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Monero vs Zcash: Privacy Coins Compared

May 16, 2024
14 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • Monero vs. Zcash: An Overview
  • What is Monero (XMR), and how does it work?
  • What is Zcash (ZEC) and how does it work?
  • XMR vs ZEC: Price history and market cap
  • Key Differences between ZEC and XMR
  • XMR v.s. ZEC Comparison table
  • Which has been the better investment?
  • Monero vs.  Zcash: Which one is right for you?
  • Where to Buy, Sell, or Exchange Monero and Zcash Tokens?
  • The Bottom Line
  • FAQs about Monero and Zcash

The surge of excitement for privacy-oriented coins is fueled by apprehensions regarding dwindling financial privacy. These digital currencies possess the ability to conceal transaction specifics, safeguarding users' identities. Implementing cryptography as standard practice, they safeguard user privacy and uphold the secrecy of transaction details.

Conventional cryptocurrencies often have transparent transaction records, lacking robust privacy features. However, coins such as Monero vs Zcash aim to address this issue by enhancing transaction confidentiality. This article delves into a comparison of the two major players on the market, Zcash vs Monero, examining their unique features, market performance, and distinguishing characteristics. Such insights serve to enlighten crypto enthusiasts about their significance within the online landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC) are leading privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, offering robust confidentiality features to safeguard user identities and transaction details through cryptographic methods.

  • XMR and ZEC have distinct price histories and market caps, appealing to investors with different preferences for privacy and flexibility in transaction settings.

  • Investors should evaluate factors like volatility, investment goals, and risk tolerance when deciding between Monero and Zcash, recognizing the regulatory scrutiny and potential for misuse associated with privacy-focused cryptocurrencies.

Monero vs. Zcash: An Overview

ZEC and XMR are famous for their confidentiality features in the cryptocurrency world. The latter, starting in 2014, has strong mechanisms that hide who sends, receives, and the amount of transactions. On the flip side, ZEC, introduced in 2016, gives users the choice between private and transparent transactions. Both of the assets are big players in the market, having been around for a while. Interestingly, the methods for mining Zcash vs. Monero are similar -  we will explore them in more detail later. Even though they're similar in some ways, each has its own special traits and protocols made for different purposes.

What is Monero (XMR), and how does it work?

Monero (XMR) is a project that's highly focused on anonymity and security. It started in 2014, branching off from Bytecoin. XMR uses fancy math tricks to conceal who sends money to whom and how much. Unlike popular cryptocurrencies like BTC or ETH, Monero's system works on proof-of-work (PoW) and keeps users anonymous using cool tools like ring signatures and a few others.

Even though Monero is famous for prioritizing anonymity in cryptocurrencies, it's encountered some regulatory issues. Some places have banned it, and big exchanges like Coinbase have taken it off their platforms because they worry it could be misused. The currency uses CryptoNote tech, which it inherited from Bytecoin, and it's been all about privacy since it started.  With updates like bulletproofs and randomX, XMR has made itself even more secure, efficient, staying at the top of the anonymity cryptocurrency game. You can also learn more about what is Monero here.

XMR Volume

As of April 8th, 2024, XMR trading volume over the past 24 hours stands at around $42.24 million. This figure reflects the combined value of all transactions involving XMR during this timeframe. Trading volume serves as a significant metric for assessing a cryptocurrency's liquidity and level of market activity.

XMR Volatility

Monero exhibits a volatility rate of approximately 13.17%. Volatility indicates the extent of fluctuations in the price of a financial asset over a specific period. Cryptocurrencies like XMR are recognized for their notable volatility, often resulting in substantial price fluctuations within brief timeframes.

Key features of Monero

Other than Zcash vs Monero mining, the coin utilizes a variety of advanced cryptographic methods to guarantee the anonymity of every transaction conducted on its network. Here are some notable characteristics that distinguish Monero:

  • Fungibility: it boasts fungibility as it defaults to privacy. In its ecosystem, two currency units are interchangeable without distinction.

  • Scalability: Unlike numerous cryptocurrencies that maintain fixed block sizes, XMR's block size adjusts dynamically, responding to changes in network conditions.

  • Multiple Keys:The asset employs various keys to enhance security, such as a public view key or a private view key. These measures bolster the network's security with additional layers of protection.

