Here’s what you need to know about Zcash, a privacy-focused bitcoin competitor that just got a major boost

winklevoss zcash 2x1

Forget bitcoin and ethereum, there’s a new cryptocurrency in town: zcash.
The Winklevoss twin’s cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced on Monday that it would start trading zcash on May 22.
This sent the price spiking up more than 40%.
Here’s everything you need to know about zcash.

In the world of cryptocurrencies, it can often feel like there is an innumerable amount of coins to invest in. So when major players in the space double down on one coin in particular, it’s worth taking notice.

On Tuesday, the Winklevoss twin’s bitcoin exchange Gemini announced the addition of trading and custody for a coin called zcash, starting May 22. The price of zcash quickly shot up more than 40% on the news, from around $250 a coin to over $360.

The US-based Gemini is small compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, but it is also fairly selective. The exchange presently only lets users trade the two most popular cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, so the addition of a new coin is a sign that it sees a future for zcash.

Zcash is a lot like bitcoin in that it lives on blockchain technology and is designed to be used as digital money. But it has one key thing that bitcoin doesn’t: privacy.

Gemini’s VP of engineering Eric Winer called it “a truly innovative privacy coin that offers confidentiality for peer-to-peer transactions similar to those afforded” by normal money.

This is because unlike bitcoin, which keeps a permanent record of every single transaction in meticulous detail, zcash lets users choose when to hide their identity or the amount of currency being moved around.

Here’s what you need to know about zcash:

Zcash is run by a venture-backed startup, but it’s open source

Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized cryptocurrency designed and maintained by the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, or Zcash Company, a venture-backed startup founded by Zooko Wilcox (that’s his real name, though the Z in Zcash apparently stands for zero, not Zooko).

Zcash Company built the platform and pays a team of engineers to maintain it, though decisions about how to govern the platform fall to the Zcash Foundation.

Because Zcash is open source, anyone with the technical know-how can make changes to the code and create what’s known in the space as a “hard fork” — an update which splits the cryptocurrency into two different coins. But the Foundation makes it so that those decisions can be made by a somewhat neutral party.

This is in contrast to a coin like XRP, the cryptocurrency controlled by the company Ripple. While Ripple has recently taken actions to decentralize XRP, its corporate origins have given some people in the crypto community pause and made it unlikely to trade on exchanges like Coinbase.

Today, there are around 3.9 million zcash coins in the world. Like bitcoin, zcash transactions are processed by miners who volunteer their computer power in exchange for newly generated coins.

But unlike on bitcoin, when a miner mines zcash, some of the newly generated coins go to the Zcash Company …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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