Technical AMA w/ Zcash team December 14, 2018 noon PST

Recently we’ve had Coinbase supporting Zcash, but this is yet another exchange. I am more thinking about companies that could be interested in using Zcash (i.e. payment processing). Or do you believe that Zcash is not meant to be used by companies but rather by individuals primarily?

That is an interesting idea. Thank you!

Readed the whole gifthub thread, while there are a lot of calculations related to both algos and other technical details none of the calculations refers to what effect given ZEC prices compared to electricity prices and mining on centralization has.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to make some kind of profile what ZEC prices with the given algos, even with the current one, lead to what kind of geographical centralization. Including the average montly difficulty increase this shouldn’t be a too hard task but give a clear picture what kind of geographical mining centralization we have to await, not?

Several payment processing portals support Zcash such as Coinpayments and MyCryptoCheckout. It’s quite easy for a website to use and start accepting Zcash payments for goods and services.

Also, I believe Gemini supports custody solutions for Big businesses to use Zcash.

And (a Point of Sale system) got a Zcash Foundation Grant to implement private transactions on thier system. I believe any Brick and Mortar store can download the AnyPay app and start accepting Zcash.


ok, perfect, thanks Daira!

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Anypay Global, a recent Foundation grant winner, is another company doing payment processing of Zcash. Their payments app is a pleasure to use.


Got it. Great question. We are interested and pursuing more of those relationships, especially those that are willing and able to support shielded transactions. A few examples:

  1. We have been providing resources to a large international retailer that is conducting proof-of-concept work. The online retailer requires privacy for their business units and customers.

  2. We are in a number of active conversations with crypto payment options. For example, Fold is looking into adding Zcash early next year.

  3. We are researching or will be shortly researching other use cases such as online freelance marketplaces and retailers with unique needs (such as legal marijuana dispensaries).


This would be a great project to best understand implications. That said, we can’t commit to those resources but it might be a worthy community project as the Foundation explores future mechanisms for project funding.

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Yes this is a feasible change to make. I guess the main reasons we haven’t done it are:

  • chain sync basically works (despite the usability issue), so we’ve left it as it was in Bitcoin and focused on other priorities;
  • there’s a philosophical issue about the extent to which users have to trust the developers of node software vs. doing verification on their own computer. Obviously the Zcash protocol does take a different stance on this than Bitcoin (necessarily because of the need for zk-SNARK parameters), and so it is probably worth revisiting this.

The security of this approach would certainly be better than SPV security, given that new blocks are still fully verified. Note that Bitcoin already does not verify signatures older than the last checkpoint on initial block download.

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Whoops, sorry Shawn, I saw you mentioned them! I just glossed over the hyperlink.

I updated the post :wink:

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That sounds awesome! Glad to hear you are actively introducing Zcash around.

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It’s actually pretty difficult to model this because it depends on assumptions about economies of scale for large mining farms, which those farms tend to treat as commercially sensitive.

I for sure would keep an eye on direct competitors, for example Tezos and PivX.
Tezos seems to work on their own cuda-like solution, this alone should be worth watching them in my opinion.
Eventually as well check the definity POS design.

Other than that for sure observing currently interesting designs should include NEM, EOS, Stellar and Tron in my opinion. At least it won’t hurt to see what how why they are doing…

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I’ve got a few other questions, probably a sensitive topic:

  1. Have you had any requests from the U.S. (or other) government to help track or de-anonymize Zcash transactions/wallets?

  2. And have you received any requests to backdoor Zcash?

  3. Any plans on moving the company to a different country?

  4. Any clues on the proportion of criminal use of Zcash versus legit use?

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will you guys do some marketing after mobile wallet release?
how do you get people to use zcash as a currency on their phones?

Do you as a company look out for possible companies to accept zcash?
or do the companies have to find out by them self?

would love to spent my zcash somewhere for food and other stuff in my country (europe)
(not with amazon gift cards)

I agree that getting info on these would be a hard task. But we immediatly could get a map with RED countries, in the meaning of impossible mining operations, by given electricity prices. This as well would give a good picture what countries/regions get excluded/unprofitable for mining. With each “red” region we get a shifting towards the remaining lowest electricity countries/regions, not?

As these mining operations of scale are anyway in most cases suited/placed in such very low electricity regions it doesn’t really matter if we know there electricity costs as research is based geographically, not on single mining operations. Just an idea in case the foundation/zcash have in interest of avoiding geographical mining centralization at all.

  1. No, and if we did, we wouldn’t have any more information than the blockchain or other entities who run widely connected nodes.

  2. Nope!

  3. No plans!

  4. We’re not aware of any illicit use, nor would we have any special insight. Third-party wallets and exchanges which collect KYC data would probably be the best place to gather any relevant data like this from.


Hi @hanswurst33.

On the companies accepting Zcash, please see this response.

We would like to clarify the reference wallet is not for end users, and that we have not committed to deploying a wallet for users to use Zcash as a currency.

As written in :

The objective of this project is to prove that shielded transactions can work on mobile devices and to build reusable solutions for functionality required to support shielded addresses.

We are already in contact with some light wallets that support Zcash, and they are very eager for the reference wallet. We hope that this helps their engineering teams adopt sapling zaddresses.

We’re currently debating if we should also make an accompanying Zcash wallet for end users–and the decision is not set to be made until next year. We’ll keep you posted and announce if we decide to make a product!

I hear you on wanting to spend Zcash for everyday items. We realize that point of sales support/merchant support is a weak link in the purchase process.