Coinbase adds privacy coin Zcash
TL;DR: Zcash today became the latest addition to the popular Coinbase exchange.
Privacy coin Zcash follows decentralized exchange protocol 0x and advertising industry innovator Basic Attention Token to become Coinbase’s latest edition. More cryptocurrencies are set to come, as the largest fiat-to-crypto gateway seeks to further expand its range of digital products.
Zcash (ZEC) has a total market cap of $368m, making each coin worth $68. Unlike previous additions to the exchange Zcash didn’t experience an increase in price, falling by 8%, with the total cryptocurrency market falling to £121b.
What is Zcash?
Zcash is able to offer its users privacy through technology known as zk-SNARKS. zk-SNARKS, or Zero-knowledge proofs, allow users to send funds while keeping sensitive information encrypted.
While the project is the first to implement zk-SNARKS, Zcash has received criticism as encryption is not enabled by default. This has led to only a minority of transactions being fully encrypted, or ‘shielded’. Without all transactions being encrypted, users do not benefit from what rival privacy coin Monero’s CTO calls the “lost in the crowd” effect, leading to reduced privacy and security. Examining the websites block explorer it appears that only 2.6% of the cryptocurrency is currently stored using shielded accounts.
Ironically, this perceived weakness in Zcash has allowed it be adopted by Coinbase, a move that is expected to open the cryptocurrency to a huge number of buyers. The complete anonymity that Monero provides has made it a far less attractive addition, with Zcash allowing Coinbase to easily comply with KYC regulation.
Coinbase, which is predicted to turnover $1b this year, used the launch of Zcash as an opportunity to better educate their users to make informed decisions.
As we make more assets available on Coinbase, we want to help people understand and make informed decisions about cryptocurrency. Check out the ZEC page on Coinbase to learn more about it: https://t.co/a0nyNM81lA
— Coinbase (@coinbase) December 5, 2018
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