How to get ZCash
Zcash was launched in October 2016 and is a fork of bitcoin designed with speed and privacy in mind. A fork from bitcoin means that Zcash uses the same basic programming as bitcoin does but the developers have made changes to the programming align it with Zcash’s vision for the cryptocurrency.
How Zcash is different from bitcoin
Zcash supports two types of transactions – shielded and transparent. Transparent transactions work exactly like bitcoin transactions – they’re visible on Zcash’s blockchain, called Sprout. You can trace a sender, receiver, and the amount sent in a transparent transaction. A shielded transaction has all of the details of the transaction hidden from Sprout – only the fact that a transaction took place is recorded. Shielded transactions and transparent transactions can work with each other, so a transaction can start transparent and become shielded and a shielded transaction can become transparent.
Zcash has very fast transaction speeds – less than 20 seconds – and has twice the block storage as compared to bitcoin so Zcash can handle more transactions. Unlike bitcoin which has high transaction fees, Zcash transaction fee is very low – often just fractions of a penny.
Zcash mining uses the Equihash proof of work algorithm and can be mined using a regular computer’s GPU (graphics card). To make mining profitable, many miners use several graphics cards. The official mining software is available from Zcash’s community website – there’s mining software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Zcash community website also suggests mining pools to use, saving you time to research them yourself. A big plus is that the Equihash algorithm is resistant to being mined using ASICs, which are powerful computers specialized for mining. This ensures mining can always be done using normal PCs instead of specialized hardware, so regular users will be able for the foreseeable future.
Like bitcoin, Zcash coin supply is limited to 21 million and will be issued over 131 years of mining. Unlike bitcoin, which has a target of one block every 10 minutes, Zcash has a 2.5 minute block time with a much larger block reward that, like bitcoin, halves every four years.
You can buy Zcash at a number of exchanges including: hitbtc.com, cex.io, kraken.com, binance.com, yobit.net, cryptopia.co.nz, and allcoin.com. These exchanges support buying Zcash directly from fiat via a bank transfer or credit card, plus they support transfer from other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Once you have Zcash, you’ll need a wallet to store it. A number of websites offer online wallets including: jaxx.com, cryptonator.com, bitpie.com, coinnomi.com, freewallet.org, and waterhole.io. Online wallets provide convenience but many people recommend you use a desktop or hardware wallet.
There’s an official Windows wallet available from zcash4win.com and a Mac wallet from zcash4mac.com – both are from the Zcash community. Both of these apps wallets run a Zcash node, so you’ll be participating in the Zcash network whenever you run one of these.
In addition, the following hardware wallets provide support for Zcash: the Ledger Nano S and Trezor.
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