Zcash is one of the Cryptocurrencies that has gained much recognition due to its amazing nature of privacy. Researchers have however noted that the anonymity nature of this digital coin is coming under threat and might soon be a thing of the past.
According to the researchers, there are certain patterns in particular types of Zcash operations that tend to weaken their privacy nature. This study was carried on by three professional researchers; Sarah Meiklejohn, Mary Maller, Haaroon Yousaf, and George Kappos.
They found out that the nature of moving coins is the main contributor to the diminishing anonymity, according to them, when coins are transferred from their unshielded address to shielded address and finally back to the unshielded addresses, much of the privacy that Zcash consumers expect is lost.
This team of researchers who are members of an established learning institution in London went ahead to note that the averagely simple approach to problem-solving lower the quantity of the general Zcash anonymity package by close to 70%.
More About Zcash
Zcash is no doubt among the fastest growing digital coins, and this is attributed to the fact that it is also a well-known privacy coin. This privacy coin has two major types of addresses; the z-addresses as well as the t-addresses. The t-addresses are the unshielded or transparent ones, and this implies that their transactions and balances can be publicly viewed by those who use the Blockchain network.
On the other hand, z-addresses are fully shielded and this means that their transactions and balances are fully visible. The transactions that come from one transparent address to another are entirely public, just as in the case of Bitcoin operations.
However, operations that come from one shielded address to another are nearly invisible, but only display the fees and timestamps that are connected with the mining. The transactions that occur between various kinds of addresses may at times create certain bottlenecks, and this might make it difficult to glean certain details concerning the involved z-addresses.
Reasons Behind the Main Problem
According to the report that these researchers gave, behavioral activities are one of the main reasons. Their study would have been less impactful if the founders dealing with the pool weren’t behaving in a regular fashion.
The best thing to do is to withdraw a similar amount in a similar time interval, making it easy to identify the founders who withdraw funds from the accounts of other Zcash customers. The main reason behind these transactions and others carried out by other miners is that the coins are supposed to go through the z-addresses before they can be ready for other transactions.
Alert To The Founders
The researchers made it clear that the founders of this privacy coin were made aware of the findings of this study. This happened prior to its publication, which took place days later.
Their efforts were later applauded by Zcash’s marketing director, Josh Swihart and the founder Zooko Wilcox. They have agreed to invite other researchers who would help in investigating some of the problems that were identified by The University College London team.