Zcash: History, Privacy, and the Future of Web 3

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Crypto Wednesday: Aztec co-founder Thomas Walton-Pocock hosts Zooko Wilcox, CEO of Electric Coin Company, to discuss Zcash, privacy, technical barriers, and innovation. Zcash, a decentralized, open-source cryptocurrency, is most identified by individuals for its built-in encryption which allows for private data in a public blockchain. Zcash's most important feature, according to Wilcox, is its dev fund—it's self-funding, which allows developers to continuously improve the protocol in order to prevent the currency from being undermined, weakened, vulnerable to capture, or steered in a direction for an individual's benefit. Some investors treat privacy, whether offered by Zcash or any other protocol, merely as an additional feature; however, Wilcox explains that because privacy is a fundamental aspect of its design, the Zcash protocol is stronger than other protocols that add privacy as a feature on top.

Recorded on April 20, 2021.

Key Learnings: According to Wilcox, privacy is a human right—consumers need it and are losing it to the internet. Wilcox saw Bitcoin as having a head start, and Zcash would be a niche alternative for those who were especially sensitive or motivated, or most importantly, for commerce. With its funding, continuous evolution, and use of zero knowledge, Wilcox believes that Zcash and its scalability could become the gold standard for usage.

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