This year, the demand for anonymous coins has grown significantly, allowing both the identity of the participants and the transaction amount to be hidden. ZCash is the second most capitalized confidential network with $1.4 billion. On May 11, the developers announced the upcoming update 5.0.0, which caused the coin to grow by 37% from the local minimum in the following days.
ZCash uses the zk-SNARK protocol, where transactions are encrypted, and zero-knowledge proof is responsible for the reliability of operations. It allows one participant to prove the truth of a statement to another without revealing any information beyond the statement itself. Simply put, it is not necessary to have all the information to carry out operations, and at the same time they will be checked to the proper extent.
In the first zero-disclosure protocols, participants had to make several rounds of information exchange to confirm the validity of the statement. Now one message is enough for this, the length of the proof itself is less than a kilobyte, and it takes several milliseconds to verify.
On May 31, NU5 will be updated at block 1 687 104, which includes the Orchard secure payment protocol and the Halo verification system. The update will open up the possibility of conducting confidential and reliable transfers on mobile phones. According to ZCash founder Bryce Wilcox, NU5 is a historic step for all mankind, as it translates zero–knowledge proof into general-purpose technology.
Zcash has a high degree of security and relies on the work of miners, just like Bitcoin.
However, Bitcoin is a public network, which can be used by attackers, tracking wallets with large transactions for subsequent identification of a potential victim. In addition, the sender may compromise himself in the case of transfers to “undesirable” persons. In ZCash, these risks are excluded.
In April of this year, it became known that one of the participants in the ZCash launch ceremony was Edward Snowden. As an ex-employee of the US NSA said: “free trade is impossible without a free currency, and it is ZCash that brings us closer to this ideal.”