Network Analysis of ZCash

I’ve meaning to do some network analysis of the ZCash blockchain for some time and was wondering if anyone is already working on it.

This is entirely coincidental to the recent Monero network analysis research, it was actually prompted by some ideas I had relating to the ValueShuffle paper. I was thinking of looking at the entropy of the shielded transaction set and how linkable transaction into and out of the set are.

Anyone already looking at this?


Not yet looking into it, but definitely interested. In particular - to give a potential real-world example - I suspect a quite common use case of ZEC shielded transactions at the moment is simply to disjoint a transfer across another blockchain - converting into ZEC from X at an exchange / ShapeShift / etc, shielding the ZEC, and converting back from ZEC to the initial (or a different) chain on another exchange. These transactions would tend to happen in relatively quick succession, so some analysis of transaction inflow/outflow (since most exchanges worth with t-addrs at the moment) could possibly point to likely instances of this pattern.

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It would also be interesting to see how many miners immediately cash out to transparent addresses.


We developed a heursitc of linking miners in our emprical analysis of zcash, the paper can be found here on arxiv [1805.03180] An Empirical Analysis of Anonymity in Zcash, unsurpisly its just like bitcoin where miners cash right out into exchange addresses after the fresh coin has been shielded once!
with our heuristic we believe we tagged 100,000+ addresses that belong to miners who take out from the pool.