What is Zcoin?
Zcoin, also referred to as XZC or Zerocoin, is an open source decentralized cryptocurrency that provides privacy and anonymity for its users when making transactions.
To achieve its privacy and anonymity, Zcoin uses zero-knowledge proofs via the Zerocoin protocol, which is at this moment in time one of the most cited cryptography papers.
According to Wikipedia, in cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof or zero-knowledge protocol is a method in which one party proves to another party (the verifier) that a given statement is actually true.
In other words, in a transaction with Bitcoin or Ethereum or something similar, your transaction history is always linked to your coins by default, leaving you vulnerable. All it takes is one link to your personal information or IP to find out the origin of the coins.
However, when you trade with Zcoin’s Zercoin feature, your transaction history is not linked to the actual coins. Only the receiver and sender know that the funds have actually been exchanged.
How Does Zcoin Work?
Zcoin works on the Zerocoin protocol by enforcing Zero-knowledge proofs. Here are the components of Zcoin to explain how it works.
Mint: When sending a private transaction with Zcoin, all you need to do is select the number of coins you want to mint. Post that your normal Zcoin balance would reduce automatically and you will be credited with new coins and no transaction history. In essence, your old coins are burned cryptographically, which prevents anyone else from using them again and being directed to your transaction history. You get credited with new coins with no history, while the total supply is maintained.
For now, you can only mint in denominations of 1, 10, 25, 50 and 100. If you choose ‘100’ coins to be minted, for instance, you will instantly be credited with 100 new Zcoins with no history attached to them.
- Spend: When you want to make a private transaction, you will be required to use these ‘100’ newly minted coins. From this pool of funds, you can now send any amount in any denomination to anyone anonymously because no history is attached to it.
- Repeat: You can ‘mint’ and ‘send’ Zcoins any number of times at anytime with your privacy intact.
Zcoin seeks to improve things that Bitcoin hasn’t been able to so far, some of which include fungibility, privacy and miner’s centralization.
Users of Zcoin can enjoy full fungibility and privacy along with demolishing miner’s centralization by implementing a better proof of work algorithm called MTP.
Total Zcoin supply
Only 21 million units of Zcoin will ever be produced. Currently, there are about 3.4 million units in circulation, with the rest yet to be mined.
But the total supply has increased by 388450 XZC units after a Zcoin code bug, which the team refused to roll back due to economic reasons, which is why the total supply stands at approximately 21.4 million.
Every 10 minutes, a Zcoin block is mined and 50 coins are generated, making 72,000 Zcoins per day.
Market cap of Zcoin
According to CoinMarketCap, the total circulating supply of Zcoin is 5,757,841 XZC and the current unit price is $9.6. That makes the market cap approximately $55 million.
How To Buy Zcoin Cryptocurrency
If you are looking to get some Zcoin, here is a list of resources where it can be bought from.
- Atomars — Supported pairs are XZC/BTC, XZC/ETH, XZC/USDT
- Binance — Supported pairs are XZC/BTC, XZC/ETH, XZC/BNB
- Huobi — Supported pairs are XZC/BTC, XZC/ETH
- Bittrex — Supported pairs are XZC/BTC
- Cryptopia — Supported pairs are XZC/BTC, XZC/LTC, XZC/DOGE
- CoinExchange — Supported pairs are XZC/BTC
- LiteBit.eu — Supported pairs are XZC/EUR
Note: At the moment, buying XZC in fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, or GBP is quite difficult.
Zcash is a decentralized and open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that provides strong privacy protections. It was created as a fork of Bitcoin and, like bitcoin, it also has a hard limit of 21 million coins. Unlike bitcoin, however, Zcash offers total privacy for its users maintaining the absolute anonymity behind each transaction along with the parties and the amounts involved in it.
PIVX, which stands for Private Instant Verified Transaction, is an open-source, decentralized form of digital online money that uses blockchain technology. This makes it easy to transfer all around the world in an instant with low transaction fees with market leading security & privacy. PIVX focuses on privacy, security, anonymity, and instant transactions.
Monero is a fast, private, secure and untraceable digital currency system that uses a special kind of cryptography to keep all its transactions 100% unlinkable and untraceable. With Monero, you are your own bank. You can spend safely, knowing that others cannot see your balances or track your activity.
