Like MotherBoard noted rather correctly, there is hardly a week that goes by without news of digital thefts, crashes, and cataclysmic conflicts in the world of decentralized digital money.
Today, we are talking about a newly-created cryptocurrency that was developed by expert cryptographers. The cryptocurrency called Zcash is the first currency that offers something bitcoin definitely lacks – anonymity.
Comparing to bitcoin, Zcash doesn’t publish the full details of all transactions on a distributed public ledger called the blockchain. Instead, it uses what’s known in mathematics as a zero-knowledge proof, which helps it to mask the sender, recipient, and amount of all transactions. Zcash look like an experimental fork of bitcoin that tries to address an inherent contradiction of the supposedly “untraceable” cryptocurrency.
“If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https. Zcash offers total payment confidentiality, while still maintaining a decentralized network using a public blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin, Zcash transactions can be shielded to hide the sender, recipient, and value of all transactions on the blockchain. Only those with the correct view key can see the contents. Users have complete control and can opt-in to provide others with their view key at their discretion. Zcash transactions do not depend on the cooperation of other parties”, says the official website.
Taking into consideration the first 20,000 blocks (roughly 34 days), Zcash is definitely implementing a “slow start” mining period to give the system some breathing space and time to adjust. This means that the rewards for block mining would only be a fraction of the intended 12.5 ZEC.
Zcash works by encrypting the contents of shielded transactions. As soon as the payment information is encrypted, the protocol uses a novel cryptographic method to verify their validity.
It is possible to mathematically prove a statement with no need to reveal any of the information. It enables the execution of transactions without actually exposing any of their details.
Zcash founder and CEO Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn can be compared to bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto as they both have been working on the concept of cryptocurrencies for quite a long.
When Zcash’s creators say: “If bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https,” they underline the now-ubiquitous secure protocol that protects a website’s visitors from eavesdropping.
The creators inform that currently the Zcash client will only run on 64-bit systems running Linux with its interface being entirely command line-based. All interested people can buy Zcash with fiat currencies the usual way on various online cryptocurrency exchanges.