- Zcash is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that was launched in 2016 by a team of cryptographers and researchers with the goal of providing a more private and secure way to make transactions.
- Unlike other cryptocurrencies Zcash transactions can be shielded, meaning that the sender, receiver, and transaction amount can be hidden from the public blockchain.
Zcash is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that was launched in 2016 by a team of cryptographers and researchers. It was created with the goal of providing a more private and secure way to make transactions on a public blockchain.
The coin uses a unique technology called zk-SNARKs (zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge) that allows users to prove the validity of a transaction without revealing any sensitive information about the transaction itself.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Zcash transactions can be shielded, meaning that the sender, receiver, and transaction amount can be hidden from the public blockchain. This makes Zcash transactions more private and secure than other cryptocurrencies. However, it is important to note that not all Zcash transactions are shielded by default, and users need to explicitly choose to shield their transactions.
Zcash also has a fixed supply of 21 million coins, similar to Bitcoin. However, unlike Bitcoin, Zcash has a development fund that allocates a portion of newly mined coins to fund the ongoing development of the project.
With Zcash, there are two types of addresses: transparent addresses and shielded addresses.
Transparent addresses are similar to Bitcoin addresses and are publicly visible on the blockchain. They allow for public transactions, where the sender, receiver, and transaction amount are all visible on the blockchain. These addresses are used for transactions that do not require privacy, such as when buying or selling goods and services.
Shielded addresses, on the other hand, are private addresses that allow users to shield their transactions from public view. Transactions made using shielded addresses are completely private, and the sender, receiver, and transaction amount are all hidden from the public blockchain. Shielded addresses are used when privacy is a concern, such as when making confidential transactions or for personal privacy reasons.
It is important to note that not all Zcash wallets support shielded addresses, and that using shielded addresses can be more computationally intensive than using transparent addresses. However, shielded transactions are an important feature of Zcash and allow users to choose the level of privacy they require for their transactions.
How Zcash has changed in recent years
Following its fork in 2016, Zcash has continued to improve and broaden its main services. Halo, a “trustless recursive” variant of ZKPs, the 2020 launch of an open-source, shielded-first, fully functional Zcash wallet, and the activation of the Heartwood Network Upgrade, which added support for shielded Coinbase and FlyClient, are a few significant advancements over a previous couple of years. Not to mention a rise in institutional backing and the initial halving of Zcash.
Halo and Halo 2
Halo and Halo 2 are two recent developments in the Zcash ecosystem that aim to improve the efficiency and scalability of Zcash transactions while maintaining privacy.
Halo is a novel proof system developed by a team of researchers led by Sean Bowe, one of the original creators of Zcash. The Halo proof system uses recursive proof composition to enable the creation of compact proofs for complex computations, making it faster and more efficient than previous proof systems.
The implementation of Halo in Zcash would reduce the computational resources required for generating and verifying zk-SNARKs proofs, resulting in faster transaction processing times and lower fees.
Halo 2 is an extension of the original Halo proof system, developed by a team of researchers including Sean Bowe and Zooko Wilcox, the founder and CEO of the Zcash Company. Halo 2 introduces several improvements to the Halo proof system, including the ability to verify an unlimited number of transactions in a single proof, further reducing the computational resources required for transaction processing.
Halo 2 also allows for the creation of “rollup” constructions, which enable the aggregation of multiple transactions into a single transaction, further improving efficiency and scalability.
Last week, @JackGavigan of @ZcashFoundation joined @iansagstette to discuss the minor grants program. They dove into the program's genesis story, objectives, and how it differs from @ZcashCommGrants. 🦓🛡️https://t.co/rfFjXGjsH9
— Zcash 🛡️ (@zcash) March 17, 2023
The future of Zcash
The future of Zcash looks promising, as it continues to develop and innovate in the field of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies. With its cutting-edge technology, including the upcoming Halo 2 upgrade, Zcash is poised to remain at the forefront of the privacy coin market. Its ability to provide users with the option of shielded or transparent transactions, and its compatibility with other privacy-enhancing technologies, give it a competitive edge.
As more people become aware of the importance of privacy in transactions, the demand for Zcash is likely to grow. Additionally, its partnership with other blockchain projects and continued community support bodes well for its future growth and success.