Let’s be clear – Zcash is both the name of a cryptocurrency (ZEC) and a wallet. This review is about the wallet.
Zcash Wallet was built to handle ZEC. ZEC was developed from Bitcoin but with the aim of improving the anonymity of users and their transactions.
Zcash Wallet is a free, secure, beginner-friendly mobile wallet for addressing all your ZEC needs. Yes! It can address all your ZEC needs because it even has an onboard cryptocurrency exchange – a rare phenomenon among cryptocurrency wallets.
This review is about the Zcash Wallet, and all that appertains to it. We will look at its security, highlight it’s ease of use, follow through the installation and setup processes, and look at its pros and cons. We’ll also explore tips on getting customer support and resolving common issues. Stay tuned!
- Integrated cryptocurrency converter (onboard cryptocurrency exchange) – You can fund your Zcash Wallet with almost any other cryptocurrency out there; the wallet will convert it to ZEC for you. You can also send your ZECs to almost any altcoin wallet address, and it will surely be converted to the appropriate currency before it’s sent out.
- Enhanced security – Zcash Wallet integrates some of the most advanced security features available in a cryptocurrency wallet, as will be seen later in this post.
- Easy to use – you can log in with Facebook, Google, or your mobile number. You can also share your wallet address through these social media platforms.
- Friendly customer support – Zcash Wallet customer service representatives exhibit rare compassion when addressing users.
- Available in multiple languages – While you will probably only need to use the app in one language, the availability of the app in multiple languages increases its user base, which means you have more Zcash Wallet users to make free transactions with.
- Simple and intuitive user interface.
Zcash Wallet’s developers invested some decent efforts into hardening it from actual and perceived crypto-wallet threats. The security of this wallet is best viewed from two dimensions: it’s architecture and configurable features.
Architectural features include the wallet’s use of the hierarchical deterministic (HD) algorithm for generating addresses. HD key generation dramatically simplifies the task of backing up a wallet since the user is not required to generate key backups manually.
Zcash also supports multi-signature (multi-sig) transaction signing.
Multi-sig allows you to sign a transaction by more than one device, thereby addressing the risk of unauthorized transactions in case the primary device is compromised.
In the traditional banking industry, corporate accounts often require more than one signatory to allow movement of funds out of the account. This is pretty close to what multi-sig does to crypto transactions.
Perhaps the most outstanding security feature offered by Zcash Wallet is multifactor authentication, also known as MFA.
MFA has recently gained a lot of attention among cybersecurity communities. This technology enhances authentication and identity management by requiring you to provide additional verification after you log in.
It’s simple but super-effective. With Zcash, you need to provide a code sent to an authenticator app of your liking, for example, Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator.
So, even if someone has your password, they need to access your authenticator app as well to log in to your account. You need to note that this is one of the very few wallets out there that implement multi-factor authentication.
Just a word of caution – if you choose to secure your wallet with MFA, proceed with care because if you lose your phone and don’t have the MFA key, there is no way you will access your wallet. This is precisely why the MFA option is not automatically activated when you set up your account.
Shielded Address support
You should also expect to find privacy in the goodies basket that comes with this wallet.
Zcash Wallet provides shielded address support which encrypts addresses and other transaction information such that this information becomes invisible to anyone on the network. This feature makes it more difficult to trace transactions to their origins and is one of the main advantages of ZEC over Bitcoin.
We can go on all day praising this app’s security, but, hey, it’s not an open-source project! There is a certain faith the crypto community places on open-source wallets. So goes their argument:
“Proprietary software is only secure as long as its code has not found its way to the public. But one day, one time, this code will be leaked into the public domain, and reverse engineers and hackers will begin flexing their skills – it will just be a matter of time before they hack their way into the system. But if it is an open-source wallet, this community of reverse engineers and hackers are part of the development team. You get the logic?”
It’s a bit controversial, but we’d rather go with the majority verdict that open-source wallets are more secure.
Even if Zcash has all these security features, you need to treat your wallet as your bank account, and its overall security is your responsibility.
Zcash brands itself as a secure and free wallet. Let’s focus on the free part of it.
Sending and receiving coins between Zcash wallets is free. However, network fees may creep in if you are sending coins to another ZEC wallet. Exchange fees will also apply if you are sending ZEC but want them to arrive like some other altcoin.
Downloading and Setting up an Account
Zcash Wallet is a mobile-only wallet available on both Android and iOS platforms. Downloading this app from either the Android PlayStore or the iOS AppStore is no different from downloading any other app.
Once downloaded, you can restore a previous account or create a new one. If it’s your first time interesting with ZEC, the easiest way to create a new wallet is by signing in with a social media account.
