Zcash (ZEC), a privacy coin that launched in 2016, unveiled an upgrade to its system on May 31 that will allow users to more easily make private, trustless digital cash payments on mobile phones. Not everyone would view this as a good development.
The unfamiliarity, uncertainty and public intrigue surrounding privacy — including its complexity, misuse and speculative activity — presents a number of challenges and reputational issues for innovating crypto projects. While a core tenet and source of pride among crypto projects such as Zcash, privacy has been demonized by those in power, including lawmakers, regulators, banks and academics.
Yet, frequent hacks and data breaches show that the need to protect individuals’ privacy is more essential than ever. It’s here where crypto firms can enter the conversation and advocate for these vital consumer protections through the use of privacy-focused projects.
Consumer sentiment and corporate malfeasance
Sentiment toward the need for data and financial privacy entered the mainstream when the extraordinary revelations of the 2017 Equifax breach came to light. The most sensitive financial information of nearly every American household was put in the hands of third-party providers without their knowledge or informed consent — and was not appropriately protected.
Americans have long been walled off from our most sensitive financial information. Due to the negligence of Equifax, we now know just how vulnerable our privacy and…