Horizen project purpose and description
What Is ZenCash?
One of the main goals of developing cryptocurrencies was to advance the notion of privacy when sending value. When Bitcoin was launched in 2009, it was targeted at helping people get the anonymity they were anticipating for. But this anonymity has become elusive for Bitcoin and other networks.
One cryptocurrency that helped to address the issue is ZenCash. While its features are indeed very impressive, it has been rocking the headlines for the wrong reasons. In June 2018, ZenCash suffered from 51% attack when a hacker gained access and manipulated the blocks forcing it to accept fraudulent blocks.
This post is a comprehensive evaluation of ZenCash to understand how it works and the key problems it addressed.
- A closer look at the ZenCash history
The cryptocurrency was released in May 2017 by Ron Vigilione by forking another coin referred to as Zclassic. The primary goal of creating ZenCash was to help improve the concept of anonymity in the blockchain networks.
A total of 21 million ZenCash coins (ZEC) were created. Note that there was no mining or ICO for releasing the coin. Instead, ZenCash was released through airdrops to all Zclassic holders on a ratio of 1:1. This model helped to grow the ZenCash community instead of working from scratch. For example, it helped to kick-start the value of the coin at a good rate in the market.
- ZenCash price in the market
The price of ZenCash in the market has been impressive. When it entered into the market, the value of ZEC was $10.75. However, it rose steadily to $16.67 in the first week buoyed by the large community of Zclassic crypto. Then, the price sank to $3.29 by August before starting a steady rise that culminated to $65 on 10th January 2018. This was the highest mark in its history.
After hitting a peak in early January 2018, the value has been moving up and down and settled around $14 by early November. The most notable thing about ZenCash is that its price has been dropping and picking immediately even as others such as ECC coin and Loopring took a steady decline.
The community is optimistic that the special focus on anonymity by ZenCash is likely to attract a large community as more people start running away from networks that can expose them to third-party seizures. For example, Coinbase exchange shocked people in March 2018 when it reported that it would sharing with tax authorities in the United States all the accounts that had transacted more than $20,000.
What is the problem that ZenCash Solves?
ZenCash is a cryptocurrency on a mission to seal gaps that have been created by other coins and issues depicted by the conventional financial services. Here are some of the issues that the crypto addresses.
- Lack of privacy in financial transactions
When you think of a financial transaction, the personal anticipation is that account balance, personal details, and transaction history are kept anonymous. But this is never the case. Here are two scenarios that demonstrate most financial transactions are not private.
One, a banking institution is regulated by local authorities that require sharing of financial info for planning purposes. But this is not all. The banking system allows cashiers, bank management and political administrations to access your personal details.
Two, most of the blockchain networks are not as private as people anticipate. Take the case of Bitcoin. Though Bitcoin was all along thought to be completely private, many people have ended up with a lot of disappointment. Bitcoin only uses pseudonyms that make it easy to follow various transactions from an account to know the holder.
- The high cost of sending value
The cost of sending value from a conventional bank or credit card is very high. The cost of high because the organizations are run as profit based firms. For example, every banking company announcing the reports of its books will explain how high or low the profits it managed to rake were incurred. The organizations will go to any length to optimize profit.
The financial services also charge a high fee because they need to meet their expenses. Most of them have rented premises, staff to pay, and complex management platform to maintain. Part of the money to run the entire banking system is raised through transaction fees.
- Limited adoption of blockchain solutions into the community
Though the blockchain technology has been making inroads into the society, the process is very slow. A lot of businesses are yet to adopt the blockchain technology because of the complex process of creating new coins, running an ICO or facilitating crypto related payment.
How Does ZenCash Solve The Problem?
ZenCash stands out from other cryptocurrency networks because of its team’s ability to study the market and position the system to address emerging issues. Here are some of the methods used by ZenCash to address the above issues.
- Complete decentralization
Most of the noted problems can be addressed through decentralization. ZenCash has stood out from others by operating as a completely decentralized system. This implies that when users run transactions, they bypass the conventional baking system because operations are completed on a peer2peer basis.
To send funds or run other transactions, the only thing that one needs is being in the ZenCash platform and having ample coins. Then, your funds will be relayed to the targeted recipient in seconds no matter the location.
- ZK-snarks (zero-knowledge proofs)
This is a cryptographic construction that investigates the extent of formal logic in solving tricky problems. The adoption of zero-knowledge proofs was adopted at ZenCash when it was discovered that analyzing cash flow patterns and tracking can be used to de-anonymize transactions.
At Zcash and ZenCash, the technology is used in a manner that one party (prover) can prove to another party (verifier) that they know a specific value (X). This is done without conveying any details apart from the fact that the fact that he knows the value of X.
