by Daira Hopwood, Sean Bowe, Taylor Hornby, and Nathan Wilcox | Mar. 19, 2018
This paper describes the Zcash protocol. It begins with an outline of useful blockchain concepts and then illustrates these concepts with an absract protocol. All this is then applied to a concrete protocol. The authors then describe the differences in consenus mechanism between Bitcoin and Zcash. Finally they explain how the Zcash protocol differs from it's predecessor Zerocash.
Zcash is an implementation of the Decentralized Anonymous Payment scheme Zerocash, with security fixes and adjustments to terminology, functionality and performance. It bridges the existing transparent payment scheme used by Bitcoin with a shielded payment scheme secured by zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (zk-SNARKs). It attempts to address the problem of mining centralization by use of the Equihash memory-hard proof-of-work algorithm. This specification defines the Zcash consensus protocol and explains its differences from Zerocash and Bitcoin.
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