Zcash vs. Monero: Privacy Coins Comparison 2024

(Last Updated On: March 13, 2024)

In the crypto space, privacy coins Zcash and Monero stand out as leading contenders. These digital currencies offer unique approaches to anonymity and security. They provide us with secure and private transactions. This comparison delves into the intricacies of these two prominent cryptocurrencies, highlighting their similarities and differences

We explore their histories, technologies, development teams, and performance. So we aim to provide a comprehensive privacy guide. Maybe one of them was mined before its release? Read our comparison to see the proof, which privacy coin best aligns with its needs and preferences.

Introduction to Zcash and Monero

Making an overview of Zcash and Monero, they are privacy coins, focusing on security in transactions. The coins basically don’t need introductions: they are well-known for keeping your financial activities confidential. 

Zcash uses “zero-knowledge proofs” to achieve this, while Monero relies on advanced mathematical techniques. Both aim to provide you with private transactions that remain untraceable, without revealing any information. Let’s explore these privacy coins further to understand how they work and compare them to each other.

EncryptionRing signatureszk-SNARKs
Transactions per Second1,7006-25
Block Confirmation Time2.5 minutes75 seconds
Block Reward0.61 XMR3.125 ZEC
Market Supply18,185,761 XMR16,328,269 ZEC
Market Cap$2,549,499,199$477,630,510
All-Time High$517.62$5,941.80
Monero Zcash Comparison

Monero Overview

Since its launch in 2014, Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency distinguished by its unwavering focus on privacy and security. Built on the CryptoNote protocol, Monero employs ring signatures. These are cryptographic techniques used to obfuscate transaction details, protecting anonymity for both senders and recipients. 

Unlike many other assets, Monero conceals transaction amounts, providing comprehensive privacy to all blockchain users. This robust anonymity feature has made Monero a preferred choice for individuals seeking truly private transactions. 

With its commitment to anonymity and security, Monero has gained widespread recognition. Monero is one of the leading privacy-focused cryptocurrency in the digital currency landscape. The coin attracts users who value privacy as a fundamental aspect of their financial transactions.

Zcash Overview

The launch of Zcash was in 2016 by Electric Coin Company as a Bitcoin fork. Like Monero, Zcash also focuses on privacy, but stands out for its innovative use of zero-knowledge proofs for optional privacy

By providing users with the choice between shielded and transparent transactions, Zcash offers a flexible solution that caters to diverse privacy preferences. Zcash offers the option for complete anonymity, making sure that transaction details remain confidential on Zcash blockchain.

Derived from the Bitcoin codebase, Zcash allows users to opt for enhanced privacy through shielded transactions or maintain transparency with transparent transactions. By offering this dual-transaction system, Zcash helps users who seek enhanced privacy without compromising on transparency when needed.

Zcash takes a different approach, that has garnered a strong user base composed of individuals. It prioritizes privacy and embraces cutting-edge technology. For users emphasizing anonymity and security in their digital transactions, this is applicable.

Comparing Privacy Technology

Constantly, users discuss the comparison between Monero and Zcash. Monero uses Ring Signatures to enhance privacy features by mixing information about the sender with others. Zcash’s zk-SNARKs provide zero-knowledge proofs for shielded transactions to make it a strong anonymity and security.

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Monero’s Privacy Technology

Monero employs Ring Signatures to mix a sender’s address with others, enhancing privacy and making transactions untraceable. Stealth addresses provide unlinkable recipient anonymity and privacy to the recipient’s address. Additionally, RingCT technology conceals transaction amounts, providing anonymity by default. 

These privacy features create a secure and private environment for Monero users, distinguishing it as a leading cryptocurrency in terms of transaction privacy. Monero’s commitment to anonymity through innovative technologies has made it a popular choice among individuals and organizations seeking confidential and untraceable transactions.

Zcash’s Privacy Technology

Zcash employs zero-knowledge proofs for optional privacy through shielded or transparent transactions. Zero-knowledge proof allows verification without revealing information, enhancing confidentiality. Shielded transactions enable parties to exchange funds with complete anonymity, while transparent transactions are visible on the blockchain. 

Zcash’s flexibility with privacy options sets it apart, catering to users’ preferences for either private or visible transactions with public keys on the blockchain. However, compared to Monero, which offers default and stronger anonymity features, Zcash’s optional privacy features may not provide the same level of assurance to users seeking maximum confidentiality. 

Despite this, Zcash remains an asset for those who value choice and flexibility in managing their transaction privacy.

Comparing Performance

Several factors highlight the comparison between Zcash and Monero. Zcash has faster speed and lower fees compared to Monero. However, Monero prioritizes privacy over speed and scalability, resulting in slower but more secure transactions. Consider your priorities when choosing between Zcash’s efficiency or Monero’s enhanced privacy features.

Speed and Scalability

Speed and scalability play pivotal roles in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of transactions. Monero, a notable privacy-focused cryptocurrency, operates with a relatively slower block time and transaction speed. A new blocks are created every two and a half minutes. These inherent characteristics, while contributing to privacy features, can present limitations when compared to other crypto.

Data taken from Localmonero.co

In contrast, Zcash adopts a different approach by leveraging zk-SNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge) for faster transaction verification. This innovative technology allows Zcash to achieve a more rapid and efficient validation process, enhancing transaction speeds significantly. The implementation of zk-SNARKs sets Zcash apart, particularly in comparison to Monero’s traditional transaction verification methods.

