Monero vs Zcash

Since we are looking at Monero vs Zcash, let’s think about the reasons why you might want to choose cryptocurrencies that keep your transactions totally private at all.

They are the same as the reasons for wanting to keep anything else you might do under wraps. It could be that you distrust the way that governments and corporations now routinely harvest and trade your personal data and you believe that some things should remain private to you, or it could be that you’re a criminal who wants to hide the transactions that could get you locked up. Many other good reasons no doubt lie at different points on the scale between these two extremes.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to keep your transactions anonymous, you may have thought that cryptocurrencies could help, but most of them use open-source ledgers and blockchains. This means that even though Bitcoin transactions don’t use sensitive information that could identify you, there’s nothing stopping anybody from downloading the Bitcoin blockchain and working out where each Bitcoin came from.

This is what prompted the birth of privacy coins, whose primary purpose is to keep there owners activities private. This article is called ‘Zcash vs Monero’ because these are two of the best, and we’re going to explore their relative merits so you can choose the one that’s going to be best able to keep your trading activities free from the attentions of prying eyes.

About Monero Privacy Coin

The Monero privacy coin used to be known as BitMonero.  It was forked in 2014 from the older Bytecoin. It relies on an exclusive protocol called CryptoNote which hides transaction details like the amounts sent, the senders, and the receivers. Prevents anyone from linking them to real world activities and individuals.

Zcash v Monero - Let’s Look at Each One

Zcash was previously known as Zerocoin and it launched in 2016. Zcash is also a fork, this time of Bitcoin. This might sound unusual, but Zcash added a zero-knowledge proof algorithm, also called zk-SNAR to do the same job as CryptoNote, so in terms of the Zcash v Monero question, that’s a similarity.

But Zcash takes a different approach to Monero by giving its users the option to switch between anonymous or public payments. The choice rests with them.

Zcash v Monero - How Does Monero Preserve Anonymity?

As well as CryptoNote, Monero hides all the details that identify transactions (including the start and end points) using stealth addresses, ring signatures, and ring confidential transactions.

Monero requires that each blockchain transaction must be signed by a public key. The upshot of this is that each ring signature holds a collection of public keys that can authorize the transaction concerned, which means that the transaction can be signed without the public key pointing to the user.

Monero uses numerous transaction inputs and outputs to obfuscate transactions. It also uses ringCT to encrypt the amounts being moved between accounts to remove the chance of double-spending.  RingCT also ensures that the transaction always adds up to more than zero, which prevents extra coins from being created.

Lastly, Monero using stealth addresses for every transaction, which keeps transactions hidden from their senders and recipients.

Monero vs Zcash - How Does Zcash Take Care Of Privacy?

As we’ve already noted, the Zk-SNARK protocol handles privacy by allowing nodes to guarantee network integrity. They check the accuracy of the information using hashes, so they don’t actually reveal it.

Zcash also uses homomorphic encryption technology—which lets the sender prove their piece of the equation without revealing the actual value— along with polynomial equations and a feature dubbed “trusted setup.”

Advantages and Disadvantages of Monero

Monero coins are what economists call fungible, which means that every XMR is like any fiat currency coin—it’s identical to and interchangeable with the rest, so it’s impossible to tell where any one of them came from. On top of this, the way that the network is designed means that as more transactions occur, more layers of obfuscation are added.  Monero becomes more secure the more it is used! This is great news that should help to encourage mass adoption and a useful indicator of superiority in the Monero vs Zcash battle.

Despite all these pluses though, it isn’t perfect. In fact, Monero’s been so good at its job that it’s attracted the ‘ultimate accolade’ for any privacy system: criminals now trust it and use it to move their ill-gotten gains around, which has made it less appealing to the law-abiding majority. Another disadvantage is that there’s less wallet support for Monero compared to other cryptocurrencies too.

Pros and Cons of Zcash

Zcash has better wallet support than Monero, including from Ledger Nano S and Trezor, which can only help to push up its adoption rate. It’s probably even more secure than Monero because its base encryption engine can establish the accuracy of transactions without making the data public.

To its detriment is the fact that Zcash uses two different address types. As we noted already, users get to decide whether their transactions are public or private. The “z” transactions are anonymous, while the “t” transactions are public. Regrettably, the majority of exchanges only use the “t” type.

Monero vs Zcash: Which is the Most Private?

Theoretically, Zcash could win out here, but in practice, it has struggled to achieve mass adoption. Monero privacy is greater than that of Zcash by default; there’s no need to opt in to anonymity because it’s always there. That despite Monero’s lower level of adoption and narrow support from wallet providers, it still holds 10th place on CoinMarketCap at the time of writing, eight places above Zcash right now. This doesn’t concern the user of course, but investors will find it significant that the coin which isn’t actually as good as its competitor and doing the job was designed for isn’t such a good investment.