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17 Jan 2019
Do you remember a few weeks ago when I shared with you the 6 best ways to guarantee anonymity while making Bitcoin transactions?
After writing that, I was thinking about what a headache it is.
I mean, how many checks does a Bitcoin user have to ensure before he/she is able to guarantee his/her anonymity.
Why not have a cryptocurrency that ensures total anonymity to its users?
Some of you might be thinking that having total anonymity is only required for criminals, but that’s not true. You can see my previous article on anonymous Bitcoin transactions where I share how you can be kidnapped or robbed if you don’t have financial privacy.
Moreover, in this data-centric world, I believe financial transaction data should be the most secure data there is.
Let me cite one example here…
Let’s say you stopped by an adult store to purchase something with your credit card. Here, your credit card leaves a digital trail within the merchant’s system. Let’s suppose the merchant’s billing server or your payment processor got hacked. Now, your data is publicly available on the internet.
Who knows what kind of repercussions this could have… Maybe it compromises your relationship, maybe it compromises your career, or maybe it leads to public embarrassment. The point is, your spending habits are now public knowledge.
But we humans, in the 21st century, are mostly oblivious to the fact that this kind of situation doesn’t need to happen.
We have cryptocurrencies that work upon ensuring complete anonymity of transactions.
The two most popular anonymous cryptos right now are Monero, which I have discussed extensively, and Zcash.
Zcash is a peer to peer (P2P) cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin, its sole priority is to focus on private, anonymous, and fungible transactions that Bitcoin can’t-do.
Zcash was forked out of Bitcoin and launched in October 2016, and it was previously known as Zerocoin. It is based on a special cryptographic protocol that shields a sender’s information, a receiver’s information, and the amount transacted between the two parties.
Zcash’s open cryptocurrency project uses a zk-SNARK protocol. This is a new cryptographic zero-knowledge proof protocol that ensures privacy, anonymity, and fungibility of Zcash coins.
However, privacy and anonymity are not implemented by default in Zcash, as it also has a transparent transaction functionality like Bitcoin.
So Zcash, by design, has optional anonymity and privacy features for users who want to use them.
How Does Zcash Work?
Zcash works on a zk-SNARK protocol. To understand this protocol more, go here.
This protocol was developed in 2014 by scientists and research cryptographers at Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Tel Aviv University.
The Zcash Team is a unique amalgamation of engineers, advisors, and scientists. Some of them are listed below…
Zcash is open-source, but there is an official company behind it, which is pretty unusual for an open-source project. The company is Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, or ZECC, and is lead by Zooko Wilcox.
Zcash Coin Supply And Distribution
Zcash (ZEC) has a total maximum supply of 21 million coins, like Bitcoin, and is mined through a POW Equihash algorithm. All 21 million are expected to be mined by 2032, and just like Bitcoin, the Zcash block mining reward is cut in half every four years.
Zcash was not pre-mined or ICO-funded like many other crypto projects; instead, it follows a unique funding and distribution approach.
Zcash started with a closed investor’s group who funded the company with $1 million to kick off its development and operations. In return, these investors are promised a 10% reward of the total supply in an incremental way over the first 4 year period.
Some the popular investors from this closed group are Barry Silbert, Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver, and Naval Ravikant.
This 10% reward of investors is called a “Founders’ Reward” which basically means that whatever amount of Zcash is mined for the first 4 years, 10% of Zcash will be incrementally distributed among these investors.
This comes down to 2.1 million being distributed to investors in the first 4 years, which can represent a kind of tax on mining.
After 4 years, the total mining reward goes to miners like in a typical proof-of-work system.
Zcash Market Cap
According to CoinMarketCap, the total circulating supply of Zcash is 2,294,531 ZEC, and the current price of each unit is $128. This makes its market cap approximately $637 million (at the time of this writing).
Zcash is an altcoin and buying altcoins directly in fiat currency is very rare.
That’s why I have made this list of buying/exchanging options for Zcash which includes some easy buying options such as Changelly & ShapeShift along with advanced options such as buying from exchanges in various fiat/crypto pairs.
Buy Zcash from Changelly
Buying Zcash directly in fiat currency is difficult. But you can exchange your other coins, such as BTC, LTC, or ETH in exchange for Zcash on Changelly.
Using Changelly is very simple.
You will require the following things to buy Zcash:
Head toward CoinSutra’s Cryptocurrency Exchange – Changelly, and follow the steps given in this guide.
Note: Though this guide shows how to buy Ripple in exchange for BTC, the process is exactly the same to buy Zcash.
Some of the popular Zcash exchanges are:
Some of the popular Zcash wallets are: