In this Zcash versus Monero guide you will learn about the background and teams of the two coins, the differences between their purpose and their technological aspects, and assess which one is superior to the other. For each of these fascinating and yet similar currencies, I’ll explain the following.
Hopefully, you will have a good understanding of all the above points at the end of this Zcash vs Monero guideline. It will assist you in determining which one you want to use or invest in.
As you see, there is a lot to cover in this Monero versus Zcash guide, so let’s begin without further ado!
Key Elements of Cryptocurrencies
To begin this Zcash vs. Monero guide, I will take you back before any of the coins have been available. When the Bitcoin blockchain first started, several articles emerged about the anonymous existence of Bitcoin. This was the perfect currency for use on the Silk Road, the dark web marketplace.
Silk Road was the first of several websites that allowed users to buy illegal goods and services online. The currency used was thus entirely private and untraceable. This is sadly not the case with Bitcoin for many.
Because the Bitcoin blockchain (transaction database) is public, it is easy to track those that do not use complicated additional privacy measures. It is possible to discover the identities of those who make transactions with a limited amount of information and close analysis of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Although it is still true that Bitcoin transactions can be almost entirely anonymous, it needs a lot of additional security measures. These moves are often too difficult for the average user and both Zcash and Monero developers to require a separate, more private cryptocurrency.
Why Go Anyway Anonymous?
Before I enter the subject of this article – Zcash vs Monero – it’s important to talk about why someone wants a secret in transactions. There are several explanations for this. Others are morally dubious, some are far less controversial. The reasons are:
- To buy drugs that are considered illegal in the part of the world in which you live. We can be used medically or recreationally. For certain parts of the world, for example, medicinal cannabis is completely legal and not in others. In a globalized world, it seems absurd and utterly unfair that the side of an imaginary line on a map that you came up with will determine what drug you are allowed to use. Privacy coins allow people to access these substances without meeting potentially dangerous individuals. We protect the buyer’s identity while shopping.
- Services that require criminal actions to be charged. This may be malicious, as in hacker software. It may also be unpleasant. Non-malicious applications of anonymous currencies include the use of game providers in places where chance games are illegal and people also pay for free movement providers. For instance, if a homosexual wanted an oppressive government, like Saudi Arabia, to flee from a country.
- Fungibility – another Bitcoin blockchain issue is that you can see where Bitcoin is from. It is a concern as certain vendors may decide not to pay because funds were used inappropriately in the past. This isn’t a good money price. Both Monero and Zcash do it that nobody can say if any unit of any currency was used illegally. According to the Zcash slogan, “all coins are equal.”
Back to the Basics…
So that you know some reasons why anyone wants to use an anonymous currency, look at Zcash vs Monero more closely. I have already identified that both coins provide their users with anonymity, but the two projects have many similarities and differences.
First, I will provide a summary of each cryptocurrency’s histories before looking at other details.
In 2014, Monero was founded. It was previously named BitMonero. It was then quickly shortened to Monero.
Monero is the fork of a previous Bytecoin cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, the launch of Bytecoin is controversial because 80% of it was already compromised before it was released. It was not accepted by any of the developers and the community around the project. Therefore, in 2014, they forked Bytecoin. This fork would ultimately become the currency now known as Monero.
Monero uses another Bitcoin protocol. It’s called CryptoNote. By grouping through transactions, CryptoNote works. This makes it difficult to decide which of the inputs (senders) belong to each transaction. If you’ve ever heard of a mixing service from Bitcoin, this is sort of like one of them.
Much like Bitcoin, Monero uses Proof of Work to verify transactions. Proof of Work includes that computing power is used to upgrade the blockchain of Monero. The computer systems deliver this rewarding power in terms of transaction fees and new coins for the development of new transaction blocks.
Zcash was founded much later in 2016 than Monero. It started life as a project named Zerocoin. It shifted rapidly to the Zerocash method. Ultimately, it was the cryptocurrency edition we know today as Zcash.
Zcash is a Bitcoin codebase fork. And it’s much more like Bitcoin than Monero. One of the improvements made by the Zcash team to the Bitcoin codebase was the introduction of zero-knowledge proof known as zk-SNARKS. That is how the privacy of those who deal with Zcash is assured. These zk-SNARKS can be used without being too technical to mask sending and receiving addresses and the sum transacted.
Unlike Monero, by default Zcash is not private. Users may opt to submit payments privately. They can also send public payments. They function very much like Bitcoin transactions.
