How to Buy Zcash (ZEC)

Contributor, Benzinga

Want to jump straight to the answer? You can buy ZEC on Gemini, Coinbase, eToro and Robinhood.

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Founded in 2016, Zcash is a privacy-protecting digital currency. It was launched by top cryptographers from MIT, Technion, Johns Hopkins, Tel Aviv University and UC Berkeley. All your Zcash transactions are shielded and completely private. Similar to Bitcoin, Zcash financial data is uploaded to a public blockchain. But unlike Bitcoin, Zcash transaction details and your personal information is kept confidential. 

Zcash transactions are verified with “zero-knowledge proofs.” With this process, you can trade Zcash tokens without unveiling the sender, receiver or amount. It also features a selective disclosure option that allows users to share certain transaction details, made easy for compliance purposes and audits. 

You can spend Zcash to buy goods and services or exchange the coin for fiat money. Zcash can be exchanged on trading platforms for the U.S. dollar (USD), Euros or other fiat currencies. Most cryptocurrency trades reveal the transaction history and holdings to the public, especially if done on a centralized cryptocurrency exchange. 

But unlike other cryptocurrencies and traditional money, Zcash transactions are tracked and managed on a decentralized, public blockchain. Zcash lets you truly own your digital assets without leaking any private information.

Core Capabilities of Zcash

Low-fee Transactions: Zcash supports quick transactions with a low fee of 0.0001 Zcash. It is also supported by a wide range of top digital wallets and crypto exchanges.

Address and Transaction Privacy: Zcash offers 2 types of addresses, shielded and transparent. Shielded addresses are not visible. Transactions between shielded addresses do not reveal either address or the transaction amount. Transparent addresses and transactions between them are open to public viewing on the Zcash blockchain.

Encrypted Memos: A memo field is available for shielded transactions. It lets you encrypt and send relevant information along with the Zcash tokens to the receiver. 

Viewing Keys: Owners of Zcash have the option to disclose incoming transactions and the memo field for regulatory compliance or auditing. It does not grant access to the sender’s address unless identifying information is included in the memo field. 

Transaction Expiration: You can minimize the impact of non-mined transactions by setting an expiry on your Zcash trade.   

Multi-Signature Transactions: You can set up Zcash transactions to require multiple signatures to complete the process. In such cases, 2 or more parties may have to comply with the transaction for it to go through. However, multi-signature transactions are transparent and can’t be made private.  

How To Buy Zcash

Ready to get started investing in Zcash? Here’s how you can do so in 3 simple steps. Remember, cryptocurrencies are much more volatile than other investments, so be sure to only invest capital you’re willing to lose!

  1. Open an online account.

    You’ll need a cryptocurrency exchange account to invest in Zcash. Luckily, there are more than a dozen online marketplaces that allow you to trade the digital asset. These exchanges are sometimes referred to as crypto brokerages, but they’re essentially the same thing. Crypto exchanges can differ in terms of their fees, security policies and the digital currencies available for trade. A good cryptocurrency exchange to use for Zcash is Gemini.

  2. Buy or Download a Wallet

    Digital cryptocurrency wallets can help you store your cryptocurrencies in a secure way. Make sure you protect your passwords and take regular backups to safeguard your digital assets. 

    You can use several types of digital wallets — web, desktop, mobile, hardware and paper wallets. For the best experience, Benzinga recommends you to pick a wallet with shielded-address support for storing your Zcash. The 2 main types of crypto wallets are software and hardware wallets. While software wallets are computer programs you can use for free, hardware wallets are physical devices that store your crypto offline. If you want to be as secure as possible, use a hardware wallet.

  3. Make Your Purchase.

    When you have a digital wallet set up, you need to sign in to your exchange account to start trading. Browse through the cryptocurrencies and select Zcash to view its price. You can also enter “ZEC” in the search bar to find it faster. 

    When the price of a Zcash token seems favorable for a trade, you can click on the Buy button to execute the order. Make sure you calculate the exact number of tokens you want to buy before going through with the buy order.   

Best Crypto Exchanges for Zcash

Depending on the online broker you choose, you will have the option to either buy Zcash or trade it for other cryptocurrencies. Before you start trading Zcash, you need to sign up for an account on its trading platform

Take a look at some of the popular exchanges that allow you to trade Zcash.  

eToro 

eToro is a leading cryptocurrency exchange. As 1 of the earliest platforms to allow cryptocurrency trading, eToro is trusted by millions. You can buy and sell more than 91 cryptocurrencies on the platform including Zcash, Dash, Tron and Tezos.

The trading platform provides tight spreads and highly liquid digital markets. You also gain access to institutional-grade algorithmic capabilities, advanced market research and analysis tools.  

Gemini

Gemini is an easy-to-use cryptocurrency broker. It lets you buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies instantly. Gemini is a licensed New York trust company that undergoes regular audits. It is the world’s 1st cryptocurrency exchange to receive Security Operations Center (SOC) certifications. 

