Zcash Library

Zcash Library

Key Terms & Definitions related to Zcash


Instead of creating several individual proofs for each Spend and Output, Orchard protocol merges them into a single ‘Actions’.
Zcash has Shielded (Z/zaddr) & Transparent (T/taddr) addresses. Unified addresses (UA) are phasing in to replace Z & T following the NU5 upgrade.
Arborist Call:
A Bi-Monthly call around Protocol & Research development updates. Register here: 15:00 UTC / 22:30 UTC/ Notes
Enables users (more specifically their wallets) to automatically move funds from a transparent address to the latest shielded ZEC pool.


Miners are able to submit metrics on the efficiency of various hardware used to mine Zcash. Available to view here
A Block is a record in the Zcash blockchain that contains a set of transactions sent on the network. Roughly every 75 seconds, on average, a new block is appended to the blockchain.
Block Explorer:
An online tool to view all transactions, past and current, on the blockchain. They provide useful information such as network hashrate and transaction growth. Zcash Block Explorer
The 3rd Major Network Upgrade for Zcash. More Info


The 5th Major Network Upgrade for Zcash. More Info
Commitment Scheme:
Allows a committer to commit to a polynomial with a short string that can be used by a verifier to confirm claimed evaluations of the committed polynomial. Useful for reducing communication costs in the Zcash protocol.
Cypherpunk Zero:
A Creative Universe & collaborative effort between ECC, illustrator Stranger Wolf, Mighty Jaxx and select ecosystem partners. Consisting of a forthcoming series of webcomics, NFTs and physical collectibles, the project explores the relationship between privacy, self-sovereignty and creative freedom. Cypherpunk Zero Site / Opensea Collection


Projects integrating ZEC with DeFi: RenBridge / ZeroDAO
Refers to a transaction being sent from a zaddr(shielded address) to a taddr(transparent address). The origin of the transaction is not visible however the funds enter a publicly visible value pool. Transaction Anatomy
Developer Resources:


The Electric Coin Company, the team behind the Zcash protocol, previously known as the Zcash Company.
Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm is a cryptographically secure digital signature scheme. The ECDSA sign/verify algorithm relies on elliptic curve point multiplication.
Learning oriented videos explaining Zcash here
Encrypted Memos:
An additional field for transactions sent to shielded addresses that is visible to the recipient of a payment. The encrypted memo is visible only the to the sender and recipient, unless the viewing key or payment disclosure gets shared with a third party.
The memory-oriented proof-of-work mining algorithm that is used on Zcash.
The Calendar of Zcash related Events here


A technique for taking an interactive proof of knowledge and creating a digital signature based on it. This way, some fact (eg, knowledge of a secret) can be publicly proven without revealing underlying information.
Founders Reward:
The Founder reward represents 20% of the total block reward and it’s deducted from every block’s value and transparently distributed to drive protocol development & growth.
A tool for anonymous content and private donations powered by Zcash Free2z
Flexible Round-Optimized Schnorr Threshold signature scheme. FROST is designed to reduce the interaction between participants who jointly own a private signing key and wish to use this private key to sign a message (in the case of Zcash, FROST will be used to sign transactions from joint owners of a signing key). Research Paper


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. Full Protocol History


Enables circuit upgrades without the need for trusted setups, making the Zcash shielded protocol more agile for future improvements and extensions, see unified addresses/user defined assets. Technical Explainer
HD Wallet:
Hierarchical deterministic wallets generate a series of key pairs from one seed, providing convenience and manageability as well as high-level security. Zcash wallets enable several shielded public keys to be created from the root private key within a wallet.
The 4th Major Network Upgrade of Zcash. More Info


CoinDesk’s ZCX Index represents a real-time, USD-equivalent spot rate for Zcash. The index value is algorithmically calculated once every second based on observed trading activity on leading Zcash exchanges. Price Index
You can accept Zcash payments through a number of 3rd party providers Payment Processors
Interactive Proof System:
An abstract machine that models computation as the exchange of messages between two parties: a Prover and a Verifier. The parties interact by exchanging messages.
A number of Financial options are available for institutional investors or family offices who want to gain exposure to Zcash. Full list of Custodians/Investment Vehicles/Trading Firms here


An elliptic curve designed to be efficiently implementable in zk-SNARK circuits.



Refers to a base network and its underlying infrastructure. Layer-1 blockchains can validate and finalize transactions without the need for another network. Zcash is an L1 blockchain.
A Rust workspace containing all crates & dependencies for working with Zcash. repo
A stateless server that serves light clients with blockchain information. It fetches blockchain data from zcashd, processes them to reduce data, and stores it in a database. This allows light clients to get relevant data without interacting with zcashd directly. Lightwalletd


Network metrics are available here
Data that is generated alongside a users Zcash transaction. This can include block height, transaction version or expiry height etc.
Mobile SDK:
A lightweight SDK that connects Android to Zcash, allowing third-party Android apps to send and receive shielded transactions. Github
The process where for each block, nodes in the Zcash network compete by doing complex mathematical calculations to find a solution based on a self-adjusting difficulty. Zcash miners are rewarded with both the transaction fees of the transactions they confirm and block rewards. Guide
An address which requires multiple private key signatures in order to spend funds. This is a security mechanism to protect against theft or loss of a private key. Currently, multisig functionality is only supported by transparent addresses.


