Zcash FAQ’s

Zcash FAQ’s

Frequently asked Questions

A list of topics with the most frequently asked questions about Zcash. For troubleshooting the Zcash client, please see troubleshooting documentation.

What is Zcash?

Zcash is a digital currency with fast and confidential with low fees. Privacy is the central feature of Zcash. It has pioneered the use zero-knowledge proofs to protect users information by encrypting all transactions. There are several wallets you can download for instant, mobile, secure & private payments.

How can I acquire Zcash?

You can buy ZEC from cryptocurrency exchanges. You can also purchase Zcash directly from another person in a peer-to-peer way. Use caution when exchanging with services and individuals that you are not familiar with. You can also acquire Zcash by mining Zcash.

What is the difference between Zcash & other cryptocurrencies?

Zcash is fundamentally more private than other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Zcash supports fast block times (75 seconds), low fees and has regular upgrade schedules, which means this protocol is highly adaptable. A key feature is optional yet highly secure privacy.

Users are able to select whether a transaction is made on the Transparent or Shielded part of the blockchain. For more information see here

How is the Zcash protocol governed?

The protocol is governed by the Zcash Improvement Proposal process. The ZIP process provides an open venue and structure for collectively evaluating changes to Zcash.

Anyone can submit a draft ZIP. Draft ZIPs are debated by the community at large, then accepted or rejected by the ZIP editors.

Currently there are two ZIP editors — Daira Hopwood represents the Electric Coin Company & Deirdre Connolly represents the Zcash Foundation.

Decisions from the ZIP process are written into the Zcash specification, as well as the software that runs the network. The changes are “ratified” on-chain when the majority of the network adopts the upgrade and doesn’t break consensus.

Where is my Transaction?

First read our article on block explorers. Then check with Zcash block explorer noting that all transactions expire by default after ~25 minutes/20 blocks and funds are returned to the original sending address.

If your transaction expires, the best thing to do is to try your transaction again with some possible modifications.

There may be various reasons why your transaction is not included in a block:

  • Loss of connectivity
  • Transaction fee too low
  • Network overload
  • Too many transparent inputs (transaction size too large)

We suggest trying your transaction again with:

  • Try again with a better connection
  • Use the standard fee
  • Try again later, or increase the fee for high priority transactions
  • Use a minimal amount of inputs to limit the size, or increase the fee for large transactions

Is Zcash really Private?

Yes, Zcash enables complete privacy for users by encrypting sender, amount and recipient data within single-signature transactions published to its public blockchain ledger, specifically for transactions involving shielded addresses.

Zcash does not: encrypt data for multi-signature transactions (pending integration of FROST) or protect against correlations made with public transparent transactions (for example, when Zcash is traded to/from another cryptocurrency) nor does it obfuscate IP addresses.

Further reading here: A Shielded Ecosystem

A few common misconceptions

  • Is Zcash a centralized coin?
  • No, there is a trademark agreement in place prevents the Zcash Foundation or the ECC from taking any action contrary to the clear consensus of the Zcash community.

    Clear consensus is determined through community polling within and outside of the Community Advisory Panel, a group of ~90 volunteers with extensive interest or knowledge of the Zcash ecosystem.

    Here Messari Research details the proven history of decentralized governance and community driven decision making of Zcash: https://messari.io/report/decentralizing-zcash

    The merits of on-chain voting and coin holder voting has been discussed for a possible future proof of stake mechanism. It has been used by the Zcash community before see here.

    Projects such as the Zcash Foundation A/V club and ZecHub allow for diverse participation & contribution from community members or individuals interested in producing quality content asynchronously with opportunities to earn non-KYC ZEC.

    For information on the main Zcash Organizations + the roles on each orgs’ team see here.

    To learn exactly how the Dev Fund is divided between the main organizations see here.

  • Does Zcash have a Backdoor?
  • No, neither Zcash nor any other cryptographic algorithms or software we’ve made contains a backdoor, and they never will.

  • Is Zcash controlled by a corporation?
  • Incorrect. While Zcash has partnered with large companies and banks for research and outreach programs we remain committed to achieving its goal of economic freedom & resiliency through decentralization.

    Zcash has several organizations that retain a level of autonomy & therefore are not beholden to any single party. Instead, work together to promote self-custody of assets, funding independent node implementations and leading in regulatory education related to defending digital privacy and protecting human rights.

  • Zcash has limited privacy compared to other privacy coins
  • No, the privacy gained from a privacy coin like Monero or Grin/Litecoin is primarily reliant on it’s use of decoys that obfuscate the source and destination of transactions. Transaction graph data is still accessible.

    If an adversary were to spend enough time & resources monitoring the chain this type of privacy can be defeated. Zcash encrypts all transaction data so the same method of attack would not work. All transactions are indistinguishable within a shielded pool.

    There is no perfect solution particularly if any given adversary has access to significant time and resources such as AI neural networks. We have specified the (growing) circumstances in which it might be more beneficial to use a zero-knowledge solution versus a decoy-based one. Read more