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Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized open-source cryptocurrency that ensures privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash coin payments are published on the public blockchain, but the sender, receiver and transfer amount remain confidential.
The level of anonymity of Zcash is noted by many well-known companies and individuals. For example, WikiLeaks began accepting donations in Cash, Edward Snowden called cryptocurrency the most interesting alternative to Bitcoin, and Europol officially expressed concern about the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency.
What is Zcash?
Zcash cryptocurrency is based on the protocol of Bitcoin, however, it supports its own blockchain and currency token. Like Bitcoin, Zcash cryptocurrency can be sent around the world and exchanged for other crypto or fiat currencies through online exchanges, personal transfers etc.
The emission capacity of Zcash coin makes out 21 million coins, new blocks with the size of 2 Mb are being created every 2.5 minutes. The block reward makes out 12.5 ZEC and will be reduced twice every 4 years starting from the moment of launch in October 2016.
The main technical peculiarity of Zcash is the use of the zero-knowledge proof, which allows to confirm transactions without disclosing additional information and makes the use of the crypto currency totally anonymous.
In 2014, zerocoin developers from Johns Hopkins University and cryptographic teams from Massachusetts Institute of technology, Israel Institute of Technology and tel Aviv University developed the zerocash Protocol. Together they were able to improve the original design, making it more efficient and more private.
"Thanks to the New zerocash Protocol, unlike Zerocoin, users can make direct payments to each other using a much more efficient cryptographic Protocol that hides not only the origin but also the amount of the payment".»
The zcash for the project was officially announced as the Executive Director Zuko Wilcox. January 20, 2016 as the evolution of the Existing zerocoin project (work of Matthew green, Ian Mayer, Christina Harman, Aviel D. Rubin, Johns Hopkins University, Department of computer science).
With the use of the new Protocol appeared independent cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC), ceased to be a "Supplement" to bitcoin. On October 28, 2016, Zuko Wilcox held the official" cryptographic ceremony " of the Zcash launch.
Zero-knowledge proof is a cryptographic principle that allows to check transactions with encrypted data of the sender’s address, receiver’s address and the transferred amount.
Zcash coin uses a specific type of the zero-knowledge proof that is called zk-SNARKs. For that end, in a Zcash transaction a data string (“key tuple”) is generated by the sender, which consists of a spending key, viewing key and billing address.
A sender cannot generate this string unless he possesses spending keys or the values of sending and receiving are not equal. Zk-SNARKs also creates a unique nullifying function, which marks the tokens as spent after the transaction completion.
Usually, a collection of a billing address, viewing and spending keys is encrypted and unavailable for users. In this way, the transaction check with the keeping the confidentiality of its details is carried out. However, Zcash can carry out public transaction too, providing all data of keys in this case.
Zcash cryptocurrency is available for purchasing for anybody. To buy Zcash, it is enough to have a cryptocurrency wallet and crypto exchange. It is traded on most popular exchanges, such as Bitfinex, Binance, Huobi, HitBTC, Changelly, Bithumb and etc.
Moreover, Zcash offers two types of wallet addresses:
- A shielded address - a type of account that has advanced privacy of transactions from being exposed to third parties.
- Transparent addresses are being openly viewed in the blockchain, but they are also pseudonymous and do not necessarily reveal the owner’s identity. 
There is a relevant Zcash price in USD from COIN360 widget:
Rewarding of founders
During the first 4 years, a tenth of the whole possible money stock will be divided among the founders, investors, employees and consultants of the Zcash project – the so-called “rewarding of founders”.
The investors who invested funds in the creation of Zcash will all together receive 1.65%, the founders, employees and consultants – 5.72%. Another 1.19% will go to the “Strategic Reserve of Zcash Company”, while the remaining 1.44% will be received by the non-commercial organization Zcash Foundation, founded in May 2017. The strategic reserve will be used for financing of a new project that will increase the value of Zcash Company and the task of the Foundation is to support and maintain the Zcash protocol.
Zcash developer Electric Coin Company (ECC) intends to make radical changes to the architecture of this cryptocurrency user-oriented privacy. To use sharding, this cryptocurrency may need to switch to a completely new blockchain, which will also need to be created from scratch. The new design, which the developers are working on, may well turn out to be “a completely new protocol and blockchain.” Efforts will also be required to ensure that the ZEC coin is transferred to a new chain in such a way that it does not lose its value. With the help of the new blockchain, developers are also hoping to solve another big Zcash problem - too little use of private transactions. Unlike the Monero network, private transactions are not activated by default in Zcash, and although recent upgrades have made them more accessible, their share does not exceed 2% of the total today.
See Also on BitcoinWiki
- Zcash website
- Zcash Forum
- Zcash Reddit
- Zcash on BitcoinTalk
- Zcash price prediction
- Zcash price and market state on Coin360