Bitcoin, Ether, Zcash, Chainlink and Cosmos are among the cryptocurrencies listed on Gemini. The trading platform also offers insurance for all crypto assets held in your e-wallet and provides best-in-class cold storage facilities. You can also secure your account with a hardware key for added security.

Invest In Crypto securely through Gemini Crypto’s website
Best For
New Investors
N/A
1 Minute Review

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to over 100 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.

Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader. 

In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.

Best For
  • New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
  • Day traders looking to use technical analysis tools
  • Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their cryptos
Pros
  • Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a 5 minutes
  • Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
  • Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
Cons
  • Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app
get started securely through eToro’s website
Disclosure: eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Virtual currencies are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk.
Best For
Copy Trading
N/A
1 Minute Review

eToro is headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its underwhelming research and customer service features.

Best For
  • Investors looking to CopyTrade other traders
  • Simple user interface
Pros
  • Several major cryptocurrencies and altcoins
  • Expansive network of social trading features
  • Large client base for new traders to imitate
Cons
  • Only 29 coins available
earn free crypto securely through Coinbase’s website
Best For
Coinbase Learn
N/A
1 Minute Review

Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs. 

You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.

Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.

Best For
  • New cryptocurrency traders
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
Pros
  • Simple platform is easy to operate
  • Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
  • Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
Cons
  • Higher fees than competitors

Best Cryptocurrency Wallets

The best crypto wallet for you depends on your needs as an investor. If you seek to store your cryptocurrency in the safest way possible, you’ll need to purchase a hardware wallet. Since hardware wallets are physical devices that aren’t connected to the internet, it’s impossible for online hackers to steal your funds. Luckily, you can find many great hardware wallet options for under $60.

Best for Hardware: Ledger

Ledger has been making hardware wallets since 2014, and it’s the most established brand in the industry. Hardware wallets like Ledger allow you to store thousands of cryptocurrencies on a physical device offline, making it impossible to be hacked by shadowy super coders online. Ledger makes 2 wallets: The Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X. The Nano S is more affordable, and it’s more than enough for most crypto investors. If you’re willing to spend the extra dough on the Nano X, you’ll get some convenient features like extra storage and bluetooth connectivity.

buy now securely through Ledger Hardware Wallet’s website
Best For
ERC-20 tokens
N/A
1 Minute Review

Launched in 2014, Ledger has transformed into a fast-paced, growing company developing infrastructure and security solutions for cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain applications for companies and individuals. Born in Paris, the company has since expanded to more than 130 employees in France and San Francisco.

With 1,500,000 Ledger wallets already sold in 165 countries, the company aims at securing the new disruptive class of crypto assets. Ledger has developed a distinctive operating system called BOLOS, which it integrates to a secure chip for its line of wallets. So far, Ledger takes pride in being the only market player to provide this technology.

Best For
  • ERC-20 tokens
  • All experience levels
Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Supports more than 1,500 different digital assets
  • Tamper proof
  • Portable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Bluetooth connectivity features
Cons
  • Can be quite pricey

Best for Mobile: Unstoppable Wallet

Unstoppable Wallet is a dedicated wallet for mobile crypto traders. It lets you store your cryptocurrencies anywhere, anytime. Unstoppable Wallet is integrated with interactive charts and analytical tools to enhance your trading experience. You can store and grow your crypto assets privately without fraud risks or regulatory limitations. 

It supports more than 60 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Zcash. With exclusive control over your digital assets, you can easily transfer your funds from Unstoppable Wallet to other e-wallets. 

Trade or Sell Your Cryptocurrency

Trading cryptocurrency involves uploading transactional information such as the sender, receiver and the amount transferred to a public blockchain. Zcash is among the fastest blockchain systems and generally takes about 2.5 minutes to confirm a new block. Its competitor, Bitcoin, usually takes about 10 minutes to confirm a new block or transaction. 

The value of Zcash has been steadily gaining momentum since its launch in 2016. Zcash reached a record high the following year in 2017 with a market cap of $2 billion. Since then, the token hasn’t been able to come close to its all-time highs north of $800 per coin. For this reason, many investors are looking toward other crypto investments in 2021. 

Current Crypto Prices

Although the cryptocurrency markets started off the year strong in 2021, the markets have remained relatively flat over the course of the year. Bitcoin has traded in a channel between $35,000 and $60,000 for the majority of the year, and much of the market follows Bitcoin’s price action. For the most up to date cryptocurrency prices, check out our table below.

Is Zcash a Good Investment?

Although Zcash provided absolutely massive returns in the 2017 bull market, it hasn’t come close to appreciating to the same degree in 2021. This may be due to its proof of work consensus mechanism, limiting the number of transactions on its blockchain in comparison to proof of stake networks. Furthermore, regulatory restrictions may inhibit the growth of Zcash, as the token is built to be anonymous, and it may aid in money laundering or other illicit activities. All things considered, there may be better opportunities within blockchain investments to be had.

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