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ZCash (ZEC) is an open-source cryptocurrency, developed by Zerocoin Electric Coin Company. ZEC provides complete privacy and selective transaction transparency. All ZEC transactions are published in the blockchain, but the sender, receiver, and transaction amount can remain completely private.
The progenitor of ZCash was the Zerocash project. Initially, ln worked as Bitcoin Extension. A public Alpha version of the protocol was implemented in May 2013.
On November 16th, the developers announced an improved version of the protocol, which reduced the size of evidence by 98%, allowing direct, anonymous payments that hide the amount of payment. This new protocol was called Zerocash. Еру protocol is no longer an extension for bitcoin as it became an independent technology, still observing all the same basic principles. This technology was later implemented as an alternative cryptocurrency, ZCash.
From October 5th, 2015 until January the following year, the official Zerocash website noted that “the Zerocash protocol is turning into a full-fledged digital currency called Zcash”. ZCash cryptocurrency was officially launched on October 28th, 2016.
The total issue of ZEC tokens is 21 million coins, as is the case with bitcoin. According to preliminary estimates, all ZEC coins will be mined by 2032. Each new block is created once every two and a half minutes. The block reward is 12.5 ZEC tokens. Every four years the reward will be halved, also similar in principle to bitcoin.
The ZCash company receives part of the mined tokens, which are a source of funding. Each miner gives 10% of mined ZEC as a reward to the founders of the project. This is proceeded automatically, based on a special algorithm, which will change in October 2020 to allow miners to receive 100% of all profits.
ZСash uses a PoW (Proof-of-Work) consensus protocol for mining called Equihash. During creation, this protocol blocked the use of ASIC equipment, but mining device developers circumvented this limitation in 2018. The ZCash project did not conduct ICO. The developers immediately launched the finished product ZCash.
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What is Zcash?
In general terms, Zcash is a decentralised, open-source cryptocurrency. The company focuses on the user’s privacy and protection. Zcash is considered to be offering one of the strongest security features if compared to the other popular crypto coins and tokens.
Every crypto has some distinct features to differ one coin from another (and hence, to sell the product). Well, ZEC is private. Zcash transactions are still posted on a public ledger. However, privacy is ensured with the use of zero-knowledge proofs. These proofs allow transactions to be verified without the personal data disclosure. If you have been asking yourself, whether Zcash can be traced, the answer would be “partially”. It is possible to view some of the info (only at the user’s will) through the so-called viewing keys.
The private Zcash address used for the extra-guarded transactions is called Z-address. In this case, the Zcash wallet address starts with a Z. There is one more type of Zcash address, the T-address. This type of wallet address is used to perform transparent transactions.
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Some features migrated from the Bitcoin blockchain, while others were added by the developers of the ZEC project. ZEC encrypts the contents of secure transactions and uses the zk-SNARK cryptographic protocol for validation. It was developed by cryptocurrency creators based on zero-knowledge proof.
Zk-SNARK technology is a way to verify transactions in ZCash. Information about all participants of the transfer, including the transfer amount is not stored in the blockchain.
The developers gave a simple explanation of the principles of this verification system. Here is a logical puzzle as an example:
- Imagine a ring-shaped room, pictured above.
- On the left is the entrance to the room. Near the entrance is an Observer (marked with the letter V).
- On the opposite side of the entrance is a locked door. The observer standing near the entrance does not see this door.
- The Verifiable enters the room (marked with the letter P). His task is to prove to the Observer that he is the owner of the door key.
- The Verifiable must go through the room around the entire circumference: enter from one side and exit from the other. Only the key holder can do this because the door is closed. There is no need to show the key to the observer.
Now the Observer can be sure that the Verifiable has the key. But he doesn’t need to see the key by itself because this is not necessary. This is how a zero-knowledge proof zk-SNARK algorithm works.
It is considered top security level and the most anonymous of all cryptocurrencies, even in comparison with competitors such as Monero, Beam, or Dash.
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