Zcash (ZEC) is one of the best-known privacy coins, focused on delivering enhanced privacy and anonymity features to the users who find them essential for the transactions they make.
|Market Cap||Volume 24h||Circulating Supply||Maximum Supply|
|$1,798,181,644||$343,892,635.35||12660919.0 ZEC||21000000.0 ZEC|
The Zcash coin (ZEC) works as the basic unit of its namesake decentralized cryptocurrency. Zcash started out from the same code as Bitcoin, although the two do not share a common history otherwise. Its creators were going for more privacy and anonymity with the help of advanced cryptographic technologies. While transactions with Zcash remain recorded on the blockchain, this currency allows the user to activate the privacy protection feature to hide the information on senders, receivers and transaction amounts. The project itself was launched in 2016 by a team of engineers and scientists coming from the institutions such as the MIT, Johns Hopkins and Tel Aviv University. The team members included Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn, Eli Ben-Sasson, Matthew Green, Christina Garman, Alessandro Chiesa and others.
In order to deliver on its promises regarding privacy and security, Zcash implemented the system of shielded transactions. With them, it is possible to protect the privacy of all transaction and personal data which are posted to the public blockchain. This is enabled by making the transactions encrypted with the help of zk-SNARKs cryptographic protocol. Zero knowledge (zk) is an advanced cryptographic term that means, at the most basic level, proving that you know something without revealing what it is that you know. In the case of Zcash, this zero knowledge protocol allows for the confirmation of a transaction without revealing information on sender, receiver or transaction amounts. At the same time, Zcash will allow its users to choose which transaction data can be shared in case this is required when checking their compliance or during an audit.
In addition to its privacy features, the team focused on securing the coin’s fungibility by making each coin keep its value relative to others and resisting any type of tampering. To achieve this, the coins are disconnected from the history of their use, making it difficult to trace their origins.
After the launch, the Zcash project managed to gain a foothold in the crypto market, in the face of its competitors such as Monero which also functions as a privacy-focused coin. As of October 2018, the ZEC’s market capitalization is USD 619 million, with its all-time high reached in early 2018 when it stood at more than USD 2.5 billion. The coin’s maximum supply is capped at 21 million units, just like Bitcoin. All of the coins are expected to be mined until 2032.