Zcash (ZEC) is a digital currency focused on privacy, letting users conduct low-cost and high-speed transactions online while maintaining the confidentiality of transaction data. Zcash users can selectively share details about their transactions for audit or regulatory compliance purposes.
The Zcash blockchain emerged as a code fork from the Bitcoin protocol. It is based on the Zerocash protocol, a peer-reviewed project published during the 2014 IEEE Security & Privacy conference.
Zcash is a highly effective cryptocurrency designed primarily for making mobile payments. It is one of the most effective cryptocurrencies with mainstream applications and offers a viable alternative to conventional payment options, such as cash, debit cards, or credit cards.
Calling itself the ‘HTTPS of blockchains,’ Zcash’s developers have built the public blockchain to maintain users’ confidentiality while allowing them to use crypto as a legitimate payment option for not only money transfer and online shopping but also offline shopping. It is the first project in the blockchain sector to utilize zk-SNARKs, zero-knowledge cryptography, to offer the highest levels of privacy through optional anonymity for users transacting on the network.
ZEC is the native currency token of the Zcash network, used for making private transactions and paying transaction fees. It can also be mined during the consensus process of validating transactions and creating new blocks.
The Zcash network leverages zk-SNARKs or zero-knowledge proofs to establish privacy on the blockchain. zk-SNARK proofs shield transaction amount and sender details from network participants while abiding by the blockchain network’s consensus protocol.
zk-SNARK technology makes it possible for the Zcash blockchain to conduct transparent transactions, letting participants prove possession of information without divulging the data. Consensus in such a network requires no interaction between the prover and the verifier of the transaction, ensuring users’ privacy.
Additional security features of the Zcash network include an encrypted memo field for shielded transactions so that only the sender and receiver can access the content. Owners of shielded addresses also have the power to share transaction details with auditors or regulators.
Senders or receivers of each transaction can disclose specific details related to the transaction to third parties, including transaction values and memos. The transaction expiration feature also reduces the impact of a non-mined transaction within the network, with Zcash setting an expiration for the transaction if it is not mined within 50 minutes or 40 blocks.
The Zcash blockchain also offers meager transaction fees of 0.0001 ZEC per transaction. Multisig transactions also improve the efficacy of the overall network for supporting payments.
Zcash was initially proposed as Zerocoin in 2013 as an experimental idea to enhance the privacy of Bitcoin with the help of advanced mathematical techniques called “zero-knowledge proofs.” Suggested by scientists at John Hopkins, the idea received a further push via collaboration with MIT and Tel Aviv University researchers a few years later.
The collaboration created a protocol called “Zerocash,” or Zcash, in 2016. Zooko Wilcox took over as CEO of the Zcash Company - the firm behind the development of the protocol and helped raise more than $3 million from venture capitalists to take the project forward.
The Zcash Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on developing the Zcash network and fostering its adoption, was established in 2017. The Zcash Company changed its name to Electric Coin Company in 2019.
Since then, Zcash has continued to grow in terms of adoption. It consistently ranks among the top 15 crypto assets based on its 24-hour transaction volume, per data on Messari.
The ZEC crypto has several use cases, some of which are listed below:
Zcash can be used to make payments across over 39,000 retail stores, coffee shops, nonprofit organizations, and movie theaters to purchase goods and services. It offers a practical, low-cost, and fast payment method in crypto.
The ZEC token is the native digital asset of the Zcash blockchain. Users utilizing the Zcash network to make payments must pay transaction fees in ZEC at 0.0001 ZEC per transaction.
ZEC is among the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap and is a popular crypto asset for investors to trade. It enjoys high liquidity and trading volume on leading exchanges where it is listed.
You can buy or sell Zcash against other cryptocurrencies or hold it in the long term if you believe in the potential of the project. Ensure you review the Zcash price today, ZEC market cap, circulating supply, 24-hour trading volume, and the latest crypto news before you trade ZEC.
Holding ZEC is a great way to generate a stream of passive income. Head to the KuCoin Crypto Lending section and lend liquidity for ZEC to the exchange. You will receive rewards in the form of daily interest on the liquidity you lend, offering you a safe and risk-free way to grow your crypto portfolio.
