All cryptocurrencies are known as relatively anonymous and safe payment methods. However, the reality is not that ideal: in 2021, the majority of cryptocurrencies have gone more transparent. At least, everybody can open the blockchain code and see the history of transactions. The need for fully anonymous currencies is present, despite the stereotypes about their popularity only in the dark net. This post will analyze the main properties of two currencies created to be fully anonymous: ZEC vs Monero. It will test their approaches to privacy, limits, and reliability.
ZEC and Monero Privacy
Both currencies are not new (Monero appeared in 2014, and ZEC in 2016). Each of them was created with the intent to be fully anonymous. That is why such a competition exists.
Monero can be characterized with the following privacy features:
- RingCT hides the number of operations in the network.
- Korvi is the function of hiding the IP addresses of both sides of the transaction.
- Stealth addresses mean that a system generates a new address for a user for each operation.
- Ring signatures imply masking one real user’s signature in a number of fake ones.
Every transaction in Monero is divided into parts, sent through numerous artificial nodes. ZEC is built on slightly different protocols:
- The Zerocash protocol includes non-interactive proofs with zero disclosure called z-SNARKs. They allow assigning two types of addresses (public and private). Three types of transactions (private-private, public-public, private-public) exist.
- The register of ZEC does not save data about the transaction sides. The only information to be stored in the block is the time of transaction.
While it is theoretically possible to track the Monero transaction parties, it is impossible to do in ZEC, as it simply does not save such data. However, Monero leaves users anonymous by default, while ZEC users have to choose between three ways of the transaction, with only one fully anonymous variant.
ZEC and Monero Speed Limits
The average speed of Monero block building is about minutes. The same ratio varies when it comes to ZEC (usually, it is slightly slower, about 2 minutes and 20 seconds). The ZEC transactions with private addresses take even more time. The average speed also depends on the network load. All these factors make ZEC a relatively slow cryptocurrency, with only six transactions per second. It is a way lower speed, if you compare ZEC with more popular cryptocurrency pairs, like the swap BTC to XMR, or BTC to ETH.
Monero is built of the principle called the limit of the dynamic block size. The blocks will expand or squeeze depending on the previous ones in the chain. The average Monero speed is estimated as 1300-1500 transactions per second.
ZEC vs. Monero: Reliability
Here, both currencies have unique advantages. Monero, for instance, is more popular and widely spread than ZEC. It is believed to be used as the main currency for dark net operations on both private and governmental levels.
On the other hand, the lower popularity of ZEC is its main advantage. It shows lower transaction commissions and higher stability. Both currencies face problems with scaling, which requires high transaction speeds. While Monero applies dynamic blocks, ZEC has nothing to do with the issue. What is more, it is not saved from the rapid transaction cost rising.
To conclude, both cryptocurrencies are designed for anonymous operations. Monero provides better speeds and fewer skill requirements, while ZEC is not that costly. The choice of the investment aim should depend on your intents. If you plan to conduct many small transactions, ZEC is better. If you want to save some money and get the income from the exchange course growth, Monero is your choice.