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In Search Of The Best Privacy Coin: Why We Chose Zcash

Recently, some members of the Komodo community have referenced the cryptocurrency Zerocoin (‘Zcoin’) and asked about the differences between ZCoin and ZCash. People often wonder which is the best privacy coin and ask why Komodo forked ZCash instead of ZCoin.

There seem to be some misconceptions about what ZCoin and ZCash are. As such, we thought we should address these errors and ensure that Komodo users understand the underlying technology that powers Komodo Platform.

The first question we wanted to address when we came up with the idea for this article was: why did we decide to fork ZCash and not ZCoin? However, it seems that time has taken care of answering that question with a very practical example:

A single typo let hackers steal $400,000 from a bitcoin rival – ZCoin

While we acknowledge that ZCoin is a project with merit, this is simply a perfect example of why we didn’t use the ZCoin protocol to develop Komodo. ZCoin is using a 3-year-old development library which was previously set aside by the ZCash team. Unlike ZCoin, ZCash went through a great deal of testing, as well as peer and professional reviews and audits. ZCash took time, effort, and money to be developed. If you ever wondered why, now you know.

However, there seem to be some misconceptions about ZCoin and what it actually is. Unlike ZCash, ZCoin does not hide the amount of coins sent in a transaction, which makes ZCoin more prone to privacy timing attacks than ZCash.

Another fundamental difference is the minting process in ZCoin, which requires users to burn Bitcoin that is then converted into ZCoin that can be spent privately. Although this is an interesting method that provides benefits over traditional mixers, it is flawed in the sense that these coins can’t be converted back into Bitcoin. Although some projects like RSK are working on sidechain/drivechain solutions that allow for a 2-way-peg, ZCoin is still limited in this respect.

Jl777, Lead developer and founder of SuperNET, commented on the used of the ZCoin protocol:

I rejected using the libzerocoin as it was a lot of code, bloated and not-field tested… too risky.

Bugs happen, the only question is the scope of the bugs, that is why there is a need for review and testing. You can’t know what the bugs will be ahead of time; if you did, you would fix it.

Reviewing this code is quite difficult as it uses cutting edge crypto, that is why I only considered Zcash, which has a very thorough development team, the original scientists who came up with the cutting edge math, $250,000 USD external code audit, lots of test vectors. Reusing an existing proof is a pretty basic test that was overlooked. If that was missed, what else of that magnitude was also missed?

Peer-reviewing and testing is vital, especially when it comes to new technology like anonymous blockchain technology. The amount of effort and funding that has been put into ZCash is considerable. By forking from this project, Komodo has been able to start off with a strong and secure basis on which to build innovative features.

And that’s what makes KMD the best privacy coin. Komodo Platform took all of the best privacy features of ZCash and innovated a number of new blockchain technologies on top of it. KMD retains zk-SNARK protocol and untraceable transactions with JUMBLR, plus has a additional benefits like the delayed Proof of Work security mechanism, federated multi-chain syncing, and cross-chain smart contracts.

If you’d like to learn more about Komodo Platform, sign up for Komodo’s weekly newsletter and join the Komodo community on Discord. Join Komodo on the cutting-edge of the blockchain industry.