Zcash utilizes a proof of work consensus mechanism and lets you mine ZEC while contributing to validating transactions. As a ZEC miner, you can verify transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain, earning a percentage of ZEC mined in the process as a reward for your efforts.
Zcash is among the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap as of July 2022 and enjoys high trading volume and liquidity on leading exchanges where it is listed. Several investors consider ZEC a less risky investment because of its origin and backing.
Having emerged as a fork from the original Bitcoin network and been around in the market for several years, Zcash has an established reputation that bolsters investor confidence in this digital asset. In addition, the Zcash network has forged partnerships with several reputable mainstream businesses, making the project a sound investment. This is a key factor that boosts the ZEC price statistics.
The Zcash value could experience an uptrend as it announces more partnerships in the future and its adoption as a payment form picks up. This would increase on-chain activity and drive up the current price of Zcash, making the ZEC crypto an excellent crypto asset to consider.
The ZEC price could also benefit from an overall improvement in the market sentiment towards cryptocurrencies. Whenever Bitcoin and Ethereum trade upwards, more investors rush in to buy cryptos across the board, making Zcash and other digital assets also trade bullish.
While it is impossible to offer an accurate Zcash price prediction over any duration, several fundamentals could support a pick-up in the ZEC price in the future. The rising adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment method, the announcement of more partnerships, and more innovation could be the key driving factors of an uptrend in the Zcash value.
However, for the ZEC price to touch the critical level of $1,000 remains challenging owing to many factors. As of July 2022, the Zcash to USD holds close to $55, far lower than this target. A climb to $1000 would be a significant jump.
However, taking a look at the Zcash price history and past performance, we see that the ZEC coin has traded at an all-time high well above this level in the past, in October 2016. Considering this level has been breached in the past, strong support from fundamentals and positive market sentiment could likely take the ZEC price back above $1000 sometime in the future.
Zcash is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that uses zk-SNARKs to encrypt transaction details, including information about the sender, amount, and recipient. However, this feature works only for transactions that involve shielded addresses - an additional feature users need to add on and unavailable by default within the network.
The use of shielded addresses gives such users the power to reveal details about transactions and make them traceable. Such an option can be exercised when sharing transaction data for audit or regulatory compliance.
In addition, the Zcash network does not encrypt multisig data, which means that transactions made when trading ZEC against other cryptocurrencies cannot be encrypted. Such transparent addresses and IP addresses can be traced.
Both Zcash and Monero are privacy-focused cryptocurrencies but have some key differences. Let’s look at some of the reasons why Zcash is better than Monero:
While Monero transactions are always anonymous, Zcash gives you more flexibility. You can send a typical transaction that can be traced or monitored, or you can opt to conduct a shielded transaction where key details are masked.
Monero has come under scrutiny from regulators over allegations that its network is used by criminals to send anonymous payments worldwide. However, Zcash lets you divulge transaction data for regulatory or audit purposes, giving you the option to make anonymous transactions but also report them if the need arises.
As of August 2022, the block time for the Zcash network is lower than Monero. This means it takes less time to verify transactions and produce new blocks on Zcash than on Monero. This, in turn, indicates that it takes lesser effort and time to mine ZEC coins vs. XMR coins.
Dual mining is the process of using the same mining equipment to mine two or more cryptocurrencies, in this case, GPUs for dual mining Ethereum and Zcash. Both are proof of work cryptos that can be mined through contributing computing resources for validating transactions and creating new blocks on the respective networks. However, the Ethereum network is expected to go through a merge sometime in September 2022 and transition to Proof of Stake (POS) completely.
While Ethereum mining equipment can be used to dual mine some other cryptocurrencies, Zcash is not one of them. This is because the configuration of the mining equipment differs vastly for mining Zcash vs. mining Ethereum.
Here’s how you can mine Zcash:
1. Invest in mining equipment. Zcash can be mined on an ASIC miner, which stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit miner.
2. Connect your mining equipment to the network and configure the mining software.
3. You can also join a mining pool to maximize the likelihood of earning rewards and mining ZEC.
4. Connect a Zcash wallet to your ASIC mining rig to let the rewards you earn accumulate in the wallet.