Zcash is a decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. The protocol was launched in October 2016 and is based on peer-reviewed cryptographic research, and built by a security-specialized engineering team on an open source platform based on Bitcoin Core’s battle-tested codebase.
If Bitcoin is like http for money, Zcash is https. Zcash offers total payment confidentiality, while still maintaining a decentralized network using a public blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin, Zcash transactions can be shielded to hide the sender, recipient, and value of all transactions on the blockchain. Only those with the correct view key can see the contents. Users have complete control and can opt-in to provide others with their view key at their discretion. Zcash transactions do not depend on the cooperation of other parties.