Zcash also gives the team itself a reward. For the first four years (until 2020), developers, investors, and a non-profit foundation will receive 20 percent of the block reward.
Monero vs Zcash: Fundamental & Technical Specs
Let’s continue with the head-to-head comparison between Monero and Zcash.
Both Monero and Zcash have the intention that they can only be used as currencies. This indicates that the developers behind both projects plan to make payments for each coin.
In the case of Zcash, these transactions may be private or public if they are requested by the sender. In Monero’s case, transactions are private only.
For the reasons I mentioned earlier, the purpose of private transactions is to protect the identity of users. Some believe that it is their right to use their money in a way that other people don’t look at.
First, I’ll look at each blockchain speed in this Zcash vs Monero guide.
The Monero blockchain has a two-minute block duration. This means that every two minutes new blocks are created. It makes it five times easier to transact with Bitcoin.
In the meantime, Zcash has around two and a half minutes of block time. It makes it four times quicker than Bitcoin and a little slower to deal with than Monero.
That speed depends on how busy the network is with the Zcash blockchain. When other people submit transactions at the same time as you, your transaction may not transform into the first block. It could take several blocks to include them. This is also noteworthy that there is much more space for private transactions in each block. Unless the network handled private transactions only, the network speed is approximately six transactions per second. Compared to just over 26 transactions per second, the block filling transactions do not employ any additional anonymity.
Monero’s operating a little differently. It has a dynamic block size limit. This means that the blocks are increasing and diminishing in response to network demand. Each block’s size is based on the last 100 blocks. If the network performs several transactions, the size of the block increases gradually and the network increases its efficiency. Some say that Monero is capable of handling 1,700 transactions per second. It has never been verified, however. To do so, the memory requirements will be much too high for several nodes of the network.
One of how these two projects focus on privacy varies is their acceptance rates. Monero appears more effective than Zcash on the dark web. This is because it is much easier to use Monero than Zcash at present. There are currently few secure wallets for the currency. However, that would change as a fairly young cryptocurrency.
Monero finds cases of use on the dark web by rogue countries like North Korea that want to circumvent foreign sanctions and hackers ‘groups. The simplicity with which standard computer systems can be manipulated has also resulted in many other fascinating uses.
In-Browser Mining and Crypto-Jacking
Monero has also found acceptance for in-browser mining. This is because Monero can still be mined with just a GPU or CPU. In-browser mining requires running Internet browser mining software. It’s very quick, but not very effective. However, it can be very lucrative if you get hundreds or thousands of computer users to use their energy for you.
Note: A central processing unit is a CPU. Each computer has a CPU. You can think of it as the computer’s brains. A GPU is a Graphics Processing Unit, meanwhile. Computers with high-end games use GPUs. They are stronger than CPUs and are required for high-quality images used in modern video games. GPUs can mine more than CPUs effectively.
In some content publishers, in-browsing mining represents a way to monetize a website without requiring users to advertise. If it is made clear that some of a visitor’s computing power is used for funding the website, no real damage is done. The user is free to decide whether or not to continue on the site.
Many publishers are not proactive that they push consumers to use cryptocurrencies. Also, several download websites have secret Monero mining tools for downloading as part of the file users. Mining software is used on a device which is called crypto-jacking without the owner’s permission. When comparing Zcash to Monero, Monero is better for cryptojacking because of its anonymous properties and the fact that it is only constrained by the use of CPUs and GPUs.
In-Browser Mining and Charity
Finally, in-browser mining was used for more social purposes altogether. UNICEF has launched a website called The Hopepage for Children’s Charity. The idea behind The Hopepage is that computer usage will visit the website and donate to UNICEF some of its unused computing resources.
When the website is loaded, a simple option to start mining is open. The visitor is then asked how much computing power they want to offer. If their tasks require a lot of strength, they can only offer 20%. Or, if you only visit some pages, you can donate up to 80%. A whopping 18,000 people donated on The Hopepage at the time of the publication!
Problems with Adoption
On 18 June 2018, the Japnese Financial Security Agency (FSA) declared a ban on anonymous coins. Coins such as DASH and Augur’s REP were also targeted, as were Monero and Zcash. The FSA has confirmed that the rationale behind their move is to make it easier to use cryptocurrencies for illegal activities.
If more countries follow Japan’s example, the adoption rates for these privacy-oriented coins could be greatly affected.
In the war of privacy, one of the areas in which Zcash could triumph over Monero is the fact that Zcash transactions don’t have to be secret. It may help them prevent any possible compliance issues in the future and help them comply with “know your customer” requirements in various countries.