Some Zcoin misconceptions
There are some misconceptions regarding Zcoin:
- Some believe that, since Zcoin has a trusted setup that allows indefinite minting of coins, it is not safe. This is untrue. Of course, to start with they had to use a trusted setup because they have an auditable total coin supply that prevents any form of cheating. This downside however, is being taken care of by removing this trusted setup in the near future and when that happens, Zcoin will be one of the serious coins to count on for privacy.
- Zcoin has been considered as Zcash’s fork but that is also not true because Zcash is based on the Zerocash protocol whereas Zcoin was started from scratch by applying Zerocoin tech.
Now that some of the Zcoin’s misconceptions have been cleared, here’s a look into its future.
Zcoin’s Future & Roadmap
Zcoin’s future is quite promising and worth watching based on these interesting milestones on their roadmap:
- Zcoin is the first coin to implement MTP proof of work, which makes it possible for general masses to mine Zcoin with GPUs and CPUs. MTP doesn’t allow costly ASIC-like miners to mine XZC coins.
- Zcoin is also implementing Znodes to make their cryptocurrency more decentralized and anonymous. These Znodes will be like masternodes and facilitate anonymous transactions as making an anonymous transaction single-handedly is quite computational.
- Znodes will be incentivized by reducing some portion of the founder’s reward. Also, the surplus funds that get generated from the founder’s reward reduction would be used for hiring new developers and increased marketing efforts.
- Another agenda on their roadmap is to bring inbuilt Tor or some IP obfuscation mechanism that will make it completely anonymous.
- Apart from these, some innovative and exciting things like sigma protocol, decentralized anonymous voting and Zcoin Labs are on their roadmap, making this project worth checking out.
- Last but not least, its recent price is a good indicator of its healthy market sentiment and shows that there are people who understand this project’s worth. Just to put things into perspective — a unit of Zcoin was priced $2 in March 2017 and now it is $37.
Zcoin Team & Progress
Zerocoin is a cryptocurrency proposed by professor Matthew D. Green, a professor of Johns Hopkins University, and graduate students Ian Miers and Christina Garman. It was proposed as an extension to the Bitcoin protocol that would add true cryptographic anonymity to Bitcoin transactions.
Zerocoin was first implemented into a fully functional cryptocurrency and released to the public by Poramin Insom, the lead developer, as Zcoin in September 2016.
Some of the notable dev members of the team are listed below.
Founder and Core Developer
Poramin Insom created what was the world’s 4th most valuable cryptocurrency in February 2014. He is also the world’s first person to implement stealth addresses in QT-Wallets, improving cryptocurrency anonymity. He earned a master’s degree in Information Security from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote a paper on a proposed practical implementation of the Zerocoin protocol.
Alexander N. aka Aizensou is a full-stack developer who has experience in many programming languages (C++, C#, Python, Perl, Java etc.) and has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since 2013. He has a broad development portfolio from low level APIs in Python and C++ to Android native applications in Java. In addition to his involvement in cryptocurrencies, Alexander was doing his P.h.D. in machine learning at a German university from 2012 to 2016.
Saran Siriphantnon is the CTO of Satang.co/Satoshift, a fintech company focusing on creating an open financial system for Southeast Asia. He served as President of the Computer System Administrator Group at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang.
Tadhg Riordan is a 24 year old Software Developer from Wexford, Ireland. He recently completed his MSc from Trinity College Dublin, where he worked with Blockchain privacy mechanisms, focusing particularly on Zero-Knowledge Proofs and the Ethereum platform. He is a strong advocate for the adoption of cryptocurrency and for complete financial privacy.
Apart from these, their team comprises of other developers, community managers, support personnel and advisors who maintain the required balance.
Aram Jivanyan (Cryptography Advisor): Co-Founder at Skycryptor & KMSchai
Torphop Korgtadam (It Security Consultant): Senior Vice President, Head Of Internal Audit Strategy, Innovation and Decision Science at United Overseas Bank Limited
Alexander N. aka Aizensou (Advisor)
Unique/Key Features Against Its Competitors:
- Anonymous transactions. The project establishes a notably higher level of anonymity and seeks to bypass current analysis techniques which governments use to reveal the identity of users.
- Not subject to transaction graph analysis. Zcoin has an anonymity set that encompasses all minted coins in a particular RSA accumulator that can scale to many thousands.
- Innovative process. Tokens are burned cryptographically and replaced with new coins without a transaction history. This actively prevents anyone else from using the tokens again and stops the public from being directed to a user’s transaction history.
- Transparency focused. Zcoin’s main advantage is its auditable money supply.