A privacy-protecting, digital currency built on strong science
Created in 2013, Zcash, previously known as “Zerocoin”, was initially suggested as an experimental privacy extension to Bitcoin. Its founding scientists worried that Bitcoin’s transactions, conducted over the public blockchain, could not offer guarantees of privacy. They used advanced mathematical techniques called "zero-knowledge proofs” to allow transactions to be validated without anyone being able to determine the amount and the parties involved. When Bitcoin’s core developers deemed these zero-knowledge proofs impractical, Zerocoin’s founding members worked with cryptographers at MIT, Tel Aviv University, and UC Berkeley to improve them. They developed the Zcash protocol into a full-fledged cryptocurrency.
In a world where user privacy is routinely compromised through hacks and surveillance, Zcash is an innovative method for exchanging money on the internet. The protocol provides the option for transactions to be either shielded (completely anonymous), or transparent (visible on the Zcash blockchain). Shielded Zcash still allows users to share addresses and transaction information in cases of audits or need to prove regulatory compliance. It can be bought, sold, and traded on many of the main crypto exchanges.