ZCash (ZEC) is an anonymous cryptocurrency that uses zk-snarks (Zero-Knowledge proofs) – or proof of construction to keep transactions 100% private.
Just like Bitcoin it is based on a decentralised blockchain but allows for anonymity behind transaction amounts and parties involved. This essentially means that both, the recipient and the amount sent, are kept a secret.
zk-SNARK is used in ZCash to prove the transaction is valid and does not create new coins, without giving out information about the amounts and the recipients.
Just like Bitcoin ZEC is mined through proof of work (PoW) system. Every 2.5 minutes on average, a ZCash block is found creating 12.5 new ZECs, which adds up to 50 new coins every 10 minutes on average.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, which are open source, ZCash organization is setup as a company. This has created a lot of controversies about the method of distribution of ZEC tokens. Also, ZCash has a unique way of rewarding investors and workers in the company. It does so by imposing a tax on mining rewards called “Founders reward”.
How to buy ZCash?
ZCash’s market cap is over $500 million and is trading at $234 a piece at the time of writing.
Step 1: Get a ZCash wallet
There are few internet wallets where you can store ZECs:
For better security of your ZECs, hardware wallet is the way to go. The main drawback (for now) is that they only support Zcash Transparent Addresses. Ledger Nano S and Trezor are the hardware wallets that support most of the major cryptocurrencies.
There are also local wallets that run ZCash client and a full network node on your computer. These are a little more technical to set-up and use. The official Zcash client is built for Linux, but community members have modified it for Windows and MacOSX.
Step 2: Buy ZCash from an exchange
Just like other cryptocurrencies, ZEC can also be purchased using fiat and Bitcoin.
How to buy ZCash using fiat in any country
Currencies are different in different countries, so are the exchanges that support those currencies. Every exchange that uses fiat in exchange of cryptocurrencies, has to go through a simple KYC process whereby users must submit government issued id(s) and other personal information in order begin trading on the platform.
The process usually takes 3-4 working days depending on the exchange. Once the KYC is done, you’re free to purchase ZECs, which are automatically stored in exchange’s online wallet.
Buy ZCash in the United States (USD)
If you’re a United States resident, there are many exchanges that accept USD in exchange for ZCash. Exchanges that accept ZEC/USD pair:
Buy ZCash in the China (CNY)
China’s recent ban on initial coin offerings and a crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges lead a few major Bitcoin exchanges in the country to shut down. Although, at the time of writing following exchanges continue to operate as normal. Exchanges that accept ZEC/CNY pair:
Buy ZCash in the Korea (KRW)
South Korea is the second largest market for ZCash in terms of volumes. The only exchange that accepts ZEC/KRW pair is Bithumb.
Buy ZCash in the Europe (EUR)
Europe has always been an odd region when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Too many countries with their own law in place working under the same financial regulation umbrella. Every country has its own set of payment options, yet there is no universal solution except SEPA transfers, which are only used for online transfers. Exchanges that accept ZEC/EUR pair:
2. Buy ZCash using Bitcoin
Most of the exchanges mentioned above can also facilitate the purchase of ZCash using Bitcoin, regardless of the country you’re in. In other words, if you hold Bitcoin, you can practically purchase any other cryptocurrency.
Although aforementioned exchanges only support a limited number of cryptocurrencies. There are some exchanges that only support trading of Bitcoin with other cryptocurrencies – no fiat involved. You’re likely to get a better price for ZCash on such exchanges:
Step 3: Withdraw ZCash to your wallet
Storing your coins on online exchanges is not recommended because they are prone to attacks from hackers. Once you’ve bought ZECs, make sure to transfer them to one of the above-mentioned wallets – whether it be a hardware or HD (Hierarchical Deterministic) wallet.