Zcash is a an open-source blockchain focusing on the encryption of transactions. Using a new breakthrough in cryptography, Zcash leverages a zero-knowledge protocol known as zk-SNARKS (short for Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge). This allows for users to send and verify incoming transactions without revealing any personal identities. The transactions are published on a public blockchain, but the users, and amount transferred are private.
Starting as a hard fork of Bitcoin, Zcash keeps the ability for allowing users to publish their addresses publicly on the chain. Privacy is not forced by the network, but rather a choice by the user. These two options have different addresses, the first one is (t)transparent, similar to Bitcoin, and the other is z-addressed which use (z)k-SNARKs to make them private.
Being a new technology with more sophisticated math then its rivals, Bitcoin and Monero, this project has had skepticism surrounding it from the community, especially when paired with the“Founder’s Reward”. This addition automatically deposits 20% of all the new Zcash mined directly to the founders’ addresses, regardless of who mined it. Contrary to many other cryptocurrencies, there is a central for profit company behind the project.