  • RingCT: they represent an advancement over ring signatures, as they conceal specific transaction amounts, thereby enhancing anonymity and rendering transactions untraceable.

  • Stealth Addresses are unique addresses generated for each transaction recipient, enabling recipients to utilize a single public address while ensuring that incoming payments are directed to different addresses on the blockchain. This methodology effectively prevents linkages between transactions.

Collectively, these attributes ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of XMR transactions, rendering it as the favored option for users who prioritize confidentiality.

What is Zcash (ZEC) and how does it work?

Introduced in 2016, Zcash (ZEC) entered the cryptocurrency scene with a dedicated emphasis on user privacy, originating as a separate entity from the Bitcoin blockchain. Its primary goal was to tackle apprehensions surrounding transaction traceability issues prevalent in Bitcoin.

Unlike Bitcoin, ZEC utilizes unique security measures and hashing algorithms. Before being rebranded as Zcash, it underwent enhancement by the Electric Coin Company from its original name, Zerocash. Notably, it provides enhanced levels of anonymity in ownership and transaction verification compared to Bitcoin.

A notable aspect of ZEC is its adoption of the zk-SNARK (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge) security protocol. This protocol enables transaction verification without revealing details to involved parties or the network. It also facilitates fully protected transactions where the data about all parties is encrypted.

Zcash employs encryption rather than deletion of transaction data, ensuring it remains untraceable. Its blockchain maintains encryption, bolstered by the zk-SNARK technology, which enhances user confidentiality. Additionally, ZEC utilizes the Equihash algorithm, making it incompatible with Bitcoin mining hardware and software. Furthermore, ZEC boasts larger blocks and extended hashing times, which contribute to the network's hash rate.

ZEC Volume

When talking about ZEC vs Monero volume, the former has recorded a trading volume of around $65.73 million within the past 24 hours, reflecting the total value of transactions involving this asset during this period.

ZEC Volatility

Zcash has undergone substantial price fluctuations, with an almost 13% price shift observed over a 24-hour timeframe. Cryptocurrencies like this are recognized for their pronounced volatility, often resulting in notable price fluctuations over brief intervals.

Key features of Zcash

It offers unique capabilities that enable users to control the disclosure of transaction information. Here are some key features:

  • Selective Transparency: Users can choose between the properties of transactions according to their preferences and needs.

  • Private Messaging: Apart from conducting transactions, users have the ability to transmit protected messages, ensuring the secrecy of their communications.

  • Advanced Cryptography: zk-SNARKs guarantees transaction security while also obscuring information regarding the sender, recipient, and transaction value.

  • Decentralization and Open Source: Zcash is managed by a diverse community of users and developers and operates on an open-source framework, fostering transparency and collaboration in its ongoing development efforts.

XMR vs ZEC: Price history and market cap

XMR has become a major player in privacy-focused cryptocurrencies. As of April 2024, its value is $130.52, with a market cap of $2.40 billion. Despite ups and downs over the last five years, Monero has stayed strong, especially popular among users who want strong anonymity.

It’s worth noting that Zcash price vs. Monero was recorded at $30.12, with a market cap of $491.77 million. Like XMR, ZEC has seen big price changes in the last five years. However, it has secured its niche in the market, attracting users who appreciate the flexibility of choosing between the properties of transactions. Therefore, it’s hard to tell which one is a better asset to invest in based on purely Monero vs Zcash inflation and price factors.

Forecasting the future path of these cryptocurrencies is tough, but both XMR and ZEC are set to stay important in the world of privacy-focused digital money. Their special features meet the ongoing need for transaction untraceability, which is likely to continue as cryptocurrencies become more popular. Still, their prices can swing a lot due to changes in rules, new tech, and how people feel about them.

Key Differences between ZEC and XMR

When comparing ZEC vs Monero, one of the key distinctive aspects is their approach to privacy, as well as a few other things. Monero automatically ensures confidentiality for all transactions, whereas Zcash offers users the flexibility to choose between private and transparent transactions according to their individual preferences.

Privacy and Traceability Comparison

XMR utilizes ring technology and special addresses to guarantee comprehensive privacy, rendering transactions untraceable. Conversely, ZEC provides zk-SNARKs, enabling users to choose whether they prefer shielded transactions.

