What is Zcoin?
Zcoin is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs in order to protect the privacy of its users. Though originally designed for use with the Bitcoin Network, the zerocoin extension protocol is potentially integratable with any cryptocurrency and used as the specific method of coin generation within the Zcoin Network. Zcoin is unrelated to other cryptocurrencies which utilize the Zerocash Protocol, most famously Zcash. With Zcoin’s Zerocoin Technology, anyone can “mint” a coin found on its public ledger into a private coin. An owner of a minted coin can spend their coins without having to be revealed. The process of minting and spending anonymous Zcoins can be completed as many times as desired, ensuring complete privacy of their users.
History of Zcoin
The Zerocoin Protocol was proposed by Johns Hopkins University professor Matthew Green and his graduate students, Ian Miers and Christina Garman, in 2013. It was initially developed as an extension to the bitcoin protocol to provide bitcoin transactions with true anonymity. The protocol was first integrated into a cryptocurrency, Zcoin, in 2016, by Poramin Insom. Zcoin’s initial investors were Roger Ver and Tim Lee, and while the project initially flew under the radar for a substantial period of time, by November 2017 it surpassed the $100 million capitalization mark for the first time. Also in November 2017, Zcoin released its masternode feature that was designed to guarantee its network remained operational at all times. In May 2018, Zcoin switched algorithms to become the first Proof of Stake cryptocurrency to allow private staking via “zPoS” (Zerocoin Proof of Stake).
How Zcoin Works
The idea on which Zcoin is based is called “Zero-knowledge proof,” which means a person can prove to another that a given statement is true without having to convey any other information. In the case of Zcoin, the only information sent is that a certain amount of money was sent to a receiver’s wallet. Thus, potentially identifying information like wallet addresses or transaction histories remains unknown during each transaction. Zerocoin also uses a unique hashing algorithm called the Merkle Tree Proof (MPT) which makes it harder for attackers to perform Denial of Service attacks on its network. A total of 21 million Zcoins will be generated upon completion of mining.
As a privacy-centric cryptocurrency, Zcoin offers several advantages over other coins with anonymous features, some of which include:
Fast transactions and minimal computing power required. The computational requirements for generation of private transactions are far smaller than Zcash and transactions can be completed in seconds.
Incentivized node structure. Zcoin uses a large array of “Znodes” that are given rewards for maintaining their uptime and connectivity with the network, thus assuring that the Zcoin Network will never completely go down.
Tor integrated. As of May 2018, Zcoin now runs entirely on the Tor network, offering its users an advanced degree of privacy and anonymity.
Pivx network staking. As it was originally launched on the Pivx platform, owners of the original Zerocoin token, zPIV, can become eligible for zPoS staking after holding their tokens for a certain period of time.