The state of Zcash adoption

The state of Zcash adoption

Since 2016, Zcash has become one of the most widely adopted digital currencies, supported by high-quality financial institutions and crypto companies around the world. At Electric Coin Co. (ECC), our primary focus is driving universal accessibility of Zcash, because we believe that private, non-censorable transactions are necessary for business and commercial use cases. 

Zcash is an open-source and permissionless digital currency that protects users’ privacy through zero-knowledge cryptography. This gives people the option to send and receive transactions without revealing information about the sender, recipient and transaction amount. This is called a shielded transaction, and it’s one of two types of transactions Zcash supports: Shielded transactions are private and encrypted, while transparent transactions are public and function similar in nature to transactions on the Bitcoin network. 

This blog outlines the state of Zcash adoption and details primary ways Zcash is used. To date, ecosystem participants are using Zcash through a variety of platforms as payment for goods and services, for private charitable donations, and a cross-border medium of exchange.

Our adoption strategy is focused on (a) providing infrastructure to securely store and manage Zcash and (b) improving market liquidity. We are committed to making Zcash universally accessible so that anyone is free to transact on the network.  

Zcash is available on top global exchanges and is supported by seven of the Bitwise Real 10, which measures cryptocurrency exchanges by real (vs. faked) transaction volume. Constituent exchanges include: Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken and Poloniex. As of May 1, 2020, Zcash is ranked 11th by Coinmetrics for 24-hour transaction volume, a measurement of on-chain economic activity.

A large percentage of Zcash trading in the United States occurs on exchanges that are registered with FinCEN as money service businesses (MSBs), including Kraken, Poloniex, Coinbase and Gemini. The latter two exchanges also hold a New York state BitLicense.

In May 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued a statement granting approval for Gemini to support Zcash trading and custody. As a New York Trust Company, Gemini is subject to rigorous review of anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection and cyber security standards. Gemini’s support for Zcash furthered our mission to provide everyone with access to the tools and platforms needed to transact safely and securely. According to Gemini, “the Zcash protocol’s cutting edge use of zero-knowledge [cryptography] makes it a truly innovative privacy coin that offers confidentiality for peer-to-peer transactions similar to those afforded to fiat currency transfers (e.g., ACH, FedWire, SWIFT).”

Security and privacy are critical for widespread adoption, and ECC has invested in relationships with best-in-class service providers. Today Zcash is supported by regulated and institutional-grade custodial and wallet services, and we continue to prioritize work on wallet libraries and SDKs to support the growth of the ecosystem.

Zcash is supported at top cryptocurrency payment providers, including Flexa and Gemini Pay. On the Flexa network last month, Zcash accounted for 11 percent of all transactions at Baskin Robbins, 31 percent of all transactions at Ulta, 16 percent of all transactions at GameStop, 13 percent of all transactions at AMC theaters, and 19 percent of all transactions at Petco. Today, Zcash can be used at more than 39,000 major retail locations, coffee shops, movie theaters and more.

Zcash payments don’t require a credit card or bank account, which creates access to more inclusive financial services that reach unbanked and underbanked populations.  Zcash transactions are secure, borderless and available to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity or financial status. 

Privacy is an often-overlooked component of charitable giving, for both the donor and recipient. There are a number of reasons why someone might choose to donate anonymously. In many cases, it’s because they want to support a cause without public notoriety. Likewise, charities that are firmly focused on an organization’s mission may not want the source of a donation to be a distraction from the work they are doing.

A growing number of charitable causes accept Zcash. Their missions range from privacy advocacy to freedom of the press and more.

AirDrop Venezuela is an organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid directly to thousands of Venezuelans. Funds can help a family purchase food, medicine or scarce imported goods. To date, the initiative has raised more than 300 Zcash and reached over 60,000 ID-verified recipients. 

BitcoinTuesday is a campaign launched to support those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 160 Zcash has been raised as part of this initiative, with the proceeds going to a wide range of participating charities: 41 percent of the Zcash donations were sent to Save The Children, 31 percent to SOS Children’s Villages, 16 percent to Human Rights Foundation, 8 percent to No Kid Hungry, and 4 percent to TOR Project. 

The Giving Block ran a campaign for International Women’s Day to support two non-profit organizations: Africa Development Promise and The Mona Foundation. Africa Development Promise is a charity focused on empowering rural women and supporting their efforts to achieve economic independence. The Mona Foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities to children around the world and empower women and girls so they can elevate their communities. The campaign raised $15,000 and Zcash was the top donated cryptocurrency.

