Low percentage of total shielded ZEC as indicator of lack of interest?


The main feature of Zcash is its private transactions (z-addr), but nobody seems to be using that feature. I was reading that there have been various bugs around using the z-addr. Was this cryptocurrency launched before it was ready?

We’re almost two months in and I don’t see:

  • any significant shielding of total ZEC in existence (less than 1% at present)
  • any exchange that provides you with a z-addr
  • any documentation on how to use the “view key” to reveal transaction history for a given z-addr (on the blog or the “using zcash” guide). I’d like to try this out but don’t know how.

So it appears that at least today, people are just using Zcash as though it’s Bitcoin. No?

Perhaps it just needs more bake time or the price needs to stop dropping first.

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I’d use shielded addresses but waiting for a windows gui wallet. The whole command line thing is not intuitive for me personally. I suspect that is the case for many average users as well?

The main reason why z-addresses are not more adopted right now is the bad user experience.

If you want to make a transaction from/to a z-address you need to deal with the following:

  1. Find a wallet that supports them or run a full node and deal with the command line.
  2. Wait 60 seconds with the CPU on 100% until the transaction is sent out.
  3. Loose functionality, like the possibility to just have a link to the explorer proving that you did the transactions.

I guess that 2 and 3 are the reason why exchanges don’t want to deal with z-addresses.

Right now most users are miners and they want just to get their ZEC to an exchange. No need for a shielded transaction.

The anonymity is not even my favourite feature about z-addresses. It’s the memo field (The Encrypted Memo Field - Electric Coin Company). I’m currently working of an Zcash anchor for Stellar (https://www.stellar.org/learn/explainers/#Anchors_trust_and_credit).

You would just include your Stellar address in the memo to a specific address and get Zcash issued on the Stellar network. This would immediately give you access to a completely decentralised exchange on Stellar (https://galactictalk.org/d/26-project-idea-distributed-exchange) and super fast (2-3 sec confirmations) micro transactions (Zcash’s lightening network?). You can also go the other way (Stellar transactions have also a memo field). You do a transaction to a specific Stellar address with a memo containing the Zcash address and your Stellar Zcash turns into a real Zcash transaction.

I think that there are even more possibilities. It will just take some time until we realise what we can do. But we will get there. It’s like 1 month since Zcash lunched and great ideas/projects will take some time to be implemented.


Right, that confirms what I figured… the only way to transact via z-addr is to run a full node. Um, that really sucks.

I’ll just keep holding my breath for z-addr support (on exchanges, jaxx, etc) in the meantime.

Agreed that the memo field is cool. Good blog post, but now we also need a post on how to use the view key.

I don’t see people with umbrellas every day so that must indicate a lack of interest in umbrellas.

How much transactional privacy do you hope to achieve when a third party does your z_addr transactions for you?

Despite that, I suspect there is a way to avoid dependence on having a local copy of the entire blockchain before spending z_addr balances but it would require prior knowledge of which blocks the relevant transactions were recorded to.

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Lol @ that analogy. The usage speaks for itself… sub-1% of $10M market cap means hardly anyone is using the shielding capability yet, possibly because it’s too much of a hassle, as opposed to lack of interest. That said, I suppose it’s still too early for me to be complaining about it yet.

Good point @Voluntary about a zaddr without a full node!

And @bkolobara makes good points too. The command line sucks, and I haven’t seen any wallets aside from the ZCashSwingUI Wallet by @vaklinov that support private transactions. HOWEVER:

A full node without having to touch the command line is now possible, if you are on a Mac: https://zcash4mac.com

zcash4mac is a 100% GUI, signed Mac App that @zab and I have been working on. It bundles zcashd, the ZCashSwingUI wallet by @vaklinov, the needed jre, downloads the proving key via the GUI, creates the config file if you haven’t ever run zcash on your mac (and respects the one you have if you’ve been running my command-line Mac port!), and verifies the proving key on each launch.

You heard it here in this topic first :slight_smile:


David Mercer
Tucson, AZ



this thought again!

The proportion of shielded value has skyrocketed recently. At present, more than 8.8% of all ZEC is shielded.

What could be causing this?


Increased adoption as awareness of the coin spreads? Initial distribution of Founder’s Reward funds being sent to shielded addresses? Users with Macs no longer needing to even touch the command line for their full node to use private addresses (with my release at https://zcash4mac.com)? All of the above? :slight_smile:

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