How to Buy Zcash in 3 Simple Steps – A Beginner’s Guide

What is Zcash (ZEC)?

ZCash is a new project which is headed by
Zooko Wilcox, that’s here to tackle one of bitcoin’s most
urging issues – traceability. As you may or may not know
Bitcoin
isn’t completely anonymous
.

Zcash has one major added feature on top of bitcoin, which is
completely private transactions. This means that both the
recipient and the amount sent are being kept a secret, unknown
to anyone but the sender and the recipient. Now you’re
probably thinking, if the amounts are being kept secret, how do
I know there aren’t new coins being generated and inflating the
amount of existing coins?

The answer is called Zero-Knowledge proofs, or
zk-SNARK.

zk-SNARK are a way of proving that you have knowledge of
something without giving out any information about the thing
itself. It’s used in ZCash to prove the transaction is valid
and does not create new coins, without giving out information
about the amounts and the recipients.
Some research suggests that the anonymity of ZCash is
fundamentally stronger then the ones provided by other
privacy-focused networks such as
Dash
or Monero.

How Zcash is born

ZCash didn’t actually have an ICO like many of the recent
altcoins are having, ZCash distribution works very much the
same way as Bitcoin does – Through mining.

Every 2.5 minutes on average, a ZCash block is found creating
12.5 new ZECs, which adds up to 50 new coins every 10 minutes
on average, just like bitcoin had during its first 4 years.
And, just like bitcoin, every 4 years
this block reward amount will halve too
, resulting in a
maximum total of 21 million ZCash coins which will ever be
created.

How to Buy Zcash?

First Step – Get a wallet

Start by creating a wallet. Wallets come in both desktop and
mobile forms.

For a desktop wallet, you can download the official Zcash
wallet for mac or for windows. Once you install it, you can
use the wallet right away but you won’t be able to see
transactions before you let it sync for a night or so,
depending on your internet connection.

Once it’s installed, you go to the Own addresses tab, right
click the address the client has created for you, and then
click Obtain Private Key.zcash private keyA screen shows your
private key and letting you know it’s been copied to your
clipboard

Keep this backed up very carefully and very securely,
preferably on paper, remember if you lose it you will lose
access to your money, there is no one that can help if it’s
lost, and anyone with this key controls your money.

Once that’s done, double clicking the public address in the Own
Addresses tab will let you copy it.
This is the address you’ll later need to get your Zcash out of
the exchanges and into your own wallet.
Keep it somewhere accessible, it’s not that much of a secret,
and it starts with a “t” the same way bitcoin addresses
typically start with a “1” or a “3”.

zcash address

Next, we’ll also cover how to hold your ZCash on your mobile
with the Coinomi MultiWallet. If
you rather use the native client, feel free to skip right ahead
and see how and where you can buy Zcash.

For holding your ZCash on your Coinomi wallet, you’ll first
have to install the app on your Android
device (an iOS app is in the works).

After you’ve downloaded the app hit “Create a new wallet”,
Write down the passphrase and go through the process of typing
it back into the app to make sure you backed it up correctly.
Next, your have a menu on the left side with all of the assets
you’ve selected, go to ZCash then swipe right to get to the
“Recieve” tab.

And there you have it, that’s the address you’ll be using to
get your ZCash out of the exchanges.

Next step – Find a Zcash Exchange

Next we’ll be covering how to sign up and get verified on an
exchange called Kraken where you can buy
ZCash.

First, go to Kraken and sign up for a new
account. Then go to your email inbox and get the confirmation
email.

Now look for the “Get Verified” tab get your account approved
so you can deposit funds into it. It also has all of the
updated details about the different tiers of verifications,
what documents they require and what limitations in terms of
withdrawal they have.

kraken verification
Scroll down to the verification form. Once you’re done,
hit the “Get Verified” button and you should see this:

kraken verified
Getting your first tier verification shouldn’t take too long,
for me it was under an hour.
Once you’re verified, you’ll be notified by email. Then you can
go right ahead and fund your account. You can fund your account
with Bitcoin or fiat currency.

Once the account is funded go to the “Trade” tab, then look up
the trading pair that correlates with how you funded your
account. For example, if you funded your account with Bitcoin
look for ZEC > ZEC/XBT
Then Look for the sub tab “New Order”, switch the order type
from “Limit” to “Order”, chose how many ZEC (The symbol for
ZCash) you want to buy and hit the Buy button.

buy zcash kraken

Go through your order details to make sure everything is right,
and if it is, click “Submit Order”.

Congrats! You just bought your first ZCash, now all that’s left
to do is draw it out of the exchange so you can truly have full
control over it.

Final step – Withdraw your Zcash

You do that by going to The Funding Tab > Withdraw >
Zcash > Add New Address

Zcash withdraw

This will send out a confirmation email making sure you approve
of this newly added address as your withdraw address and will
prompt you to double check this is the correct address.

Now we’ll go back to Funding > Withdraw > ZEC tab, and
chose the address we’ve just added from the drop down menu,
fill up the amount, click “Review Withdrawal” and make sure all
of the details are correct. If they are, click approve.

You’re done!

Within a few minutes, Kraken will send out your ZCash to your
backed up address that’s under your sole control. You’re now
the proud owner of your very own Zcash.

You can track your address in any block explorer that’s
tracking the Zcash Blockchain, such as ZCha.in by simply pasting your address into
the search bar.

Additional methods for buying Zcash

There are simpler instant exchanges such as Shapeshift or Changelly you could use as well to buy Zcash.
You might end up paying a slightly higher fee, but this process
is much easier and doesn’t require identity verification.

For example, on Shapeshift all you do
is choose Zcash, select Bitcoin as the currency you’re
exchanging, and hit “continue”.
Put in your Zcash address, check the rate that you’re getting,
check the “Agree to terms” and hit “Start transaction”.

The next page contains the rate in which the exchange is taking
place, and the upper and lower limits to the amount you can
exchange in one go, all you need to do is send a bitcoin
transaction to the address that’s generated.

shapeshit zcash transaction

You can repeat this process as many times as you want and
exchange as much as you want. Within a few minutes the Zcash
you bought will be sent to your address.

A Very similar process is also possible through Changelly, which works pretty much the same,
and you should check which one gives you better rate at a given
moment and for a given amount.

If you had any experience with Zcash and would like to comment
feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Alon Goll

Alon is a free markets and minimum government advocate,
Likes to apply economics background to analyze Bitcoin
and cryptocurrencies.
He is also a serial entrepreneur, founder of Bitcoin
Academy, a self proclaimed moustachier and an AcroYogi.

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