Many other charitable organizations accept Zcash, such as:

  • Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. EFF champions user privacy, free expression and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism and technology development.
  • Freedom of the Press protects, defends and empowers public-interest journalism in the 21st century.
  • GiveCrypto.org distributes cryptocurrency to people living in poverty.
  • Open Privacy Research Society conducts scientific research advancing the area of privacy and anonymity as they relate to computer science and computer security.
  • The Tor Project creates Tor Browser, which enables you to use the internet privately and resist surveillance.
  • The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. They provide free access with a mission of providing “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”

There has been an increase in novel applications of Zcash that utilize the encrypted memo field of shielded transactions. The memo field lets a Zcash user sign and encrypt messages that are appended to the blockchain. 

ZECpages is an anonymous messaging board and directory where users share stories, songs, poems, jokes and anything else that’s top of mind. A Zcash user can simply send a shielded transaction to the directory’s specified z-address and include a memo in the transaction to post a message on the board. Since inception, 137 people have shared nearly 200 unique messages on the platform.

Zbay is a peer-to-peer marketplace for exchanging goods and information. It uses Zcash shielded transactions and encrypted memos to communicate and transact. Zbay decided to build on Zcash so it can offer basic privacy protections like end-to-end encryption for direct messages and group chats. Unlike a centralized service like Facebook, where privacy guarantees are based just on what Facebook says it will do, the privacy guarantees in Zbay are based on encryption, free software and peer-to-peer networks.

Sending cross-border payments can be a complex process due to industry fragmentation and intermediation, causing high transaction fees and long settlement times. According to McKinsey research on cross-border payments, the average time to complete a cross-border transaction is three to five business days. Inter-bank-transfer and foreign-exchange fees accumulate at each step in the process and often amount to more than 10 percent of the total transaction. Nowhere is this more important to solve than in low and middle-income countries where low-cost payments are a necessity.

Moe Ghashim is an entrepreneur and former Syrian refugee living in Europe. He employs contractors that live in Turkey and Syria and uses Zcash to send them payments. He describes how Zcash is ideal for sending small payments of a couple hundred dollars at a time, and the privacy it offers is crucial to protect the identity of his employees. Zcash provides a solution to help people escape the threat of monetary surveillance by authoritarian governments and gain access to basic human rights. 

Zcash enables instant, low-cost, and secure cross-border payments, which provide compelling benefits over the traditional banking system. In many countries around the world, Zcash transactions provide privacy that is crucial to protect the safety and wellbeing of those people.

Over the last several years, the primary way people have obtained cryptocurrency is through buying it. For broader adoption, however, we believe people should be able to earn it. Through the Coinbase Earn campaign, users could earn Zcash by watching short video lessons about the privacy-preserving currency.

We worked with the Coinbase team to develop over seven minutes of educational content. That content was viewed over 500,000 times by more than 117,000 unique Coinbase users. Coinbase reported that 58 percent of their users held onto the Zcash they earned through the program and that 4.7 percent acquired additional Zcash.

Zooko Wilcox, founder and CEO of Zcash, characterized the campaign as a great tool for the currency and its adoption, saying, “Coinbase Earn is a phenomenal way to educate new users about Zcash. Thanks to Coinbase Earn, hundreds of thousands of people have learned about financial privacy, zero-knowledge proofs and how to use Zcash to protect their privacy online.”

In the Bronx, 29.7 percent of the population lives in poverty — just miles away from the wealthiest neighborhoods in New York City. The lack of access to traditional banking forces many households turn to alternative financial services that charge exorbitant fees, leaving the unbanked and underbanked trapped in a cycle of poverty. Improved financial literacy and access to affordable banking products are necessary to increase economic participation in these communities.

In 2019, ECC provided scholarships to 35 students to attend two-day Crypto Community Project workshops in the South Bronx. During the program, students worked with leaders in the cryptocurrency ecosystem to learn about the fundamentals of blockchain, personal finance and self-sovereignty. They learned how to install their first digital wallets, how exchanges work and how to send a Zcash transaction. The students were also asked to go out into the neighborhood and spend some of the Zcash they received as part of the program.

Instead of a traditional curriculum, the classes were taught by industry leaders from companies like Flexa, Gemini, Casa, Messari and ECC. Three of the students received paid internships directly from the host companies; and several others formed mentorships with the speakers that continued long past the event.

Our goals for the program were to:

  • Empower students to become leaders and major contributors to the Zcash ecosystem.
  • Provide educational resources to expose students to concepts in blockchain technology.
  • Create professional-development opportunities for students to get real-world experience in the crypto industry.

By focusing on education and putting Zcash directly into the hands of the underbanked, we can begin to address some of the inequities that exist and provide access to basic financial services for everyone.

Zcash enables a range of use cases for public blockchains that would not be possible on a fully transparent ledger.

