Cryptocurrencies of late have not been stable in value. Even Bitcoin, which once touched height of $20000 has crashed to $6000. In such seemingly troublesome times, there is one currency that has managed to take a lion’s share of profit. ZCash. This decentralized cryptocurrency claims to implement the ‘Better Blockchain Technology’.
Started in October 2016, by Zooko Wilcox-O’Hear, it has the elite distinction of Mr Roger Ver as its first investor. The currency comes under the flagship of ZCash Company. It has been created by Professor Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University with a fixed supply of 21 Million units. Zcash (ZEC) has been developed similar to the protocols of Bitcoin with additional focus on user privacy. Currently, it ranks as one of the top 20 cryptocurrencies of all. In fact, before the boom of December’ 17, due to the rare availability of mined Zcash, the value chart was quite opposite to Bitcoin. As there were a total of 17 Zcash coins in circulation, the value of it skyrocketed and one ZCash was priced at 3000 Bitcoin! While the coin itself is now a little older, it’s coins are still considered young in the Cryptocurrency community. Infact, half of its coins are yet to be mined!
Privacy is a key factor in helping ZCash be different from the rest of the cryptos that are available in the market, it offers the users the option of either keeping their transactions private or transparent. It does so by changing the way a transaction is written.
Transactions starting with the letter ‘T’ are transparent addresses. They can be accessed by anyone globally. Similar to the way the Bitcoin Blockchain is accessed. On the flip side, addresses that begin with the letter ’Z’ have privacy enhancements placed on them. Due to which, transactions style can be chosen by the investor. Zcash basically allows the users to send public payments. this process is very similar to Bitcoin. However, in Zcash, both shielded and transparent addresses are required but users can opt to send Zcash either privately or publicly. The payments sent via shielded to transparent address enlighten about the received balance. On the flip side, the payments that are being made from transparent to shielded address “shield” the value received. This way one achieves complete privacy.
As for the future, there is lots on its plate. Primarily, the Winklevoss twins have opened the doors of their Gemini exchange to ZCash. This is one of the main reasons that the value of it has risen tremendously.
An upcoming version of Zcash protocol is the advent of Zk-SNARKs. It is being implemented to achieve ‘zero-knowledge cryptography’. Zk-SNARK represents Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge. As many coins work with proof of stake or proof of claim, this coin shall have proof of construction. Which means that it already has the knowledge that the transaction is valid or not and hence, does not need to display it to the public. This makes the process cheaper and faster and more secure. Simply put, it is a type of encryption in which an information is proved to be true or false with the help of certain datasets but those datasets aren’t revealed in the process. In Blockchain, this will prove to be a very helpful feature as it will verify the authenticity of a particular transaction without revealing cent percent details of the same. Moreover, the shielded addresses used in this act as an add-on shield for “privacy freaks.”
This new protocol has been highly appreciated by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Edward Snowden and many giants in the industry.
Also Read: Top 5 Trends of Blockchain Technology 2018
Furthermore, in March 2018, Zcash announced “Overwinter”. It is an upcoming hard fork that shall lead to a “software-updates-required” network creation.
Now if only its mining would have been a bit easier! Read all about it in the Part 2 of our ZCash blog in the near future. Do drop us your comments in the section below.