Move Aside Bitcoin! ZCash and Appcpoms are Stealing the Highlights in the Cryptocurrency World
While Bitcoin continues battling its challenges such as network limitations or internal battles in the community, new crypto-currencies are capturing the highlights and the minds of software developers. A few weeks ago, the R3 bank consortium announced a partnership with Ripple to use its digital currency in international transactions. More recently, crypto-currencies such as Appscoin and Zcash have aggressively entered the market trying to address ome of the limitations of Bitcoin. Both Zcash and Appcoin represent very exciting development of the world of digital currencies.
Announced just a few days ago, Zcash( Zero Cash) have raised a lot of expectations in the digital currency community for its use of cutting edge cryptography. Among its many exciting features, Zcash excels at enabling unprecedented levels of anonymity and privacy for its users. From the technical standpoint, Zcash can be considered a major breakthrough in the digital currency space and not just another release of the same type of technology.
Zcash accomplished its privacy and anonymity levels by using a technique called “aero knowledge proofs” or zk-SNARKs. In a nutshell, zk-SNARKs algorithms allow the Zcash network to verify transaction without learning any private details about the entities involved in it.
The Zcash model can be considered an evolution of the Bicoin pseudonymity architecture. On the Bitcoin network, a person is represented by an address and all transaction related to that address are publicly available. On the Zcash network, the person’s address will remain private based on zk-SNARKs encryption. Other aspects such as the amount of the transaction and the destination can also be obscured.
The reasons behind Zcash are questionable and, if it works, we can imagine is going to be widely adopted in the black market and other illegal activities. However, there are also many benefits that come from a completely anonymous crypto-currency including the inability of prioritize transactions based on the origin, destination and amount.
Appcoins is a concept that I thought was going to take off after the launch of Ethereum. While it has take a while the digital currency community seems to be warming up to the idea.
Conceptually, Appcoins are crypto-currencies embedded within a specific app that us used to pay for goods and services that the app offers. Ether can be considered Ethereum’s Appcoin and it was used to crowfund the project.
Appcoins are a super exciting concept but it also raises many concerns from the ethical standpoint, First, crypto-currencies created for a specific app may lack the rigor of a general purpose digital currency infrastructure and, consequently, are likely to be more vulnerable to cyber-security attacks (ex: Ethereum DAO attack). Also, Appcoins are subjected to the temptation of mining/selling too many coins upfront in order to raise initial funds for the app (kind of an overvalued seed round :) ).
There are plenty of positive and negative arguments that can be used for any specific cryptocurrency. However, even the most skeptical of the digital currency market can’t deny the new and exciting innovations happening in the space. Is certainly not about Bitcoin anymore!