Who Started Zcash and Why?
The precursor to Zcash started when Zooko Wilcox began worrying about the privacy of Bitcoin transactions back in 2013. The problem, as Zooko saw it, was that Bitcoin didn’t provide privacy for its transactions. Bitcoin lists all transactions on a public blockchain. While you don’t have to give personally identifiable information in order to open a Bitcoin wallet, all the Bitcoin going to and coming from your wallet can be tracked. Looking at the web of transactions around your wallet, someone could potentially learn a lot about you and who you do business with.
Wilcox’s original idea in 2013 was called zerocoin. It was a place where Bitcoin users could deposit, combine, split, and withdraw Bitcoin into new wallets. This had the effect of obscuring where the transaction history of the coins.
After a while, however, the zerocoin team realized there was a demand for a truly private cryptocurrency. Working with cryptographers in the U.S. and Israel, the zerocoin team developed the zerocash protocol, a system for private transactions. On top of the zerocash protocol, they launched a new cryptocurrency called Zcash.
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