technically down, but the platform continues to rise in value. Over the last year, it’s price has surged by more than 1,100 percent. At the start of 2018, ZEC’s price peaked at $876. The currency’s market performance is still down by 48 percent, but that can largely be attributed to a devaluation of all crypto-assets.

Investors and experts expect great things from ZEC in the future. For instance, Grayscale Investments predicts a price target of $60,000 by 2025. The prediction is based on ZEC’s emphasis on privacy and association with Bitcoin. In the future, the Zcash price history will escalate once investors realize the importance of crypto privacy.

How to Buy Zcash?

Like many cryptocurrency assets, how to buy Zcash is an easy question to answer. Coinbase and Binance should always be at the top of your list if you are looking at how to buy Zcash or any other cryptocurrency. Because Zcash has been struggling to be featured on more exchanges, one of the strengths of the asset is its hardware wallets. 

The next step is to buy a hardware wallet. Of the many options available, the Ledger Nano S is the most popular wallet for ZEC. For iPhone and iPad users, Jaxx is the best option. It’s a multi-currency crypto wallet that is great for day to day use. It’s perfect for new investors looking to trade in small amounts. Android users have Freewallet for trading, but it’s not open sourced. How to buy Zcash wallets are still all about preferences and price.

After finding the right wallet, there are several exchanges that show you how to buy Zcash. Kraken and CEX.io are two popular exchanges for ZEC. Of course, you’ll need to sign up for their exchanges and verify your personal information. ShapeShift allows for direct Bitcoin to ZEC exchange. The bright side is buying ZEC is becoming easier and it’s only a matter of time before it’s a necessity of all crypto traders. 

Now that you’ve learned how to buy Zcash and its history, let us know your opinion on Zcash’s future.

Have a Question/Comment Regarding Zcash? Leave It Below!

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