Zcash is a decentralized peer to peer cryptocurrency. It came about as a fork of Bitcoin and similarly has a coin supply of 21 million coins. However, this is where the comparison ends. The crypto coin is more focused on offering its users complete and total privacy through the use of some ingenious cryptography.
The altcoin came about as a fork of Bitcoin on October 28, 2016. In the early days, it was known as the Zerocoin protocol before transforming into Zerocash system and then finally Zcash. Improvement and development of its protocol is led by the Zerocoin electric Coin Company better known as the Zcash Company.
Its founder is Zooko Wilcox who is also the CEO of the platform. He has over 20 years of experience in open, decentralized systems, startups and cryptography and information security.
According to Wilcox:
“Zcash is another blockchain and cryptographic money which permits private exchanges (and by and large private information) in an open blockchain. This permits organizations, buyers, and new applications to control who gets the chance to see the points of interest of their exchanges, even while utilizing a worldwide, authorization less blockchain.”
What Makes Zcash Different From Other Cryptocurrencies
In 2016, the world of cryptocurrencies got the first utterly private crypto coin in Zcash. It’s something that allowed private transactions to occur on a public blockchain. This is possible through the use of shielded transactions.
How Zcash Works
Zcash is an open cryptocurrency project that uses a zk-SNARK protocol. A zero-knowledge proof protocol that ensures anonymity, fungibility, and privacy of Zcach coins. It encrypts the information with shielded transactions. The payment information is hidden due to encryption.
The zk-SNARK protocol was developed in 2014 by research cryptographers and scientists at Johns Hopkins University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tel Aviv University.
The system allows for encryption while the zk-SNARKs help prove that no one has cheated or stolen.
Like we mentioned above, Zcash is very similar to Bitcoin. The only difference lies in that users of Zcash can choose to encrypt or shield their information. The platform supports transparent and shielded addresses, and this allows users to decide whether to send their coins publicly or privately.
Therefore, it’s possible to send payments from a shielded address to a transparent one or vice versa. In the first instance, the received funds will be visible but hidden in the second.
Also, its easy to tell whether an address is transparent. If it begins with “t” then its transparent and functions like Bitcoin. But, if it begins with “z,” then it’s a shielded address.
It’s also possible for users to use Zcash with multi-signature transactions but they don’t include the enhanced security. Overall, any transaction that can be done on the Bitcoin blockchain is also possible on Zcash.
The Team Behind Zcash
Zcash is led by Zooko Wilcox who is the founder and CEO. To develop Zcash, he received support from a team of engineers, scientists, and advisors. The team is mostly made up of all the creators of the Zerocoin protocol and also all the authors of Zerocash protocol.
The scientists include a professor who is from the Computer Science Department at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. A Ph.D. student in cryptography and computer science at John Hopkins University, a computer security Ph.D. student and an assistant professor at the same institution. Also, a Ph.D. student in computer science at MIT, a faculty member from the Tel Aviv University’s School of Computer Science. Finally, there are nine engineers and seven advisors including people from Bitcoin and Ethereum projects.
Launched in March of 2017, the Zcash Foundation is a nonprofit entity that maintains and improves the Zcash protocol. Something that helps further the interests of all users, both current and future users.
In conclusion, Zcash is for the users that appreciate the convenience of crypto coins like Bitcoin but would like additional privacy.