New guide: zcash <3 tor: installing, running, and updating Zcash over Tor on a Debian server

Hello, I am working on a new guide for installing, running, and updating Zcash over Tor on a Debian server. The hardware I am using is a Bitseed 3 server. It normally runs Bitcoin but it has a lot of room on the hard drive so I decided to try installing Zcash too.

I like my privacy, so I decided to try doing everything over Tor. There were a surprisingly large amount of resources already available on the subject, including a hidden service that I could download the Zcash software from. But there was not a single end-to-end guide for using Zcash over Tor. So I decided to make one and I put it in this GitHub repo for easy collaboration:

There is a BOUNTIES section in the README file that I will be keeping up to date.

Contribute to the bounty fund: zc9kJ1jZUnKRghsLC9cVoRAWFgCiU5Mq4V6gS8pGXSBBgS3hS9VmLRFawkhpiFEuFpAKbBoxnGWRNeXfJzHNbAWk7tUh2s4

This is my first experiment with Zcash and my first experiment with bounties on GitHub. I also plan to be generous with tips for anyone who is generally helpful with this project. But only if you use a z-address :wink:

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me improve this guide to make the Zcash-over-Tor experience as easy as possible.


I love that you’re working on this! Next time the Zcash Foundation runs our grants program, you should definitely apply. Tor and Zcash have natural synergies, to use cheesy business-speak.


Next time the Zcash Foundation runs our grants program, you should definitely apply.

Thank you for the offer. I have read that the Zcash grant program requires the grantee to dox themselves upon receipt of the grant and I’m afraid that this condition will exclude me from the process.

Edit: It’s been pointed out that “dox” is not the correct term to use here, and I agree. More accurately, the Zcash Foundation requires grantees to identify themselves to the Foundation and the IRS upon receipt of the grant, for legal/tax purposes.


Ah, yeah, sorry about that. Maybe we’ll be able to lift the ID requirement at some point in the future. There’s a lot of pseudonymous talent out there!


Just to copy some tweets I sent to @zooko about this:

I’d love to not require this documentation, but it’s not tenable as a 501(c)3 operating within the bounds of US law. I would note that they only “dox” themselves to us/the IRS. In the future I’d love to mitigate this by having the community fund projects themselves (Monero does a great job here) with us only providing support infrastructure, and then have opt-in additional funding from the @ZcashFoundation (which carries the identifying requirement).


There must be a legal way to do this. Would setting up an LLC that contracts durbanpoison be possible?

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@Thenerdstation has written a script to automate the whole process of installing and updating Zcash over Tor on a Debian server. The PR is about ready for wider review now; please let us know if anything looks broken or otherwise unsafe.


@Thenerdstation’s automation script and documentation has been merged. Thanks to Chase for his work on this.

You can find the updated guide in the same place as usual:

I also added a bounty address to the README file if anyone wants to help fund future bounties. I have paid out 0.325 ZEC in bounties so far.

There are also a few open issues that I would appreciate help with:

Regards, dp

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A new milestone has been reached with the zcash <3 tor project. Announcing Zcash Anonymous: Announcing Zcash Anonymous, a project with the goal of making it easy to use Zcash anonymously – zcash anonymous

Regards, dp


A note to followers of this project: after updating my zcashd client to v2.0.0 I was prompted by the software to download the parameters again before restarting zcashd. Running the zcash-fetch-params command did the trick.

This reminded me that I did not yet include instructions in the guide for keeping your node software up to date. In case you are new to Linux these instructions may be helpful:

As usual, if anything looks incorrect or out of place, I welcome your feedback. I am still pretty new to Linux server administration and welcome guidance from more experienced members of the community.

Regards, dp

A few project updates

The automation scripts for the zcash <3 tor guide have been moved to a new repo and re-licensed to MIT:

Thanks to @Thenerdstation for the quick approval of this change.

The manual guide can still be found here:

There is also a new project I have started working on. An “awesome list” of digital cash resources:

Please create an issue if you think there are any glaring oversights.

Finally, there is some exciting and not-so-exciting admin work going on in the background that will help give the project a more established presence. Stay tuned…

Regards, dp