Zcash privacy is immune to blockchain spies, ambassador says

Key facts:
  • Elena Giralt assured that only public Zcash transactions can be traced.

  • For Giralt, blockchain spying forces projects to optimize their privacy.

Advances from blockchain surveillance companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic do not affect Zcash’s privacy. This is how Elena Giralt, head of marketing for the company that leads the development of this cryptocurrency, considers it: Electric Coin Company.

Giralt established a differentiation between public and private transactions that can be made through the Zcash protocol, during the most recent episode of the podcast In Consensus, produced by CriptoNoticias.

Elena Giralt, mentioned that only public transactions can be monitored in Zcash. Source: elenasgiralt / linkedin.com

The company representative assured in this regard that only public transactions can be monitored, while “it is not possible to monitor private transactions” of this cryptocurrency.

Although private and only public transactions cannot be traced, the ability to discriminate between the two types would facilitate the identification and even censorship of private transactions, which could lessen the incentive to use them.

Apart from the discussion itself about whether or not Zcash’s privacy is compromised, Giralt considered it important to recognize that “if there is someone who can monitor transactions on a cryptocurrency, that shows the lack of privacy of that protocol.”

For this reason, more than criticism of the surveillance companies, Giralt is inclined to see in the espionage of these companies the emergence of a new need. “We have to fight to have more technology that really provides privacy,” he said about it.

Additionally, the interviewee pondered the growing interest of governments, banks and financial institutions towards tracking private transactions with cryptocurrencies. In his understanding, this is the result of the users’ own concern for their privacy and the use of these types of tools.

Indeed, in recent months there has been an increased interest in tracking private transactions, including those of Zcash.

On the one hand, Chainalysis and Elliptic announced that they would begin tracking activity on Zcash. Meanwhile, governments like the United States are exploring tools like these to reduce privacy to various cryptocurrencies and even payment solutions such as Bitcoin’s Lightning network, as reported by CriptoNoticias.

Zcash protocol and privacy in transactions

Zcash uses a transaction confirmation system called “zero knowledge”, a process that Giralt describes as achieving “verifying that a fact (or a transaction, in this case) is true without knowing [los detalles de] the fact”.

To start the chain, in Zcash a kind of “ceremony” is carried out during which the “trusted setup” or the configuration for approval of transactions with zero-knowledge tests is approved.

Giralt acknowledged that this configuration modality has not been without controversy, and there have even been initiatives that propose to eradicate this configuration methodology, while maintaining the confirmation mechanism.

The controversial part of what “You have to trust that all the people who are approving the configuration are not cheating”. Not all people interested in the project see this with good eyes, said the representative of Electric Coin Company.

Overview of Venezuela and the use of cryptocurrencies

A Venezuelan based in the United States, Elena Giralt spoke about the Venezuelan case and the interest that cryptocurrencies have aroused in the country. In his opinion, cryptocurrencies have “a more enthusiastic audience in Venezuela” than in other countries due to the particularities of their economic situation.

Consider, however, that It is not correct to refer to Venezuela as a “crypto paradise” or a “crypto-donation”. Although there is interest from the population and companies working in the area of ​​cryptocurrencies, for Giralt there are many who try to take advantage of the Venezuelan case as a marketing opportunity for their projects or particular cryptocurrencies.

Giralt assured that, although many seek to sponsor or offer their projects as a “solution” for Venezuela, part of the interest of emerging cryptocurrency companies stems from a curiosity to consider the South American country as a possible use case.

The same Venezuelan scenario makes him see as logical the fact that the first government to launch a cryptocurrency attempt was precisely that of Venezuela, with the Petro. He hopes that soon other countries will launch their own cryptocurrencies, something that has been advancing in cases like China.

But nevertheless, referred to the petro as the biggest scam in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. All the possibilities that the launch of a cryptocurrency would bring for a case like Venezuela’s were wasted or mishandled, he said in this regard.

The petro is blacklisted by the US government. And precisely, companies like Chainalysis have their eye on authorized exchange houses in Venezuela, which use the digital currency created by the government, such as the case of Criptolago, a clear example of the potential reach of these firms.

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Zcash privacy is immune to blockchain spies, ambassador says

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