ZEC can now be minted as an ERC-20 token

It is now possible to mint ZEC on mainnet Ethereum as an ERC-20 token, which for instance be traded against any ERC-20 token on Uniswap if you create a pool for it (which is completely permissionless). When other DeFi protocols add it you could take borrow or lend ZEC, use it as collateral, do leveraged trading with it etc., which is pretty cool.

The token can always be redeemed 1:1 for ZEC at any time minus fees.

Minting can be done here: https://bridge.renproject.io/

How it works: https://medium.com/renproject/how-renvm-actually-works-c2f76a2630c4

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This is an interesting project, but I’m not sure of the privacy properties.

Can you elaborate on how the back end works? Does it allow for shielded transactions to mint renZEC? Can you withdraw privately?

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I had a brief look at the documentation. renZEC itself is basically equivalent to ZEC in transparent addresses. They provide a transparent address to send ZEC to when converting to renZEC, and AFAICT there should be nothing stopping you from sending from a shielded address for that.

It is unclear whether they allow you to specify a shielded ZEC address to receive ZEC on when converting renZEC to ZEC. If they are using the same transaction building library for Bitcoin and Zcash support, then it’s likely they don’t have the ability to create Sapling outputs yet - but that is something they could add (or have already added) using the Rust crates. It would be great for someone to test this!

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Yes exactly, you can only mint to and release from a transparent at the moment, but as far as I am aware the intention from the team is to get shielded address support for minting and releasing. In the mean time, if one were to mint renZEC and is concerned about transaction trails, one could make use of an on-chain trustless Ethereum mixer like Tornado Cash, which hopefully adds ren-wrapped tokens soon including renZEC. Aztec protocol has also been building a lot of tools for privacy wrappers for Ethereum tokens (there already is zkDAI out I think), which could be used to wrap renZEC so you’d get zero-knowledge wrapped ZEC tokens on Ethereum.

Another interesting point is that because RenVM acts as an “off-chain” decentralized custodian of assets on whatever chain is supported, minting and burning can be done on other smart-contract capable chains as well (when that functionality is built out), meaning we can get ZEC on Cosmos and Polkadot as well. And it would be possible to go from Ethereum-renZEC to Cosmos-renZEC in just one transaction, because you don’t need to transfer the ZEC held by RenVM, you only need to burn on one chain and mint on the other.

There is currently about 200 ZEC minted on Ethereum now, not much but it is something and hopefully growing.

There is a small ZEC-ETH Uniswap pool now as well: https://uniswap.info/token/0x1c5db575e2ff833e46a2e9864c22f4b22e0b37c2