Cryptocurrency has been sweeping across the world like a California wildfire. And the only reason it has been able to do this is because it pulled the very idea of currency into the digital age with a slew of new and necessary features and ideas.
It is private – no one knows who owns each wallet.
It is secure – it’s called ‘crypto’ currency for a reason.
It is decentralized – There is no central bank, team, or person printing the currency from a
limited number of tightly controlled mints.
It is transnational – Cryptocurrency doesn’t care about international borders or nations or fiscal policy, its borders are solely defined by the furthest reach of the internet.
It is limited – almost all cryptocurrencies have a limited number of coins or tokens that can eventually be produced or mined. Giving it the same benefit of scarcity that allowed precious metals to become the pricey but useful commodities they are today.
These features and ideas, combined with excellent execution, lit a fire the likes of which the world has never seen. It was finally the digitalization of currency rather than the digital handling of traditional fiat currency. And who could have predicted the results? (Well we all know who, just go look at some of the richest wallets on the BTC chain).
But there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Bitcoin and coins like it are extremely private and secure in that only you know that you own your wallet. But, as you almost certainly know, the private key has its public component. The entire world can follow payments and transfers just by looking at the Blockchain. And if someone knows who owns a wallet, they can follow every single payment, transaction, and movement of money with no problem.
This can pose a serious problem for people that are extra privacy conscious or who have a wallet that is publicly known.
Luckily, some smart guys have already noticed this problem and have been working on a solution.
That solution is ZCash.
ZCash is the first open, permissionless cryptocurrency that is designed to be more than just secure. It’s designed to be private. With ZCash you can perfectly protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography.
This is ideal for people that want to be able to use the same wallet for work and personal affairs or who want to run a business using cryptocurrency but don’t want people to be able to see their entire revenue and expense report online by looking through the ledger!
Naturally individuals that would be wont to use something like cryptocurrency for the security would naturally be interested in increased privacy whether or not they really ‘need’ it.
In this way, many of the stars that lined up for the insane growth of Bitcoin are lining up for ZCash.
Private, but open
Crucially the developers of ZCash do not control it in the same way that many Cryptocurrencies, while professing to be open and secure, are totally closed insofar as source and control. We have seen a litany of currencies rise and fall on the caprices of their developers and this is clearly not something that elicits a lot of confidence.
To avoid this problem the ZCash team has completely open-sourced the system and is neither in control of distribution nor mining of the currency.
Beyond Privacy – Control
ZCash doesn’t just hide all of your transactions. This could be as problematic as all of them being visible on the ledger!
No, what ZCash does is give you control. You can choose the privacy settings of your transactions so that some may be publicly registered, and others might remain completely private. This is a level of control that is completely absent from the cryptocurrency world right now.
Beyond let you make public or private transactions, ZCash has a crucial feature that it probably couldn’t function without: selective disclosure.
ZCash allows you to selectively disclose transactions for reasons of auditing, which could be extremely important to users in certain countries – especially if law enforcement decides that any hidden transaction is inherently illegal.
Get in early
If there is one thing that we have learned with Bitcoin, it is that those that stand the most to gain were those that got in early.
So maybe you should start mining.