It appears that the privacy feature that Zcash is no longer functional.
A recent Reddit post shows that a Twitter user @moneyknowledge0 posted a $100 challenge to trace his T-address. User @The8Connor was able to trace the address within 24 hours. This position was challenged by @buslowski1 who thinks that the two users are working together.
Recent reports, however, point to the fact that this is possible. Chainalysis has added tracking for the so-called privacy coins Zcash and Dash.
Chainalysis is a blockchain analysis company. The company offers blockchain transaction analysis services to Law enforcement organizations, compliance organizations, and other clients.
It brings down two privacy coins that have claimed to offer untraceable transactions. It also proves that technology can always be challenged by those who have the right knowledge and tools.
Zcash works using zkSNARKs Encryption
The Zcash protocol uses the zkSNARKs encryption method. With the zkSNARKs method of encryption, two parties can be involved with a transaction without revealing details. Transactions on the Zcash blockchain can either be shielded or transparent.
Both parties can be known on a transparent transaction. Parties in a shielded transaction aren't known. It may have changed with this development.
It works with zero-knowledge proofs. It allows two parties to exchange data without revealing the data they exchanged. The transaction can be confirmed by the two parties but not by others.
The zkSNARKs encryption method has been hailed by many within the cryptospace. Vitalik Buterin had earlier praised the technology.
Edward Snowden also pitched his tent with Vitalik on the issue.
Chainalysis and few others have found a way to reverse engineer the zkSNARKs encryption method. The implications of this are many.
The Implications of Cracking zkSNARKs
On the surface, this means that the cryptospace is advancing. But it also means that innovation in the cryptographic field is lacking. Privacy buffs are at a loss. Having one less privacy-oriented blockchain will give those who want privacy about their digital assets headaches.
It also means that the cryptospace is expanding. The basic principle behind all things technology is being able to figure out how things work.
Creative minds are finding out new ways of doing things. It leads to other creative minds who are finding out ways of undoing them.
It also puts the very idea of knowledge being static to rest. For a new technology to exist, the old technology must be put to rest.
The only way for this to happen is to render the old technology obsolete.
It appears that this is what is currently happening with Zcash. It will be interesting to see how Zcash responds knowledge-wise.