Today, the issue of privacy, on and offline, is more pertinent than ever. A big concern from many in crypto circles is the ability for anyone to track and trace transactions or wallets on a public ledger like Bitcoin.
Zcash is one of the most prominent privacy-centric coins in the market today, pushing an alternative for those who want to their transactions to be secret.
What is Zcash?
Originally a fork of Bitcoin, Zcash builds on the positives of it as a digital currency, while addressing the privacy question. The blockchain uses zero-knowledge proofs to allow transactions to be verified without disclosing information on the transaction value, or the sending and receiving parties.
One of the roadblocks in the way of privacy coins is when the user wants to turn privacy off, in the case of audits or complying with regulations, for example. Zcash has a solution for this. Their network has a system in which wallet holders can use two different types of address (each representing the same wallet). One, the “z-address” is private, while the other, the “t-address” is publicly viewable. This allows users to decide when they want to disclose their transaction details or not, allowing more flexibility and a wider range of possible use cases.
Read on to find out how you can buy your first ZEC, through the popular Binance exchange.
Step 1: Register for an account on Binance
The first step, if you haven’t already, is to open an account on Binance. The process is quick and easy, and open to users almost anywhere in the world.
Step 2: Verify your account
Before you start trading, you’ll need to submit several verification documents to the Binance team. Additionally, take this time to set up 2-Factor Authentication to protect your account.
Step 3: Send BTC or ETH to your Binance account
There are still very few reputable and secure places to buy anything but the most popular cryptocurrencies with Fiat, such as USD or EUR. Therefore to buy Zcash, you’ll first need Bitcoin or Ethereum. Once you do, you can trade either of these coins for ZEC on Binance.
If you don’t already hold BTC or ETH, you can purchase either one from a Fiat exchange like Coinbase, or sites such as Coinmama or Changelly.
To send coins to your Binance account, go to the menu at the top of the page and select “Funds”, then “Deposits”.
Choose the coin you are going to send from the dropdown menu.
You’ll be shown a wallet address to send your coins to. Ensure you only send the specified coin to that address (i.e. BTC to the BTC wallet or ETH to the ETH wallet). Any other type of coin you send may be lost.
Step 4: Wait for confirmation
Transactions are often completed within minutes, but may take longer depending on the amount of activity on the network. Wait for Binance to confirm the success of your transaction before you continue.
Step 5: Find and select the BTC or ETH pair
Once your funds have arrived in your Binance wallet, it’s time to move to the exchange section of the site. Go to the navigation header, and select “Exchange”, then “Basic”.
Now look on the right side of the page. Search for ZEC in the search box, and click on the pair that comes up (ZEC/BTC or ZEC/ETH).
Optional: Use Binance’s advanced tools to buy at the right time
Binance offers data such as real-time analytic charts, trading volume and order history to help you make the right moves at the right time. They also give you the ability to set limit orders. This means you put in the price you want to buy (or sell) ZEC for, and the exchange will automatically make your trade once the price hits this point.
Step 6: Choose the amount of Zcash to buy
Put in the price you want to buy ZEC for, or select the “Markets” option to buy at the current price (this is recommended for beginner or novice traders).
Next, put in how much you want to buy. It can be a specific amount in ZEC or BTC/ETH, or you can choose to spend 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of your BTC/ETH wallet.
Step 7: Buy Zcash!
Hit the green “Buy ZEC” button, and you’re done!
Step 8: Move your coins to a secure Zcash wallet
The best practice in crypto is to always store your coins in your own wallet when not actively trading. Leaving coins on an exchange leaves your funds in the hands of the exchange’s security measures, whereas in your own wallet it is easier to control.
To take your ZEC off the exchange, you’ll need a wallet that supports Zcash. The Ledger Nano S and Trezor Model T hardware wallets offer the highest level of security. Alternative options include the Exodus wallet for desktop, or Coinomi for mobile.
To make a withdrawal, go to the header menu and select “Funds”, then “Withdrawals”. Select ZEC from the dropdown menu.
Put in the ZEC address from your wallet, and the amount of ZEC you want to withdraw. Double check the address is correct, then click “Submit”. Once the network completes your transaction, your coins should appear in your ZEC wallet.
Read our coverage of the ZCash listing on Coinbase Pro in late 2018. Or, if you’re interested in acquiring ZEC, you can read about how to mine it in our guide here.
For those interested in investing, check out our Zcash Price Prediction article—but always do your own research.