Zcash is a highly anticipated new exciting cryptocurrency project that is getting ready to be released on mainnet on 28th of october 2016.
Zcash is a fork of bitcoin that focuses on privacy features. The main privacy feature being that, whilst all transactions are published on a public blockchain, the actual sender address, amount and receiver address are actually encrypted. There is no possibility for third parties to decipher that information unless they are provided with the decryption key. A sender may decide to share his decryption key with the receiver of the transaction, or not.
The incorporated ‘SNARKS’ in Zcash – an implementation of Zero-Knowledge proofs, will provide miners with a tool to validate or reject transactions without knowing the contents of specific transactions and without disclosing private information about the transactions. That is needed to maintain the privacy centric nature of the Zcash ledger.
Initially it will only be possible to get Zcash coins or tokens through mining. There will be no possibility to buy zcash from exchanges, until they have gathered enough volume to start trading ZEC. It seems that right from the start, zcash will be pretty scarce for this reason. Should you therefore want to buy zec, you might want to consider to start mining it from the start, instead.
The founder of Zcash Zooko Wilcox and early investors, among which are Roger Ver, Barry Seibert and Pantera Capital, have chosen an interesting approach for return on investment that has yet been unseen; namely taxing the mining rewards. The first years they will receive a percentage over all mining rewards, which is highly controversial in the mining community.
On DEVCON2, in Shanghai China, Zooko Wilcox took the stage and talked about Zcash and Ethereum interoperability. Apparently he sees ways for Ethereum and Zcash to work together and deliver interesting new products that offer best of both worlds.
In the ethereum world, exciting things are happening too, for example a recent ethereum crowdsale for game wagering (firstblood) raised 5.5 million USD in only 10 seconds. It was possible to buy ethereum (buy ether) and convert purchased ether to firstblood tokens. It happened so quickly though that a lot of would-be investors missed the boat.
Ethereum, in Chinese written as 以太坊 , still must come a long way in China. One of the largest bitcoin exchanges okcoin has begun doing some experiments with ethereum, but a definitive listing hasn’t been announced.