Cost of Fees
The daily Monero price is approximately 90c at the time of publishing. The price of Monero has changed drastically. The expense of sending Monero at its peak point was just over $20! Monero suffers from the same issues of scalability as Bitcoin.
The average Zcash fee is remarkably small in the meantime. It’s all ZEC 0.0001. This is less than 2c at the time of publishing! According to Bitinfocharts.com, the presence of Zcash remained very small.
The scalability of the Blockchain is one of the most pressing problems facing the entire cryptocurrency region. For a digital currency to effectively compete with VISA’s likes internationally, networks must support a far bigger amount of transactions than they are currently capable of.
Monero has sought to fix issues of scalability with its dynamic block size limit. However, as demonstrated by huge fees in the past, it is not enough to allow the whole world to use the network.
In the meantime, Zcash faces far worse problems than Bitcoin in scaling. Since private transactions take up a lot more space in blocks than Bitcoin, there is a race to the top of the transaction fees if everyone wants to make anonymous transactions. That was what happened in Spring 2017 to Bitcoin. There is currently not enough demand for Zcash for such a race.
By comparing cryptocurrencies, the teams behind the projects are also good to look at. That’s exactly what I’m going to cover in this guide from Zcash vs Monero.
Most of the Monero team is hidden. Two of the project’s leading developers are recognized. The others work under aliases.
Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni is the leading and most outspoken creator of the project. Spagni lives in South Africa, working on different crypto-monetary projects, including Monero. He is very popular on Twitter with @fluffypony in his name. His expertise is in logistics and computer science. Also, he has several years of software development experience.
Spagni is joined by Francisco Cabañas “ArticMine” and a long list of aliases of other developers. Because very little is known about the squad, this second short I’ll have to cut!
The Zcash team, meanwhile, is far more available. Zooko Wilcox is the CEO and founder of the project. He is a developer with over 20 years of cryptography and data security experience. He’s very active under @zooko on Twitter.
Zooko is joined by an accomplished research team. Technician Eli Ben-Sasson is the first. Eli is a renowned Israeli Development Institute lecturer. He is also a specialist in the design and implementation of proof systems.
Alessandro Chiesa is next. Chiesa is a graduate of the University of Berkeley Department of Computer Science. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until his Ph.D. level.
These three are joined by a long team of technicians and IT experts. However, a marketing team is largely missing. This will restrict Zcash’s potential adoption in the future.
Interestingly, some of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency space act as consultants for the project Zcash. The core team is supported by Gavin Andresen, Vitalik Buterin, Arthur Breitman and Dana Syracuse.
Market History to Date
Monero was first created on the popular (pessimistic) crypto bear market in 2014. The market behavior against the dollar remained steady during its early years. In either direction, there were no big movements.
As the entire cryptocurrency market in the latter part of 2016 started to grow bullish, Monero also began to experience a phenomenon. As 2017 progressed, this became faster and at mid-year, Monero saw exponential growth, like most other digital assets.
Around the start of 2018, the price of a single Monero coin peaked. It matched Bitcoin and the high points of every other cryptocurrency. Monero’s all-time high price was about $500 per coin.
Since then, the trend has mostly collapsed with a few “bull traps.” At the time of writing (29 June 2018), the price of a Monero coin is about $120.
You can see Monero’s entire trading history below.
The Zcash price history is close to Monero’s (and many other cryptocurrencies in this respect). As you can see from the picture below, it experienced sideways price action after its launch. However, the uptrend began a little later than Monero’s.
In mid-2017, the price started to rise against the US dollar. In the price chart, you can see that it was aligned with Bitcoin’s price over the year. When Bitcoin rose, Zcash rose as well. As Bitcoin drops, Zcash did so too. This is why Zcash’s orange line against Bitcoin remains essentially flat for the entire life of the coin.
So, that’s it. This guide is finished Zcash vs Monero!I hope you found it both entertaining and informative. In the guide, I have covered loads. It’s best to recapture what you should have known quickly:
- Zcash vs. Monero’s basics.
- Zcash and Monero’s uses.
- Their transaction speeds.
- Zcash and Monero adoption.
- Each team faces scalability problems.
- Zcash vs Monero’s market history.
Now that we ‘re all done, what do you think about Zcash vs Monero? Do you think a coin would in the future be the coin for privacy? Or, do you think that the two should coexist? Your thoughts we would love to hear!