Data taken from blockchair.com

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that both cryptocurrencies face scalability challenges. While Zcash’s use of zk-SNARKs brings speed advantages, there are still limitations in terms of scalability for both cryptocurrencies. As the demand for these privacy-centric digital assets continues to grow, addressing scalability becomes imperative to guarantee a seamless user experience.

The comparisons between Monero and Zcash highlight the trade-offs between privacy features, transaction speed, and scalability. Monero prioritizes robust privacy measures at the expense of slower transaction processing, while Zcash employs zk-SNARKs to achieve faster verification but encounters scalability challenges. Understanding these nuances is essential for users and developers navigating the landscape of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies.

Adoption and Usage 

The adoption and usage of Monero vs Zcash diverge significantly. Monero has gained popularity on the dark web due to easier mining and stronger anonymity features, appealing to users involved in illicit activities like hacking. In contrast, Zcash’s optional privacy can be advantageous with the different regulations. These features offer transparency when needed and make it more approachable

The distinct approaches of Monero and Zcash in providing privacy options attract different user bases. Monero is being favored in less regulated environments and anonymity issues where privacy is paramount. Zcash is finding acceptance in settings requiring a balance between privacy and regulatory compliance. 

Understanding these adoption trends is crucial for regulators and stakeholders seeking to balance privacy rights with the need for a secure and regulated digital currency environment.

Fees and Incentives

Monero imposes costly and variable transaction fees. The cost of sending Monero is 0.000006 XMR, which is  $0.0010. In contrast, Zcash has consistently low fees sustained by ample mining incentives. The way these two cryptocurrencies charge fees shows how they encourage miners and provide ‌efficient use cases.

Users considering transaction costs may lean towards Zcash for its predictable and affordable fee system. Monero transactions are private, thus users may accept higher fees as part of using it.

Understanding the fee dynamics and mining incentives of the coins can guide users in selecting a cryptocurrency aligned with their financial preferences and priorities.

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Technical Aspects and Teams 

Monero’s team focuses on decentralization, while Zcash employs advanced algorithms. Comparisons on their technical aspects and development teams provide insights into the distinct approaches of the cryptocurrency.

Mining Algorithms

Monero works with the ASIC-resistant CryptoNight algorithm to enable decentralized mining, providing a level playing field for miners. In contrast, Zcash employs the Equihash algorithm with efforts towards ASIC resistance to maintain decentralization and prevent mining centralization. 

The choice of mining algorithms by Monero and Zcash reflects their commitment to fostering a fair and inclusive mining environment while addressing concerns related to centralization in cryptocurrency mining.

Development Teams

Monero’s developers and the community operate with a level of secrecy. They are dedicated to enhancing privacy and decentralization. Conversely, Zcash prioritisizes transparency of the team, which consists of expert scientists and renowned crypto advisors. 

Monero’s secretive nature reflects its emphasis on community engagement and grassroots support, aligning with its commitment to user privacy. In contrast, Zcash’s collaboration with high-profile experts and advisors showcases its focus on technical excellence and innovation. 

The contrasting strategies of Monero and Zcash foundation shed light on their priorities in advancing blockchain technology and privacy-enhancing solutions. Users evaluating these distinctions gain valuable insights into the core values and approaches of each cryptocurrency. 

The insights help in decision-making processes when choosing between Monero or Zcash for their digital transactions and privacy preferences.

Bottom Line

When choosing Zcash and Monero as privacy-focused coins, it’s crucial to align your choice with your priorities. Both cryptocurrencies, have its own advantages and disadvantages

Zcash offers a unique blend of selective privacy through shielded transactions and transparency, with its transparent option, appealing to those valuing customizable privacy levels. On the other hand, Monero’s robust privacy features, including the ring confidential transactions and stealth addresses, prioritize complete transaction confidentiality. 

While Zcash provides versatility, Monero excels in comprehensive anonymity. Ultimately, the superior privacy coin depends on your specific needs. If flexibility is key, Zcash may be your choice, whereas those seeking maximum privacy might lean towards Monero. 

Aside from the recommendations, understanding individual preferences and needs is crucial in selecting the best-suited cryptocurrency for your transactions. Do you lean towards Monero for its enhanced privacy or Zcash for its speed and cost-effectiveness? Share your thoughts on which privacy coin you believe holds the upper hand and why! 

Interested in swapping Monero for other cryptocurrencies? Let us provide you with an explanatory guide using the example of swapping XMR to BTC. Although the guide uses XMR to BTC exchange pairs, the process is the same for any other cryptocurrencies. So, if you want to swap ZEC for BTC, this guide will still apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Zcash or Monero better for privacy?

Monero is seen as better for privacy because it has strong features like ring signatures and stealth addresses, which make it harder to track transactions. Zcash also offers privacy through shielded transactions but allows for some transparency, giving users more choice.

What are the most anonymous cryptocurrencies, Monero, or Zcash?

Monero is known to be more anonymous than Zcash. Monero uses advanced techniques like ring signatures and stealth addresses to keep transactions private and untraceable, while Zcash offers privacy features but allows for some level of transparency.

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