The most famous Zcash fan is Edward Snowden, the man who exposed the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs. Snowden is so enamoured of Zcash that he has started tweeting about it, Fossbytes reported.
“Agree. Zcash's privacy tech makes it the most interesting Bitcoin alternative. Bitcoin is great, but if it's not private, it's not safe." Snowden Tweeted from his Russian exile on 28 September 2017. Snowden was agreeing with a Tweet from Silicon Valley executive Mason Borda.
“Zcash is the only altcoin (that I know of) designed and built by professional and academic cryptographers,” Borda Tweeted. “Hard to ignore.”
Borda is a cryptocurrency infrastructure and security expert, who is currently working as Vice President of Token Operations at Doc.AI in San Francisco. He is also the creator of the Etherli, the world’s first multi-signature Ethereum wallet.
What is All the Zcash excitement about?
Privacy and cryptocurrency experts such as Snowden and Borda like Zcash, because it has extra layers of encryption not found in popular altcoins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Zcash employs the “zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive ARgument of Knowledge” or zk-SNARK protocol, an advanced form of zero-knowledge cryptography in its blockchain. The hope is that zk-SNARK enables people to verify the existence and possession of currency or secrets without revealing any details of it.
Zcash Might be more fungible than Other
Zcash has another attribute that might increase its value as an investment. It is designed to be more fungible than other cryptocurrencies currently on the market.
When an asset is fungible it is supposed to be totally interchangeable. That means one coin of Zcash is supposed to be able to take the place of any other Zcash unit. If this is true it makes Zcash somewhat like gold, every ounce of 14-karat gold is interchangeable with every other ounce of that metal. Likewise, every U.S. dollar in the world is interchangeable with every other greenback. That makes both gold and American dollar fungible investments, which are very easy to trade on exchanges.
Despite that, there are some drawbacks to Zcash as an investment. There are currently no Zcash debit cards available online - making it difficult to use as a currency. A number of debit cards that convert Bitcoin, Ethereum and DASH are currently on the market. That gives those currencies a potential for widespread acceptance that Zcash currently lacks.
Zcash Trading Expands
The lack of credit and debit card connectivity is not stopping some major companies from recognizing the potential of Zcash.
CEX.IO, a major cryptocurrency exchange based in the United Kingdom, launched trading of Zcash on 2 October 2017. Four trading pairs utilizing the popular altcoin are being offered - Zcash/US Dollar, (ZEC/USD), Zcash/Pound (ZEC/GBP), Zcash/Euro (ZEC/EUR) and Zcash/Bitcoin (ZEC/BTC).
The addition of Zcash at CEX.IO is an important step - because CEX.IO is a cryptocurrency exchange that operates all over the world. It serves more than a million customers around the globe and offers payouts in Visa, MasterCard, and bank transfers to select countries - in addition to Bitcoin payments.
Dramatic Price Fluctuations
Back in November 2016, a unit of Zcash was traded at $1,984.08 USD (2.8682 BTC). That price fell to $48.37 USD (.0494 BTC) in January 2017, but rose to $298.83 USD (.0714 BTC) in September 2017. By 4 October 2017 that price had fallen to $243.69 USD (.0573 BTC).
These price fluctuations might make Zcash the perfect cryptocurrency for traders. Its inherent instability may be a boon for those using some investment strategies.
Major Cryptocurrency Exchange Adds Zcash
CEX.IO is currently one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges based in the English-speaking world to offer Zcash trading. CEX.IO is based in the City of London - one of the world’s great financial centres.
It is fully regulated and licensed, which adds a level of respectability that traders prefer. This makes it easy for CEX.IO to connect with the world’s banking system and offer its trading services and cryptocurrency wallet worldwide.
The acceptance of Zcash by a major exchange like CEX.IO may further increase trading volumes and interest in the altcoin. That might lead to more volatility in the market and more opportunities for traders.
Another benefit CEX.IO adds to Zcash is increased respectability and prominence. The currency has been obscure and ignored by traders, largely because it was formerly a niche altcoin. Its presence on CEX.IO is likely to attract mainstream traders and investors, and increase value.
Many investors have avoided Zcash because it was only traded on open-source decentralized exchanges. Decentralized are characterized by lax security, lack of regulation, high fees, and low prices. All of which deter traders that are interested in making a high profit.
As a centralized exchange CEX.IO offers a higher level of security, regulation, lower fees, and the potential for higher prices. It can also provide amenities that decentralized exchanges cannot such as MasterCard and Visa deposits and withdrawals, bank transfers, fast conversion of funds into fiat currencies, and instant payoffs or withdrawals.
An added benefit from CEX.IO’s decision to offer Zcash trading might be to encourage other exchanges to offer trades in the currency. Such expansion of trading venues may increase Zcash’s market volume and volatility - which may lead to more interest from traders.
Interest in Zcash is growing
Interest in Zcash is certainly increasing - the currency’s market capitalization reached $563.198 million (133,343 BTC), on 4 October 2017.
Trading volume for Zcash is also very impressive - $25.968 million (6,148 BTC) worth of ZEC changed hands in 24 hours between 3 October and 4 October 2017. There’s also plenty of opportunity for future trading - there was a circulating supply of 2.325 million Zcash coins on 4 October 2017.
It looks as if Zcash is fast becoming a popular cryptocurrency with traders. All that remains for Zcash to become a major altcoin is for it to be accepted by merchants and consumers.
As an expert on Bitcoin-related topics, I've found myself as a Journalist at Cex.io - cryptocurrency exchange. I'm working on articles related to blockchain security, bitcoin purchase guides or bitcoin regulations in different countries.
Mary Ann Callahan, Blockchain and Bitcoin Expert/Consultant, Freelance Journalist, Cex.io
Mary Ann Callahan was born in Madrid, Spain. She is an expert in Bitcoin and Blockchain-related topics. Her experience has spanned across the high technology and data worlds for more than a decade, as well as many other industries, from her current work as a Journalist and Blockchain authority/consultant at Cex.io, a cryptocurrency exchange, to work at Social Media Marketing Manager at Boston Globe Media, and within the Morrison & Foerster LLP. She holds a B.S in Economics from Yale University, and a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. She has written on many technical topics, especially related to Blockchain security, Bitcoin regulations for many different countries, and related purchase and help guides.