The need for privacy exists in commerce, personal finance, philanthropy, communication and more. Zcash is solving real-world problems that require digital privacy. As new infrastructure is developed, the tipping point to crypto mass adoption gets closer. Privacy will be necessary to meet the evolving needs of both consumers and commercial businesses.

Source: electriccoin.co


Indian Cryptocurrency Exchanges Looking for More Clarity on Their Status and Taxability

Indian Cryptocurrency Exchanges Looking for More Clarity on Their Status and Taxability

It seems that problems and challenges for players in the Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem have not solved yet.

The exchanges still don’t have a clear status in regulations and can’t get banking services quickly. Therefore, many of the major cryptocurrency exchanges have approached the Reserve Bank on India, seeking more clarity in regulations, especially taxing laws.

The supreme court of India voted for the cryptocurrency trading and activity in the domestic market about two months ago. The court lifted the ban that RBI had ruled on cryptocurrencies.

From then, many enthusiasts and investors have seen the significant opportunity in the new legal market of India. Many former exchanges that have stopped operation due to RBI decision started to work on reopening procedures. But it seems their problems are not entirely solved yet.

The status of cryptocurrencies in India is not entirely clarified. So, financial companies still deny to serve them and don’t provide banking services. Besides, the state has an impact on taxing regulation, and exchanges are waiting for that to make decisions about future business and revenue models.

The Indian cryptocurrency exchanges want to know their final category in taxing laws (commodity, currency, goods, or service).

“If the digital assets are not exempted from GST, the digital currency exchanges in India are going to have a standoff with the tax authority. In early 2019, the tax department had reached out to several cryptocurrency platforms in this regard. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling, we have also approached the RBI for clarity on this, as if we pay GST on the whole transaction, then most platforms would not be able to survive,” according to Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, Chairman & CEO Belfrics Global.

The exchanges and other cryptocurrency platforms that want to work in India have to find their positions in the Goods and Services Tax framework (GST). Although some investigations have been done researching the nature and category of bitcoin in regulatory frameworks, now specific regulation in GST was made. After all, RBI has not yet issued a directing to banks in India to start providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges.

If you found this article interesting, here you can find more Regulation News

Mehdi Zare

Mehdi Zare

I am a young father who always loves to learn. Security and privacy topics are my main interests, and so, blockchain as one of the most strong security and privacy solutions of the modern industry excites me too.

Source: crypto-economy.com

Author: By Mehdi Zare


Crypto Exchanges reach RBI seeking more clarity on crypto regulations

Crypto Exchanges reach RBI seeking more clarity on crypto regulations

Overview : Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have written to RBI seeking status with banking operations and taxations, as lenders step back to involve themselves without a clear regulatory framework. 

India was very uncertain regarding the cryptocurrencies since the inception back in 2012-13. The RBI had kept a close eye on the activities in domestic and International streams. Fearing for the risk to the monetary system of the country, RBI banned the banks to deal with the cryptocurrency transactions. 

The Ban was uplifted by the Supreme court ( India)  on 4th March 2020.

The surging level of the confusion and pertaining clouds on the regulatory framework, the Cryptocurrency exchanges have now written to the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and sought clarity on the regulations within the country. 

The Exchanges also asked to clarify the categorization of the platform as currency, goods, commodity, or service that decides its taxing criteria and figures under the Goods and Service Tax ( GST) framework. 

Since the adoption of the G.S.T system, the information on the inclusion of the crypto-transactions is vague. However, the income tax department had carried out various investigations on their inclusions and aftermath impacts on the exchanges and found that a certain rate of G.S.T can be levied on them.

Praveenkumar Vijaykumar, Chairman & CEO Belfrics Global, a cryptocurrency platform concerned with the possibility of the G.S.T to be imposed said, 

“If the digital assets are not exempted from GST, the digital currency exchanges in India are going to have a standoff with the tax authority. In early 2019, the tax department had reached out to several cryptocurrency platforms in this regard. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling, we have also approached the RBI for clarity on this, as if we pay GST on the whole transaction, then most platforms would not be able to survive.”

Also Read: Cryptocurrency Regulations in India

What cryptocurrency will become the main one in a year?
BitcoinEthereum

RBI’s circular on the blanket ban was revoked by the supreme court after a series of arguments. However, within a couple of days, the RBI sought for a review on the judgment to the supreme court aimed at curbing cryptocurrencies. But after two months of judgment, RBI still maintains an unclear stand on cryptos and prefers to be silent.  

One of the cryptocurrency platforms, Coin Crunch had filed an RTI to seek a reply for the following queries,

  • Why has the RBI not removed the circular from the website?
  • Why has the Reserve Bank not notified the regulated entities of the invalidation of the circular?
  • Is the RBI working on any policy for dealing with virtual currencies?
  • Has RBI set up a committee to decide on CBDC- Central Bank Digital Currencies or a Virtual INR currency?

