Zcash (ZEC) Ever since the launch of Bitcoin, the way we think about payments, currencies, and transactions has changed radically. As with any new technology, after the Bitcoin launch, other new cryptocurrencies have come up that aim to improve on the blockchain technology. ZCash is one such cryptocurrency. ZCash is a completely decentralized network that is also open source. The details of each transaction such as the amount involved, the recipient and the sender remain anonymous despite the fact that the transactions are published on a public blockchain.
The developers of Zcash first came up with Zerocoin which gave its users an added layer of security over their Bitcoin transactions. They later collaborated with researchers from premier institutions such as MIT, The Technion, and The Tel-Aviv University to improve upon Zerocoin and develop ZCash.
ZCash ensures its user's anonymity by using a technology called zk-SNARKs which is a zero-knowledge proof construction. Zero knowledge proof means that a user can prove that the statement they are making is true without having to reveal any additional information. ZCash offers its users an option to ‘shield' their transactions. These shielded transactions are just as secure as unshielded ones with the added advantage of ensuring the privacy of the participants involved. The shielded transactions are verified with the help of new cryptographic methods. As the transactions can be encrypted, the currency is completely fungible. This implies that all Zcash tokens are interchangeable and have the same value irrespective of who is holding the coin and the coin's history.
You can either purchase ZCash from a cryptocurrency exchange or you can mine it. Mining ZCash is similar to mining other cryptocurrencies and it depends on the RAM that is available to the miner. The more RAM a miner has, the better are their chances of getting ZCash tokens. As more and more ZCash coins are mined, the difficulty of mining increases and more RAM power is required to mine a coin. Mining is the process by which a block of transactions are verified on the blockchain and a new block is added to the blockchain.
Although ZCash employs latest cryptographic methods, these are experimental and some technologists have expressed certain reservations about zk-SNARKs.
With more and more people getting interested in privacy based cryptocurrencies, ZCash does have a lot of adopters. It is also gaining wide mainstream acceptance in the footsteps of Bitcoin. Recently JPMorgan, one of America's biggest banks, joined with ZCash and are in the process of extending the application of zero-knowledge proof constructions like that of zk-SNARKs into the bank's system. This will allow the bank's customers to perform anonymous and encrypted transactions similar to the ones performed by the users of ZCash. JPMorgan is one of the biggest financial institutions in the world and its adoption of the technology introduced by ZCash has certainly boosted its popularity and reputation in the market.
ZCash is currently trading at $341.25 with a market cap of $922,478,805. Its developers have announced that a total of 21 million coins will be in existence. Of these, 10% of the coins being mined are reserved for the founders and is known as Founders' Reward. Bitcoin may have introduced the world to cryptocurrencies, but it will soon be replaced by the privacy based cryptocurrencies like ZCash. This is the right time to invest in ZCash and to invest in its mining as its popularity will only grow in the future.