A Mobile wallet for Zcash - Website
The 6th Major Network Upgrade for Zcash. More Info


Orchard Shielded Pool:
The third shielded pool for Zcash and represents the continued evolution of our zk-SNARK technology stack. Full details
The 1st Network Upgrade for Zcash. More Info


It is possible to use Zcash for everyday purchases through a number of different payment providers; Payment Apps
Peer-to-Peer Network:
P2P networks are based on the concept of decentralization. The foundational architecture of blockchain technology. Enabling users to transfer cryptocurrency across the globe without needing an intermediary or allow for a user to join the network as a node/verifier.
Proof-of-Stake (PoS):
Consensus Mechanism by which participants stake cryptocurrency to validate transactions. PoS is the main alternative to energy intensive proof-of-work mining. Zcash is formulating approaches for a future transition to PoS. ECC PoS Overview


The development team working to build & integrate the Zcash Shielded Assets protocol


Recursive Proofs:
A proof that verifies the correctness of another instance of itself, allowing any amount of computational effort and data to produce a short proof that can be checked quickly, compressing unlimited amounts of computation. Research paper
When a blockchain is rewound to a previous state and a set of the most recent blocks and the transactions they contain are discarded. Zcash has a rollback limit of 100 blocks.
Remote Procedure Call. A protocol that a client can use to execute functions on the Latest version RPC


Network upgrade that introduces significant efficiency improvements for shielded transactions that paved the way for broad mobile, exchange and vendor adoption of Zcash shielded addresses. Activated at block height 419200.More Info
Selective Disclosure:
A feature of Shielded Addresses where the owner may disclose shielded transaction data. A user may share a viewing key or payment disclosure with any third party, allowing them to access shielded data while maintaining privacy from others.
A collision-resistant hash function and commitment scheme designed to be efficient in algebraic circuit models that support lookups, such as PLONK or Halo 2.
Shielded Transaction:
A transaction exclusively between shielded addresses. The addresses, value and optional encrypted memo are shielded using zk-SNARK cryptography before the transaction is recorded in the blockchain. (also known as ‘z2z’)
Shielded Labs:
The first Zcash Organisation announced to be formed outside of the United States. Purpose is to support Protocol development & Zcash adoption in the coming years
Solutions Per Second. A measure of the rate at which Equihash solutions are found while mining. Each one of those solutions is tested against the current target (after adding to the block header and hashing).
The first version of Zcash, launched on October 28, 2016. Launch Blog


An alternative blockchain that attempts to mimic the main Zcash network for testing purposes. Testnet coins (TAZ) are distinct from actual ZEC and do not have value. Developers and users can experiment with the testnet without having to use valuable currency. The testnet is also used to test network upgrades and their activation before committing to the upgrade on the main Zcash network.
Transaction Expiration:
A transaction expires after staying unconfirmed in the mempool for too long and is discarded. Once a transaction expires, it may be resubmitted to the network or a new transaction may be submitted in its place. The default expiry in Zcash is 20 blocks.
Transaction Fee:
An additional value added to a transaction used to incentivize miners to include the transaction into a block. For Zcash, the default fee is .0001 ZEC.
Transparent Transaction:
Sends or Receives transactions such that the address and associated value are publicly recorded on the Zcash blockchain. Transaction Anatomy
Trusted Setup:
Process of generating cryptographic parameters for the Network in a Secure Multi-party computation. More details on the setup here.


Upgrade Activation:
An upgrade activation is a specific block height that triggers a network upgrade.
Unified Addresses:
Standardized address format generated from a set of multiple Zcash address types (i.e., transparent, Sapling and Orchard). UA Explainer
The unit of account for Zcash coins is ‘ZEC’. The smallest unit is 0.00000001 or Zatoshi / Zat.
User Defined Assets:
Extension of the Orchard Protocol to enable Native Shielded Assets or (ZSA’s). Explainer Video
An unspent transaction output is the result of a transaction that a user receives and is able to spend in the future. Note that every UTXO can only be spent once. This differs from Account-based systems.


v5 Transaction:
Refers to the transaction type implemented with the NU5 Network Upgrade v5 specification
Viewing Key:
The owner of a z-address can share its transaction details with trusted third parties via a view key-a key that grants read access but not spend authority over the address.




A mobile wallet that supports both Ycash & Zcash - website


Zcash Community Grants:
A community-elected grants committee that funds projects that advance the usability, security, privacy, and adoption of Zcash - ZCG website
The Zcashd full node downloads a copy of the Zcash blockchain, enforces rules of the Zcash network, and can execute all functionalities. The zcash-cli allows interactions with the node (e.g. to tell it to send a transaction). Docs
Zcash Developer Alliance (ZDA):
Prioritising cross-chain interoperability as the first deliverable, it brings together a variety of teams to work towards a common goal. Zcash Developer Alliance
Zcash Foundation:
A 501(c)(3) public charity that builds financial privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain. website
A yearly in-person conference centered on the Zcash ecosystem. Zcon3 Playlist
An Independent full node implementation of the Zcash Protocol. - The Zebra Book
Zecwallet Lite:
A fully-featured wallet for Zcash website
An open-source education hub for Zcash. Community-driven initiative producing content on privacy technologies including Zcash. Contributors are able to earn ZEC.
A censorship resistant, Zcash blockchain-powered social media. It includes a directory of zcash users and an anonymous message board powered by Zcash. website
ZF A/V Club:
Empowering local Zcash communities with global support through building a network of capable, ready and funded content creators broadcasting and sharing fresh news about Zcash and online privacy.
Zcash Improvement Proposal. Method for community proposals of new features for the Zcash cryptocurrency, implementation details and document design decisions. ZIP Site
Zingo Wallet:
A Mobile wallet that supports Unified Addresses and Orchard enabled. Maintained by Zingo Labs
Zero-knowledge Succinct Argument of Knowledge. A proof used in the Zcash protocol which allows Shielded Addresses to prove the validity of associated transactions without revealing the address or value transacted. More information