In the game of anonymity, cryptocurrency fans have embraced Bitcoin and the blockchain technology which drives it. The technology does record and stamp the transaction, and is placed in the cloud, unlike Zcash, which sees its alpha release.
Zcash has coded a decentralized network using a public blockchain. He and his team, a group of cryptologists, computer science and information security academics, have launched the first public alpha release of the world’s best effort to date of untraceable digital money.
Wilcox’s Zcash, a “zero-knowledge proof” alternative to bitcoin, publishes its payments on a public blockchain, but the sender, recipient, and amount of a transaction remain private. It works like bitcoin with the guarantee of anti-forgery assurances. No one can counterfeit Zcash, or spend the same Zcash “coin” twice. But thanks to its “zero-knowledge feature”, any spender or receiver can also choose to keep their Zcash payment entirely secret.
The confidentiality is maintained through a decentralized network using a public blockchain in which Zcash user transactions will automatically hide the sender, the recipient and the value of all transactions on the blockchain. The control is in the user’s hands- or private keys.
Wilcox explains Zcash's zero-proof construction called zk-SNARK developed by his team and can deliver a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties or transaction values. The metadata of the transaction is encrypted and the zk-SNARK format prevents duplication, theft or cheating.
Can you begin transactions in Zcash? Wilcox told WIRED “that the data moving on the Zcash network doesn’t yet represent actual money, only a “test net” that’s designed to give Zcash a chance to iron out its bugs before anyone makes investments in the cryptocurrency.” He expects the “real launch” is probably six months away, at best forecast. There are bugs to work out and a more user-friendly set of commands to smooth out for the final product.
Zcash is designed for profit, and there are investors in this undertaking. The first four years will provide profit to Wilcox’ Zcash Company and his computers for the “mining” of Zcash. Long-term, Wilcox is creating a company to oversee the Zcash code and community maintenance which will receive one percent of proceeds and ten percent in the for-profit startup respectively.
Wilcox reports his early investors include entrepreneur Naval Ravikant, SecondMarket Founder, Barry Silbert, early bitcoin investor, Roger Ver.
Wilcox is confident in Zcash and has posted the code on GitHub for testers.
Featured image from Shutterstock.