While setting up an account with other cryptocurrency wallets usually involves a lengthy process where you need to provide passphrases, PINs, and other authentication paraphernalia, this process has been simplified to a single button push, or a few taps at most, with the Zcash Wallet. This wallet gives you several convenient sign-in options, including signing in with Facebook, Google, or your mobile number. It’s incredibly easy to log in, and you need to install the wallet to believe it.
Once you log in, you should tune your preferences and security settings.
Sending funds with Zcash Wallet is a no-brainer, but let’s look at it anyway.
- The send button is found on the main screen of the application. Tap on it to initiate a funds transfer.
- The next option is supplying destination information. The app provides two options: sending funds to other cryptocurrency addresses, or a Zcash Wallet address. We already saw that conversion to other currencies takes place automatically by the inbuilt exchange. They call this feature “Smart Pay.” If you are sending funds to another Zcash Wallet user, select the second option, and provide their User ID or email. If you provide an email, the app will check whether an account with such an email exists. In case it doesn’t, Zcash Wallet will create a new account and send a verification to that email. Next, you will see a summary of the transaction, including network fee and estimated arrival amount.
As earlier said, you can receive funds from any wallet, including those that hold other currencies. Receiving funds from another Zcash Wallet is free and instant. But if you are receiving them from a different network, expect the sent amount less than the exchange fees. To receive coins,
- Tap on the receive icon on the main screen of the application.
- You will immediately see a ZEC deposit address, a QR code, and your User ID.
- If the source of the funds is another Zcash Wallet, tap the User ID to copy it. For faster and hassle-free sharing, tap the share button at the top right corner of the screen.
- If you are receiving funds from another altcoin wallet, tap on the smart address tab to view the list of supported currencies. Since the list is long, you can search directly by typing the name of the currency. The search bar is a bit tiny but look for the magnifying glass icon. Next, select the currency of the sender. At this point, the app will automatically generate a wallet address, QR code, a memo, and any other information needed to receive funds. It will also tell you the minimum amount you can receive. How convenient! As usual, tap to copy or simply push the share button to share using the messaging apps on your phone.
Since the wallet has an integrated exchange, it can support virtually any currency. However, it can only store ZEC. This is not a problem because if you want to send or receive funds in a different currency, you can always do it.
There seems to be a lot of negative energy on the Interweb flying in the direction of Zcash’s customer support. To be fair, Zcash’s customer care can be described as responsive. Whether that solves your issues or not is beside the point. These folks always respond to individual complaints even on non-official support communication channels such as the app’s download page. So, an 8 out of 10 sounds fair.
Users seem to experience a variety of challenges with the app ranging from failed logins to transactions not reflecting in their accounts, but those are not customer support issues, they are probably technical challenges.
Wallet’s Pros and Cons
- The wallet is remarkably easy to use. Right from installation to sending funds, everything is set to fulfill the desires of the lazy user.
- User-friendly interface – the interface is not fancy, but it’s very functional. It only has two major parts: all the buttons you need at the top half of the screen, and all the news and tips you need in the remaining half. The news section is exceptionally succinct, and you won’t find irrelevant posts.
- On-board cryptocurrency exchange – With this feature, you only need one wallet to do all your business in the crypto world.
- Zcash boasts of some of the best security features in the market – multi-sig, multifactor authentication, HD key generation, and much more. Is there a wallet that can compete with this? One wonders.
- Provides cold storage – Although cold storage is a security advantage, it’s worth mentioning it separately as some users give it primary consideration when selecting a wallet.
- It’s easy to restore your wallet from any Android or iOS device if your phone gets lost. Please note that it may take some time before your funds reflect in the new wallet.
- It provides email notifications for each transaction. So you’re always updated on your account activity. This feature increases your chances of recovering stolen funds.
- The app is fast and pretty stable.
Nothing can be perfect, and the wallet isn’t an exception. Some of its outstanding shortcomings include:
- It only has a mobile option. This might inconvenience some users.
- It is not open source.
The Zcash Wallet is a truly outstanding digital solution. From its ease-of-use to secure operation, it only gives you reasons to be loyal.
As we have seen in this review, the app has some of the best security features you can find in a cryptocurrency wallet. It is also among the few wallets that will allow you to send or receive funds from almost any network.
If you ever experience issues with your account and contact their customer care, you will be more than delighted with their hospitality.
Nevertheless, it’s narrow support for platforms, and the lack of open-source scrutiny might be a bother to some. All things considered, this wallet is one of the best ZEC wallets ever built.