What is Zcash?
Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized open-source privacy coin based on proof-of-work that utilizes zero knowledge proof cryptography in order to achieve network consensus without decrypting the transaction.
When is Zcash Private?
Private Zcash addresses utilize zero knowledge proof cryptography (zkSNARKs). Zero knowledge proofs are a way for one party to validate that a statement is true, without conveying any information beyond the validity of the statement itself. For example, given the hash of a random number the proving party would be able to convince the verifying party that the hash does in fact exist and that they know the number without revealing what it is. By utilizing this method of verification, the Zcash network is able to confirm a transaction without decryption.
When is Zcash NOT Private?
Transparent Zcash addresses do not use zero knowledge proof cryptography and can be viewed publicly. They operate similar to a Bitcoin addresses in which the balance is stored in UTXOs.
Zcash Private Address Wallets (z-addr)
Official Zcash Client on Linux, Windows and Mac.
Zcash Transparent Address Wallets (t-addr)
Is Zcash Right for Me?
Privacy coins like Zcash can be hard to understand. If you are not confident in your understanding of the coin, be sure to educate yourself before beginning a ZEC Shift. Before you start any Shift, it is important that you are knowledgeable when it comes to the digital asset you will result in owning. This is especially true when it comes to privacy coins. If you have learned enough about ZEC and you want to start a Shift, you can learn more about Shifting here.