Zcash is a digital currency, or cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. (In fact, Zcash was built on the original Bitcoin code base.)

It was conceived by scientists at MIT, Johns Hopkins and other respected academic and scientific institutions.

You can use Zcash to buy goods and services — it's fast and confidential, great for payments — or you can exchange it for another kind of money, including US dollars, Euros or another fiat currency.

A major difference between most cryptocurrencies and traditional money is that every transaction is tracked and managed on a decentralized, public blockchain, instead of by a centralized institution, like a bank. This means you truly own your money.

Privacy within your control

Most cryptocurrencies expose your full transaction history and holdings to everyone, but shielded Zcash transactions are completely private.

Like Bitcoin, Zcash transaction data is posted to a public blockchain; but unlike Bitcoin, Zcash gives you the option of confidential transactions and financial privacy through shielded addresses. Zero-knowledge proofs allow transactions to be verified without revealing the sender, receiver or transaction amount. Selective disclosure features within Zcash allow a user to share some transaction details, for purposes of compliance or audit.

Zcash also allows for transparent transactions, which are completely interoperable with shielded addresses.

Bitcoin vs Zcash vs Credit card vs Cash

Bitcoin

Efficient

Attack- and censorship-resistant

Auditable

Not private

Zcash

Efficient

Attack- and censorship-resistant

Auditable with user permission

Private

Credit card

Efficient

Open to attack or censorship

Auditable with user permission

Limited privacy

Cash

Inefficient

Not secure

Not auditable

Private

Key Features

Efficient and usable

Use Zcash as a fast and reliable, inexpensive means to send money or digitally purchase goods and services. It is supported by top exchanges and wallets.

Audit- and regulation-friendly

Private addresses and transactions can be disclosed by Zcash users for information sharing, third-party audits or to comply with regulatory requirements.

Decentralized and attack-resistant

Zcash is decentralized and maintained by a wide network of people and machines, instead of a centralized entity, like a bank or government. There is no central database to be hacked and no single point of failure. There is no authority that can shut it down or prevent its use.

Private addresses & transactions

Privacy is built into the core of Zcash, allowing people to send and receive Zcash without disclosing the sender, receiver or the amount transacted. Privacy allows good people to transact safely over digital mediums. Transparent addresses and transactions are also available.

Why privacy is important

Privacy is necessary for ensuring freedom on the internet. When your transactions are being watched — or when your transaction history is available to be known — a person isn't free to make their own decisions. With other digital currencies, bad actors are able to match people to their balances and details about parties involved, amounts and trends.

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