Zcash is a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency and payment network that is decentralized and has advanced privacy and security features. It is the first network to incorporate zk-SNARKs1, a ground-breaking implementation of zero-knowledge cryptography that validates transactions without disclosing details like the sender’s, receiver’s, or payment amount’s addresses.
The Zerocash whitepaper was implemented as Zcash in May 2014 thanks to the united efforts of academics from around the world. 2 On October 28, 2016, a privately held firm currently known as the Electric Coin Company (ECC), headed by founder and CEO Zooko Wilcox, officially launched the Zcash network. Separately, the Zcash Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established in June 2017 with the goal of constructing internet payment and privacy infrastructure for the benefit of the general public, primarily benefiting users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain. 3 The Zcash network has continued to grow and get better thanks in large part to cooperation between the ECC and Zcash Foundation.
The Zcash Project aimed to improve upon Bitcoin, which is widely regarded as the benchmark digital currency and store of value. Users can choose the level of anonymity associated with their financial activity by making a number of technological changes to the original Bitcoin source code. These features prioritize network updates and protecting financial privacy. The ECC and the Zcash Foundation are additionally financed by well-known cryptocurrency investors4, and development is aided by a group of top-tier engineers and researchers with expertise in cryptography.
Zcash has established itself as one of the top 35 largest networks in the ecosystem by market cap and aims to become the go-to digital currency for privacy and information security.
- 1 Short for “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge”
- 2 The authors of the Zerocash proposal in alphabetical order are: Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, and Madars Virza.
- 3 The Zcash Foundation was established in 2017 as a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Notably, the Zcash Foundation’s mission is dedicated to internet payment and privacy infrastructure in general, and not specifically the Zcash network. The Zcash Foundation has historically focused on the Zcash network because it believes ZEC is currently the best solution for financial privacy.
- 4 Digital Currency Group, Inc., the sole member and parent company of Grayscale Investments, LLC, owns an immaterial percentage of the Zcash in circulation and a minority interest in the ECC.