How to Buy Zcash (ZEC) Today

Zcash offers privacy options in a market full of semi-private transactions. Between the features and age of the project, Zcash might be worth adding to your crypto investments.

How to Buy ZEC Coins

  1. Create a Coinbase account - We recommend using Coinbase as it offers $5 in free Bitcoin when you sign-up.
  2. Add a payment method - Add your payment method and fund your account.
  3. Research the coin - Search for the coin by name or ticker symbol - ZEC.
  4. Decide the amount of coins - Now it is time to decide how many coins you want to buy of Zcash.
  5. Purchase coins of ZEC - Buy the amount of coins you want with at the current price on Coinbase.

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What is Zcash?

Zcash is one of a handful of cryptocurrency projects dedicated to privacy and anonymity. Most blockchain projects like Bitcoin or Ethereum are pseudonymous, meaning that while no names are attached to the on-chain transactions, the wallet address is always visible.

In theory, this means that wallet addresses trace back to an individual if one does enough sleuthing.  To provide better privacy measures, Zcash offers users the ability to detach the wallet address and transaction amount from the transaction.

This option lets a user make private purchases without worrying about any surveillance measures tracking those transactions. All of these purchases get recorded into the public ledger on-chain, just without the identifying information. 

Who Are The Founders of Zcash?

In 2016, Zcash was founded by Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn. He is a computer security professional and entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in cryptographics and information technology.

Wilcox-O’Hearn also founded the Electric Coin Company (ECC), which is a for-profit organization that manages the Zcash blockchain ecosystem.

Zcash (ZEC) Price Today

How Many Zcash (ZEC) Coins Are in Circulation?

As of June 2022, there are 14,544,044 ZEC in circulation.  As a Bitcoin fork, ZCash uses many of the same parameters initially set by that project.

Because of this, Zcash shares its future total supply of 21 million ZEC. However, this value won’t be reached for another century or so of mining. 

How is Zcash Secured?

Zcash uses the proof of work consensus model first brought to the world of blockchain by Bitcoin.  As a Bitcoin fork, Zcash uses the same hash function and mining algorithm as Bitcoin called Secure Hashing Algorithm (SHA) - 256.

The number at the end of this title refers to the number of bits of data used to generate data using the hash function. SHA-256 allows miners to process the complex cryptographic calculations needed to verify transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain.

This function helps miners prevent any accidental forks in the chain by running checks on which version of the chain is the longest one and favoring that chain. 

While the proof of work consensus model is out of favor right now, the model does an excellent job of securing the blockchain network while keeping the ecosystem decentralized.

What Makes Zcash Unique?

So far, there’s a lot of talk about what Zcash adapted from Bitcoin. Let’s talk about what unique traits Zcash has that stand out from other cryptocurrencies.

Privacy Options

Privacy is the ultimate goal of Zcash. Bigger blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum record wallet address information and transaction data in their public ledger.

Anyone who takes some time inside the block explorer for these blockchains could conceivably discover the identity of the person behind any public address. 

The founders and developers of Zcash believe that there is a better way to protect a user’s privacy with blockchain. To that end, Zcash offers users two different ways to send their transactions: transparent or shielded. 

Transparent transactions work the same way as to how transactions work on other blockchains. All the identifying data become verified and added to the blockchain with searchable records. 

Shielded transactions work differently, however. Zcash uses a protocol called zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (zk-SNARKs) to prove valid transactions as such without revealing the public wallet address or transaction amount. 

Without going into the technical side of things, Zcash shielded transactions instead sharing other wallet information without either party seeing or saving the data.

Nodes on the Zcash blockchain receive these verified transactions and record that they happened into the blockchain, but all of the public wallet information and amount of ZEC exchanged stay hidden. 

By keeping this info hidden, prying eyes have a harder time seeing who is sending or receiving the funds. Without any public info to query, the searcher instead has to find ways outside of the block explorer to find where the ZEC went and who it belonged to, bolstering the ZEC user privacy.

Proof of Work

Due to environmental and energy concerns, proof of work and proof of stake are currently being debated as to which is better. However, Zcash has been around for about six years now and, unlike Ethereum, isn’t changing over to staking any time soon. 

While this means the Zcash blockchain uses more energy than a proof of stake project of similar size, it also means Zcash has an easier time staying true to the decentralized process power distribution envisioned by early cryptocurrency developers. 

To create secure staking nodes, most proof of stake projects require a large amount of valid currency to be entered into a node. These nodes can be highly technical to set up on top of this cost. 

Comparatively, proof of work blockchains relies on hardware such as graphics cards, CPUs, or ASIC miners to process transactions. This hardware can be expensive, but not as much as for nodes on popular staking projects. 

Plus, much of this hardware requires about an hour or two to set up and launch.  Overall, proof of work makes it easier for the average person to get involved with the ZEC ecosystem.

Zcash Alternatives

Should I Buy Zcash (ZEC)?

Whether you should invest in Zcash depends on two factors: how long is your time horizon, and how critical are privacy coins to the market?

Zcash has had a net positive price growth over the last four years, but that has come with the volatility inherent to cryptocurrency right now as a budding market. 

If you believe in privacy measures for blockchain and can offer to wait out some of the current price fluctuations, check out what Zcash offers for privacy-minded folks!

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