- Zcash (ZEC-USD) is about to undergo one of its largest upgrades yet
- The Zcash crypto, ZEC, is one of the best-performing privacy coins
- Developers expect the upgrade to roll out by the end of the month
Even in a booming privacy coin industry, the Zcash crypto stands out. It is one of the most popular plays for investors looking to trade cryptocurrency in an untraceable manner. Now, it is heating up as it prepares what some are calling one of the network’s “biggest upgrades ever.”
The Zcash network first launched in 2016, making it one of the earlier privacy coins in the game. It promises complete fungibility and totally anonymous transactions. Of course, on the blockchain, this might be a bit of a hard thing to imagine. After all, the blockchain is created to permanently inscribe every transaction on an eternal digital ledger.
Zcash achieves this anonymity through a technology called zero knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge, or more simply, zk-SNARKs. Through zk-SNARKs, transactors can send proof of a transaction’s authenticity for validation without having to reveal the underlying data to the node. This ensures the complete privacy of the transaction. The node can then record the validated transaction to the blockchain without having to enshrine the sensitive data publicly.
The Zcash crypto is different from other privacy coins in that the network allows users to conduct transparent transactions as well. Most privacy coin users want their transactions wholly private. However, some might want the option to reveal data to trusted third parties. Since Zcash supports both private and public addresses, one can select the address that best fits their needs for the network.
Zcash Crypto Prepares for Major May Upgrade
While the Zcash crypto has become a top privacy player in recent years, developers are always looking to tweak the network for the better. As a result, Zcash has seen five large upgrades since its initial launch. This month, it is preparing for its sixth, and developers believe this one will be the biggest yet.
The Electric Coin Company — the development team behind Zcash — says the incoming software upgrade is the biggest change to the network in its history. Most notably, the upgrade will remove some of the complexities from its transactions. In doing this, developers are setting the network up to enable completely private, trustless transactions on mobile devices. This would make ZEC the first smartphone-compatible privacy coin on the market. Moreover, the team says the upgrade will increase interoperability, opening the door for private cross-chain transactions as well.
A Twitter thread by Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn best explains the long-term implications of the upgrade. Wilcox-O’Hearn calls it a “historic step forward for human society,” putting what he calls “the soundest money in the world” on a foundation for long-term, scalable growth. He explains further that the upgrade is the first case of implementing zero-knowledge proofs into a general purpose technology.
These are big promises. If Zcash proves successful in implementing these changes, they could make privacy coins far easier to transact, and more transactable across different mediums. Mobile device compatibility, interoperability and increased scaling spell great things for driving the ubiquity of the Zcash crypto. Developers expect the upgrade to roll out on May 31.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.