The first Zcash client has been released, and is currently available as a command-line tool for Linux. Visit our download page to try it out. Please note that Zcash is based on peer-reviewed cryptographic research, but it is still an experimental technology. Join our community developer chat to follow ongoing development, or visit the technology page to learn more about the Zcash protocol.
In the event of a critical security vulnerability, we will post a notification on this website. In addition, our Twitter page will broadcast up-to-date information, and the Zcash client's built-in alert system may be activated. File an issue or email us to report any bugs.
What is Zcash?
Zcash is a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. The protocol was launched in October 2016 and is based on peer-reviewed cryptographic research, and built by a security-specialized engineering team on an open source platform based on Bitcoin Core's battle-tested codebase.
If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https. Zcash offers total payment confidentiality, while still maintaining a decentralized network using a public blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin, Zcash transactions can be shielded to hide the sender, recipient, and value of all transactions on the blockchain. Only those with the correct view key can see the contents. Users have complete control and can opt-in to provide others with their view key at their discretion. Zcash transactions do not depend on the cooperation of other parties.
The Zerocoin Electric Coin Company (ZECC) is the core maintainer of the Zcash protocol.
How does it work?
Zcash encrypts the contents of shielded transactions. Since the payment information is encrypted, the protocol uses a novel cryptographic method to verify their validity.
Zcash uses a zero-knowledge proof construction called a zk-SNARK, developed by our team of experienced cryptographers based on recent breakthroughs in cryptography. These constructions allow the network to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties or amounts involved. Instead of publicly demonstrating spend-authority and transaction values, the transaction metadata is encrypted and zk-SNARKs are used to prove that nobody is cheating or stealing.
Who is behind Zcash?
The scientists, advisors and engineers of ZECC developed and launched the Zcash protocol; this includes all of the authors of the Zerocash protocol, most of the creators of the Zerocoin protocol, and leading researchers of zk-SNARKs themselves.
Since Zcash is an open-source protocol, ZECC does not control it (including controlling the mining or distribution of it) or have special access to private or shielded transactions. Just like anyone else, ZECC only has the ability to see a private or shielded transaction if it is a party to that transaction or someone provides it with the correct view key. ZECC’s role in the ecosystem is to offer updates to the Zcash protocol which the public may choose to implement or ignore. ZECC does not sell, exchange, transmit, or retain custody of Zcash for consumers or the public at large.