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Exposed: The Secret Behind the Untouchable Privacy of Zcash

Apr 18, 2018 Posted /  586 Views

Exposed: The Secret Behind the Untouchable Privacy of Zcash

Without any doubt, Zcash is still one of the most anonymous cryptocurrencies based on the blockchain technology. Zcash uses a rare algorithm known as the Ceremony to achieve this very high levels of transaction privacy in its blockchain network. Zcash is abbreviated as ZEC which stand for Zero-Knowledge Cryptography.

Zcash beats bitcoin when it comes to anonymity


A Lot of people still think bitcoin is completely anonymous without being aware that bitcoin amounts the cryptocurrencies with the least privacies in their networks. Bitcoin public keys which act as the main account number for bitcoin wallets are pseudo-anonymous but it still possible to track a bitcoin address from the transaction ledger stored on the blockchain. The ledger shows all transaction records to the address, and it is possible to find at least a couple of other known address in the ledger who can identify the name or face of a particular address.


When bitcoin addresses and transactions are linked together, law enforcement officials or malicious criminals can use this information to deduce the identities of bitcoin users. Zcash, on the other hand, leaves no trace of transaction records on the public ledger that can be used to follow up an address.


Who Created Zcash


Zcash was developed by Zooko Wilcox, a Colorado-based security specialist who was an early contributor to the bitcoin protocol. Mr Wilcox recognized the lack of privacy in Bitcoin and wanted it to be fixed. In a podcast on NPR Wilcox revealed that the biggest strength of bitcoin is also a significant weakness regarding anonymity.


It can not be argued that privacy is still one of the strongest factors of bitcoin yet its exposure of all transaction records could put people’s privacies at risk.  Wilcox founded the idea of developing a cryptocurrency that is fully anonymous because of his belief that privacy is a necessary human right.


Several attempts were made by Wilcox to include a complete privacy algorithm into the bitcoin protocol, but all his attempts were crushed in 2016 as the bitcoin community refused to allow any modification into the Bitcoin core protocol. Wilcox however never gave up on his idea and continued developing it into a new cryptocurrency independent from bitcoin known as Zcash.


The Technology Behind Zcash


The Zcash private shielded ecosystem uses Bitcoin’s core code and improves upon the anonymity aspect of transactions. Zcash further utilizes a cryptographic method known as the “Zero-Knowledge Proofs” which uses complex mathematics to prove the accuracy of a piece of information without leaking anything about that information.


The zero-knowledge methods are run into the Zcash protocol as z-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) and enable most of the security features that characterize Zcash. One of the most imported features of the Zcash network is the Shielded transactions. A shielded transaction is a private transaction made using the zk-SNARKs algorithm on the Zcash network.


Unlike the case with other cryptocurrencies bitcoin inclusive, shielded addresses appear similar to the observers of the Zcash blockchain allowing for unprecedented levels of transaction anonymity. Zcash undergoes a privacy ceremony where it’s public keys are generated. The ceremony is recorded in clear videos and released to the public to watch. The highest levels of transparency and security are deployed during this ceremony.


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Tags: blockchain technology cryptocurrency Zcash crypto Privacy

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