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Degree of decentralization is where ZenCash is leading the industry, believes Davit Mrelashvili, regional manager for Eastern Europe and CIS at ZenCash. In the interview, Davit talked about the ZenCash coin and its benefits. He described ZenCash mining process and explained the consequences of 51% attack.
Interviewer: Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia (BCG)
Speaker: Davit Mrelashvili, Regional manager for Eastern Europe and CIS at ZenCash (DM)
BCG: Hello! Congratulations on the recent anniversary of ZenCash launch! Currently, there is no shortage of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. What is a beneficial difference of ZenCash compared to other platforms?
DM: Hello, thank you for congratulating us!
At ZenCash, we take the pride of being a blockchain platform for number of different applications, aside from just being a great privacy coin. ZenChat, ZenHide, ZenPub are just a few examples of some of the use cases. Privacy tech is our main core value, using the cutting edge zk-SNARKS technology similar to zcash.
But on top of that, we have built a lot of improvements, such as secure nodes (that have a lot more functions than industry traditional master-nodes), first end-to-end node encryption, usage of TSL certificate, etc.
Take another key cryptocurrency feature – degree of decentralization where Zencash is leading the industry. As of today, Zencash is operating over 12 thousand fully functioning secure nodes with the independent blockchain copies all over the 6 continents. That is far more decentralized than any cryptocurrency that I know of, even more than bitcoin – that is currently running on around 10 thousand nodes worldwide. I know it sounds crazy of such a small project expanding so rapidly – but those are publicly available and easily verifiable facts, not some internally generated numbers.
There are many other unbelievably cool things about ZenCash which you can look up on our website.
BCG: According to the new Whitepaper, a distribution scheme of rewards for ZenCash mining will be changed: miners will get less profit while node operators and treasury – more. What are the reasons for such changes?
DM: We are a community project, we listen to the market, and we respond to it with the necessary changes to make sure the reward system best fits the evolving project milestones and community needs. A good example is the treasury allocation going from 8.5% to 10%. Well, later this year we are starting rewards for voting of stakeholders regarding the blockchain development, and that reward funds will come from the extra 1.5%.
As far as increasing reward to the node operators – we (and the crypto community) believe they are as much of stakeholders and contributors to the ecosystems as miners. They deserve to be rewarded for spending their time, money and other resources to host a node, and support the blockchain development.
BCG: ZenCash is known as anonymous blockchain. What legal disputes can it entail? Do you have any experience?
DM: Fortunately, privacy happens to be a basic human right, backed by the constitution. This system works at least in the USA and more or less democratic nations, which number has increased over the last 100 years. We have not had any legal disputes regarding it, but there are some interesting precedencies of legal disputes and individual privacy rights at other big tech companies that give us piece of mind. A good example that comes to my mind is Apple dispute with the US government to hand over the private keys to unlock criminal’s iphone. US government never got what they asked, as Apple simply refused to do so and went to court. At some point the US government backed off saying “they found another way to the information they wanted”. That right there tells me that there should be even less pressure to legally attack individual human privacy for law-abiding citizens.
Another important distinction that I would like to mention is that – in ZenCash the anonymity is optional - with Z-transactions. One can totally do only transparent and public - T-transaction, so there is an option for everyone here.
BCG: According to the website, ZenCash intends to become a global economic platform. How will you scale blockchain as the network expands?
DM: That is certainly our mission, and I think we are well positioned to achieve that. We are a broad platform with all the essential features of secure and private transactions and state of the art voting system – DAO. We are also actively developing efficient scaling solution based on DAG, in collaboration with IOHK (developer of Cardano, Etherium classic). But perhaps most importantly – we have a worldwide core team of dozens of dedicated individuals – along with many individual and company partners who contribute a lot into the project development.
BCG: What consequences will ZenCash suffer after the recent ban on anonymous cryptocurrencies imposed by Japan-based Financial Services Agency? How will you comment on such actions of Japanese authorities?
DM: We will not have T-transactions having any direct consequences, as mentioned above, because for Japanese, we can remain completely transparent. We are also a US based company, so their law does not directly affect us. We certainly don’t actively solicit Japanese citizens to use our private transactions, so unless someone purposefully breaks the law (that is more of an individual responsibility), I don’t really see it being even a potential issue.
BCG: What weak points of ZenCash came to light after 51% attack on June 2?
DM: Thank you for the question! The answer provides an understanding of what the 51% attack was for ZenCash, and what we can do to prevent it.
Let me remind you that the exchange came under 51% attack, was robbed, and the coin that the thieves chose was of course ZenCash. It has happened because of inherent weakness of Satoshi consensus-based cryptocurrencies (ZenCash, Bitcoin, and many others). ZenCash blockchain itself is as healthy and intact as it always has been: Zencash coins will not come under 51% attack if they are not on the exchange but rather stored on one of our hardware wallets or paper wallets.
Having said that, 51% attack is a problem that has happened for number of times to different coins already. It will probably be attempted in the future, and ways to reduce its chances need to be found (not just for ZenCash but for the whole industry).
I am extremely proud of how our team responded to the early warning signs of it and dealt with it quite successfully. Short-term solutions are already in place protecting us. Intermediate and long-term solutions are already in development, and we are actually aiming at solving the problem for the industry, not just for ZenCash. Today, there is an ironic coincidence of us publishing out paper which can help to modify the original Satoshi Consensus that is almost 10 years old now. Yes, it is a bold move – ZenCash team developed a simple, yet powerful solution that prevents or make it economically infeasible in the future. We are proud to contribute to the space and provide this enhancement to the Satoshi Consensus.
Co-founder of ZenCash Robert Viglione will be a speaker at the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia on June 20, talking about “Combinatorial innovation and competing in an open-source world.” Meet the expert at the conference and learn more about ZenCash and the whole industry!