The essence of using zero-knowledge proofs is that proving that one posses knowledge of specific info by revealing it is trivial. This implies that once you have run a transaction, there will be no way that one can use the past transactions to follow and know the source or the target.
- A system of nodes that help to keep the system decentralized, secure, reliable and affordable
Unlike the standard cryptocurrencies, the ZenCash categorizes the nodes to ensure that all operations are decentralized and secure. For example, the masternodes help to secure the network and facilitate faster transactions. It also supports decentralized governance.
The system of supernodes supports the ZenCash multi-layered architecture to help store information about the status of the masternodes and secure nodes.
- A system of advanced operational features
These additional features are designed to help make ZenCash more appealing and valuable to users. ZenChat is a unique feature on the ZenCash protocol that allows users to communicate in an encrypted manner within the ZenCash system. The messages are limited to 512 characters.
ZenPub is a unique feature created to help users operate in total anonymity. The target of the feature is to completely blanket user operations from authorities to avoid third-party seizures. The feature hides the users through Domain Fronting by connecting the user to a content data network (CDN).
What makes ZenCash better than it’s competitors?
The entry of ZenCash into the crypto world caused discomfort among other networks because of the special focus on anonymity. Here are some of the things that make ZenCash better than competitors.
- The ZenCash network allows users to operate in total anonymity
ZenCash use of advanced technology such as zero-knowledge proofs has helped to ensure that transactions are completely anonymous. This implies that you no longer have to worry about that the bank management or political leadership will access your financial history.
- It is one of the few networks that users can use without worrying about third-party seizures
The ZenPub feature takes the ZenCash anonymity to another level by helping operators hide from authorities. This feature is likely to make ZenCash very attractive at a time when many governments are following crypto operators to know about people’s tax compliance. With ZenPub, it is now easy to mine, act as a master node, or even send value on the ZenCash even if your country is hostile about cryptos.
- Sending value on the network is fast and cheap
By running as a completely decentralized platform, ZenCash users operate on a peer2peer basis. This means that the profit-seeking organizations are bypassed to ensure that transactions are cheaper and faster. Because the value of ZenCash coins is lower than that of BTC, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash among other top coins, the cost of sending value is also relatively low.
- The network is led by a highly enthusiastic team
The ZenCash development team is made of committed professionals who stop at nothing in ensuring that the network moves on to the next level. From the tie that the team forked ZenCash from Zclassic, they have been working on new features and helping the network to grow.
Even after introducing the impressive features, the team has now opted to change ZenCash to a new name referred to as Horizon. The rebranding is expected to come with key features such as decentralized exchange, decentralized banking service, and governance-as-a-service.
How can ZenCash be categorized?
ZenCash is a truly private crypto network that has demonstrated total commitment to helping people enjoy optimal anonymity in their financial transactions. By delinking the transaction trails, no third party can easily know about the source of a transaction or the respective users.
What’s ZenCash’s vision on Security?
The ZenCash vision on security is to ensure that users can enjoy running private transactions without worrying of attacks. The main features and strategies used to keep the ZenCash network secure include regular updates, advanced encryption, and equihash mining algorithm.
Even with this commitment, the ZenCash system has recently suffered 51% attack. This is an important indicator that no technology can be 100% secure. Therefore, it is very important to ensure you invest in cryptocurrencies wisely. For example, consider spreading your investment to ZenCash and other top coins such as Monero and Ripple.
Examples of ZenCash’s use cases / applications
The unique design of ZenCash that target to deliver optimal anonymity has made the coin one of the most preferred options in the market today. More people prefer it to avoid falling in the wrong side of authorities especially tax services. Here are some of the main ZenCash use cases.
- Use ZenCash to make direct purchase for goods and services in the market. Like other coins such as Bitcoin or Ripple, ZEN can be used to make direct payment to stores that support it.
- You can use ZEN to trade in the markets. These are crypto exchanges that operate like the standard forex markets but deal with digital coins. When trading in the markets, it is important to be extra careful because they are centralized and run under the local laws. This implies that they collect user details that can still be used to identify you. To operate in complete anonymity, consider trading in decentralized exchanges.
- Use ZEN to pay for taxes and other utilities. If you are a resident in a jurisdiction such as Arizona that supports cryptocurrencies, you are allowed to pay for taxes with ZEC. Arizona allowed residents to pay taxes using digital coins after passing HB 1091 in April 2018.
- Use ZenCash to save money and invest in cryptocurrencies. You can buy ZenCash coins and hold them as a store of value over a specific period. Note that investing in ZEC could help raise your money value if the value of the coin goes up. The community anticipates that the value of ZEC will grow in the coming years because of its aggressive team and unique features
Note that though the anticipation is that the value will go up, no one can say with certainty. The prediction is based on market speculation. However, the actual movement will depend on emerging factors such as regulations and competition.