Zcash – A Privacy Centered Cryptocurrency
Zcash is a Cryptocurrency that allows users to send shielded transactions where the parties involved and the amount sent is not available to view. The project started by forking the Bitcoin source code.
zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge), a zero-knowledge proof mechanism, which is a brainchild of the in-house experts of Zcash, is implemented in the Zcash protocol. The advantage of zk-SNARKs is that the miners can verify a fully encrypted transaction without any need to decrypt. And it ensures the privacy and anonymity of the transaction.
The Ethereum blockchain in the recent Byzantium Metropolis hard fork implemented the same zk-SNARKs mechanism.
Users can also send public transactions where the metadata looks like the same as of a Bitcoin transaction. The addresses start with ‘t’ are specific for the public transactions which are also public addresses. And the ones start with ‘z’ are shielded addresses and can be used for anonymous transactions.
Multi-signature transaction are always public. And they can never be anonymous. But one can sandwich a transaction by performing a shielded self-transaction before sending as well as after receiving. But this method does not provide the same level of anonymity as that of a private transaction.
The Zcash Company only supports Linux officially. If you are using windows, you can run a Linux virtual machine to use the official wallet. Coinomi provides the Android wallet. For IOS users Jaxx wallet is a good option.
How to get ZEC?
Zcash uses Equihash algorithm for proof-of-work. The algorithm is memory intensive rather than depending more on the processing power. The same algorithm is also the inspiration for the Bitcoin Gold mining mechanism. So, mining Zcash is a pretty good option.
After the ZEC gown its popularity after the launch in October 2016, many Crypto exchanges trade Zcash. Some exchanges to name are the South Korean based BitThumb, and the Hong Kong-based Bitfinex.