ShapeShift, the cryprtocurrency exchange, has integrated the decentralized, consumer privacy-focused digital asset, Zcash – ZEC – onto its platform. Customers are now able to buy or sell Zcash instantly with bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and dozens of other digital assets.
The Zcash asset focusses heavily on consumer privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Zcash’s cryptography has the ability to hide the sender, recipient, and value of all transactions on the blockchain, offering payment confidentiality. The Zcash protocol gives another level of value to blockchains for which discretion of customer details is highly valued; including fintech, healthcare and retail.
Founder and CEO of ShapeShift, Erik Voorhees remarked: “Zcash finally fulfills an early promise of bitcoin technology – the ability to transact freely and privately with anyone in the world. This protects the right to privacy held by all individuals on Earth, and opens up new commercial use cases which were impossible without truly confidential transactions.”
The system uses type of zero-knowledge proof called a zk-SNARK. zk-SNARKs allow the blockchain network to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties or amounts involved in transactions. Instead of publicly listing spend-authority and transaction values, the transaction metadata is encrypted and zk-SNARKs are used to prove that users are spending value they actually possess.
Zcash CEO, Zooko Wilcox explained: “Zcash is a group of scientists and techies who came up with a way to combine blockchains with data security. These two things are well understood, important, and widely used, but have never been put together before now. The launch of the Zash protocol is the first of its kind. It is the accumulation of years of academic research, hard engineering work, and diligent security work.”
The ZEC genesis block was mined on October 28th, 2016. A Linux-based daemon and command-line tool is available through the Zcash core development team for users wishing to purchase ZEC, with both community-hosted and pre-established wallets available. This news follows a similar announcement that Jaxx would integrate ZCash with its blockchain wallet.