Privacy has been a major focus for the cryptocurrency community in recent months, and many believe some of this year’s top gainers will be privacy coins. While there are a number of interesting privacy plays, like the small-cap Monero fork Sumokoin, we are on the lookout to find established platforms that are offering unique privacy options.
Meet ZenCash, a secure and private platform for money, messages, and media. An ambitious project with a strong R&D focus, ZenCash is building out a suite of features for its platform, all with an underlying element of privacy.
ZenCash is a fork of Zclassic (itself a fork of Zcash), but with a few distinct differences, namely: secure messaging, a voting and proposal system, and a 12% miners fee for the duration of the project. But what truly sets ZenCash apart, is its core team’s vision and platform roadmap.
Interested in ZenCash? Here’s a quick rundown of the project:
Platform & Development
The ZenCash platform has a number of functional elements:
ZenCash: Allows for easy transfer of value by using regular (T) and private (Z) addresses. While T addresses are like any other normal crypto address, Z addresses are shielded addresses that leverage zk-SNARKS technology to create anonymity in transactions.
ZenChat: Secure messaging system that works as a standalone product, or within the ZenChat wallet. Costs a minimal amount of ZEN to use, and is highly encrypted.
ZenPub: Gives users the ability to anonymously publish data, documents, and media in a way that is resistant to censorship. While this feature is not yet released, you can imagine the popularity of such an offering in multiple different fields, especially journalism and media.
ZenHide: A method of domain fronting to avoid censorship, where it works to communicate with a forbidden host while appearing to communicate with some other host, permitted by the censor. This feature is not yet released but could have massive implications in high-censorship parts of the world.
An integral part of the ZenCash system are the secure nodes, which make node communication appear like any other encrypted internet traffic. People who run a secure node earn a percent of each block reward. However, they must maintain a minimum of 42 ZEN, create and maintain a valid TLS certificate, have a server with sufficient processing capacity and memory to protect against DDoS attacks, maintain a full copy of the ZenCash blockchain, and operate the node at least 92% of the time in order to receive payouts. Currently, there are thousands of secure nodes in operation, and ZenCash is the first project to have node-to-node encryption.
ZenCash is a popular, profitable coin to mine with an NVIDIA GPU miner (Equihash algorithm). There are plenty of well-maintained mining pools, and the ZenCash community tends to be very helpful with any questions.
Here is the division of each PoW block reward and transaction fees between miners and other stakeholders:
- 88% to miners
- 5% to one or more DAOs
- 3.5% to Secure Node Operators
- 3.5% to the Core Team
R&D Partnership with IOHK
ZenCash has partnered with IOHK to explore various R&D projects, namely the creation of a protocol-level treasury model and a joint study on blockchain scalability. The goal of the treasury model is to create an inclusive, provably fair, and transparent economic system with incentives to participate. This research is being led by IOHK’s Prof. Roman Oliynykov.
Here are the details on the upcoming scalability study, as detailed on the ZenCash website:
— Scaling is a major problem in blockchain projects.
— Protocol upgrade enables high-volume rapid transactions across the network.
— Evaluating next-generation blockchain solutions and alternatives like Spectre.
— Radical usability! Unlimited scalability and instant transactions.
— IOHK will evaluate multiple protocol options and provide a recommendation and specifications to ZenCash by Q2 2018.
There was no ICO or pre-mine for ZenCash (ZEN). There are currently 3.3 million ZEN in circulation, with a max supply of 21 million. The current market cap is $135 million, which is relatively small when compared to other major privacy projects, including Monero ($4.7 billion), Zcash ($1.4 billion) and Zclassic ($330 million).
ZenCash offers the full-package for anyone looking for a unique privacy project. Given its relatively small market cap and ambitious roadmap, we definitely will be keeping an eye on ZenCash’s growth in 2018.
Disclaimer: The author(s) of this article may have a position in one or more of the securities mentioned above. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.