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ZCASH

What is Zcash?

Zcash is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency that aims at providing enhanced privacy to its users much better than other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Zcash uses zero-knowledge cryptography to fully protect the privacy of transactions on its network. 

How Zcash works?

Zcash works in a similar fashion as any other cryptocurrency, except that users in Zcash network are given an optional privacy feature to use to conceal the details of the transaction, including the sender and recipient addresses. 

Unlike Bitcoin that displays records of participants in a transaction, including the amount involved, Zcash network shows only that a transaction took place, not who was involved or what amount was transacted.

 

Zcash protocol encrypts your payment information using zk-Snark zero-knowledge proof construction system. These constructions allow the network to maintain a secure ledger of transactions without revealing the parties or the amounts involved. By encrypting transaction values and payment information, Zcash protocol protects users against fraud or third-party interference.

 

Zcash also gives users the freedom to send payments with the support for both shielded and transparent addresses. This means that users can choose to send Zcash either privately or publicly.  Sending Zcash from a shielded address to a transparent address will reveal the received balance while payments from a transparent address to a shielded address conceal the receiving value. 

What is zk-Snark?

Zk-Snark (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) is a proof construction in which it is possible for one to prove possession of specific information, such as a secret key, without disclosing that information, and without interaction between the prover and the verifier.

It is a different form of zero-knowledge cryptography that Zcash uses to guarantee privacy on their network. Think of zk-Snark as a privacy feature that fully encrypts transactions on the blockchain, yet still verifies transactions as valid based on network’s consensus.

Two parties exist in a zero-knowledge. One party (the prover) can prove to the other party (the verifier) that certain information is true, without disclosing any information other than the validity of this information. This means that a prover, for instance, can convince the verifier that the hash of a random number indeed exists, without revealing any information about the number.

There is also the concept of succinct zero-knowledge. What this means is that the transaction proofs can be verified in the shortest time possible, usually in just milliseconds.

Initially, the zero-knowledge protocol allows the prover and the verifier to communicate back and forth for multiple rounds. However, in non-interactive constructions, only a single message is sent from the prover to the verifier for proof of constructions. An initial set up phase is required in order to produce zero-knowledge proofs that are non-interactive and short enough to be broadcasted on the blockchain network. This enables the prover and the verifier to generate a common reference string between them.

What’s the difference between addresses that start with “t” and addresses that start with “z”?

Addresses that start with “t” are called transparent addresses and works similarly to Bitcoin, i.e. they have shared public properties.  Addresses that start with “z” have zero-knowledge proofs privacy enhancement features and are referred to as shielded addresses.

What are multi-signature transactions and does Zcash have them?

Multi-signature (multisig) transactions are digital transactions that require more than one key before it can be executed.  When only one signature (from the owner of a private key associated with Zcash address) is required, the transaction is called single-signature transactions. Multisig transactions provide more security than single-signature transactions. 

  

Zcash has multi-signature transactions, but they don’t come with an added privacy. Multisig transactions in the Zcash network simply have global transparency privacy features, much like Bitcoin.

 

You may need multi-signature transactions if you want to split your private keys across multiple devices or among multiple parties like husband and wife savings account.

Does Zcash offer complete anonymity for transactions?

Well, Zcash provides enhanced privacy for single-signature transactions on its public blockchain ledger but it does not offer protections for multi-signature transactions. You may need to use Zcash in conjunction with an anonymizing network like Tor in order to protect yourself against eavesdropping and other potential privacy breaches. 

However, the encryption of data in Zcash transactions enables Zcash to facilitate anonymization for its users in the public domain.

What’s the difference between Zcash and Bitcoin?

Because Zcash maintains its own currency token and blockchain, it is a fork of Bitcoin protocol. A notable difference between Zcash and Bitcoin is that Zcash introduced zero-knowledge proofs to enhance privacy on the existing work of Bitcoin.

Unlike Bitcoin that utilizes SHA-256 mining system, Zcash uses Equihash hashing algorithm: asymmetric memory-hard Proof of Work (PoW). Zcash also has 2.5 minute block average and about 4 times bigger rewards that halve every four years compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes blocks.

 

How can you acquire Zcash?

The easiest way to acquire Zcash is to exchange with Bitcoin. There are many Exchanges that accept Zcash for other cryptocurrencies, such as Binance, HitBTC, EXMO and many others.

What is Zcash Founder’s Reward?

Zcash caps its total number of tokens to 21 million but 10 percent of that 21 million mined using the Zerocash protocol will go to Zcash stakeholders (founders, investors, advisors, and employees). This is what Zcash calls “Founder’s Reward”. 
 

It is worth noting that Zcash has not disclosed how they plan to distribute the mined coins among its investors, founders, and employees.

 
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