To all these queries, RBI replied with a single line mentioning Section 2(f) which defines the information that could be provided within the Act. According to RBI, the above information was excluded from Section 2(f).

Also read: Crypto Regulations in Singapore are a Step ahead from other nations

The analyst predicts that the Indian Government would regulate cryptocurrencies in stages. The Indian Bitcoin industry also expects more backing from the government by regulating. 

On the other hand, the experts are also concerned with the government’s interference which could harm the crypto industry and blockchain development & innovation in the country.

The Indian Government in consultation with the regulatory bodies and RBI intends to regulate cryptocurrencies, with clear tax policy. However, this would consume a little time. The upcoming days will see more work on the regulations with a defined tax policy.

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Crypto Exchanges reach RBI seeking more clarity on crypto regulations

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Cryptocurrency exchanges approach RBI seeking clarity on status and taxability

Cryptocurrency exchanges approach RBI seeking clarity on status and taxability

Cryptocurrency exchanges approach RBI seeking clarity on status and taxability
Cryptocurrency platforms that have seen a revival in the last two months have sought clarity from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) around their status in India after lack of clear directions continued to limit their banking options while also creating uncertainty on the tax front.

In March, the Supreme Court had quashed RBI’s order banning cryptocurrency in India.

The crypto exchanges have written to RBI and sought clarity on their status as lenders continue to deny banking services to them due to a lack of clear instructions from the regulator.

Cryptocurrency exchanges approach RBI seeking clarity on status and taxability
The cryptocurrency exchanges have also sought directions on their categorisation — either a commodity, currency, goods or a service — as this will decide how they are taxed under GST framework.

“If the digital assets are not exempted from GST, the digital currency exchanges in India are going to have a standoff with the tax authority. In early 2019, the tax department had reached out to several cryptocurrency platforms in this regard. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling, we have also approached the RBI for clarity on this, as if we pay GST on the whole transaction, then most platforms would not be able to survive,” said Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, chairman & CEO, Belfrics Global, a cyrptocurrency platform.

In the past, the indirect tax department had initiated investigations as to whether Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies could be brought under GST.

The indirect tax department had launched an investigation into Bitcoin exchanges operating in India to ascertain the GST rate that can be levied on them. The sales tax department and VAT authorities too had launched an investigation on the taxability of Bitcoins a few years back.

The exchanges had even approached the courts in this regard.

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Source: ET Tech

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Author: ETtech FeedsMay 4, 2020


India’s Cryptocurrency Exchanges Looking for Tax Regulations from RBI

India’s Cryptocurrency Exchanges Looking for Tax Regulations from RBI

India’s Cryptocurrency exchanges expect from the Reserve Bank of India that there are  perfect rules and regulations

Relating Taxation Process.

The Supreme Court’s decision in favor of crypto exchanges against the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on financial institutions using crypto firms for banking services, India’s digital asset exchanges are looking for resolution on their taxation allegations.

India Times reported on May 4, that most of India’s crypto exchanges togetherly wrote a letter to the RBI demanding that the present lack of clearness regarding the regulatory system has pushed banks to decline services to exchanges dealing with crypto assets.

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The report also showed that the exchanges have also raised allegations out of India’s high court relating to this matter.

The exchanges need to clarify that if transactions will be divided into negotiations with goods, currencies, commodities, or services in order to realize whether they are subject to the country’s Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, CEO of crypto exchange Belfrics Global, stated: “If the digital assets are not exempted from GST, the digital currency exchanges in India are going to have a standoff with the tax authority.”

“In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling, we have also approached the RBI for clarity on this, as if we pay GST on the whole transaction, then most platforms would not be able to survive,” he added.

Sidharth Sogani, the CEO of digital asset research firm Credbaco Global, added that “the RBI was supposed to issue a new circular directing the banks to start banking relationships again with cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses” after the Supreme Court revised the central bank’s ban.

However, Sogani affirmed that several banks declined having collected any notice from the RBI when reached by crypto exchanges expecting to do business.

The latest interview with Inc42, the co-founder and CEO of top Indian crypto exchange Unocoin, Sathvik Vishwanath, said that India’s citizens are specifically under view in the crypto-asset markets.

Instead of having 17% of the global population, Vishwanath discloses that Indian crypto trade comprises just 1% all around trade activity, indicating that it will require a minimum of 12 to 24 months for India to build up with the rest of the world with regards to digital asset acceptance.

Vishwanath also noticed that the financial slowdown reflecting from the coronavirus pandemic has full-figured the industry’s momentum following the RBI ban’s repeal.

Source: bitcoinik.com

Author: Harsh Sangwan


The state of Zcash adoption

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