Scalability and Adoption Comparison

XMR and ZEC have garnered considerable attention in the cryptocurrency realm because of their focus on anonymity features. However, Monero's strong dedication to confidentiality has established it as a more prominent option for privacy-focused use cases when compared to Zcash.

Mining and Consensus Comparison

When it comes to mining Monero vs Zcash, both employ a similar approach. However, XMR utilizes RandomX, whereas ZEc relies on Equihash. These disparities impact the efficiency of their mining processes and contribute to the overall security of their respective networks.

Transaction speed and Cost Comparison

Due to the differences in hashing algorithms, the speed and the fees for reverie financial operations vary too. Monero implements RandomX, whereas Zcash opts for Equihash. 

Token standards Comparison

XMR and ZEC have their own native tokens, XMR and ZEC, respectively. Unlike cryptocurrencies based on different blockchain platforms that adhere to token standards like ERC-20 or BEP-20, XMR and ZEC function independently without depending on external token frameworks.

Use Cases

XMR and Zcash (ZEC) primarily serve as platforms for conducting private transactions. Monero is frequently favored in scenarios requiring high levels of privacy protection, especially in areas where individuals aim to avoid government financial monitoring or censorship. Its fungibility, which guarantees that all coins are uniform and untraceable, is attractive to users seeking to prevent potential blacklisting of coins linked to unlawful activities.

With ZEC, in turn, businesses might choose transparent transactions to adhere to regulatory requirements, while employing shielded transactions to protect their business interests. Additionally, the ability to send protected messages alongside shielded transactions offers avenues for secure communication.

XMR v.s. ZEC Comparison table


Monero (XMR)

Zcash (ZEC)

Launch Year




The Monero Project

Electric Coin Company

Blockchain Network

Monero’s own blockchain

Zcash’s own blockchain

Privacy Features

Ring signatures, Stealth addresses, RingCT


Transaction Transparency

All transactions are private

Selective transparency (private or public transactions)

Current Price



Market Cap

$2.40 billion

$491.77 million

Use Cases

Privacy-focused transactions

Flexible privacy settings

Transaction Speed / Block Time

2 minutes

Between 6 and 20 seconds

Mining Profitability

0.6 XMR for every block that gets added to the Monero blockchain

The mining hardware hashrate of 140,000.00 H/s



Equihash algorithm

Proof Type



Which has been the better investment?

Engaging in cryptocurrency investments requires thoughtful evaluation of numerous elements. While both coins offer potential investment opportunities, determining the "better" investment between Monero vs. Zcash largely depends on individual investor preferences:

  • Traction: the assets have undergone periods of notable price surges and declines. Grasping their volatility and price patterns is essential for investors.

  • Investment Goals: XMR attracts investors who value privacy features and have confidence in the long-term prospects of such coins. Conversely, ZEC may appeal to those who appreciate the flexibility of optional anonymity settings and recognize the potential of its technology.

  • Risk Tolerance: price swings can lead to substantial gains but also significant losses. Before investing in cryptocurrencies, Investors ought to meticulously evaluate their capacity for handling risk.

It's crucial to acknowledge that investing in cryptocurrencies entails risks, and past performance does not guarantee future outcomes. Prospective token holders or sellers should conduct a careful market analysis and seek professional help where needed, as well as look at Monero and Zcash price predictions.

Regulatory transparency and stability

Both Monero and Zcash, cryptocurrencies focused on privacy, undergo regulatory examination because of their emphasis on user anonymity during transactions. While these privacy-enhancing features aim to safeguard the community, they also raise Monero vs Zcash difficulty amongst regulators regarding the potential misuse of the currencies for illicit purposes. Consequently, certain exchanges ceased offering these coins, impacting the accessibility of trading avenues. The regulatory examination and exchange determinations could impact how these projects are viewed in terms of stability and reliability. Consequently, while such coins offer strong confidentiality features, they highlight the challenges faced by crypto of that kind in balancing anonymity with adhering to regulatory standards.

Monero vs.  Zcash: Which one is right for you?

The decision between Zcash vs Monero hinges on individual requirements. Opting for Monero is ideal if consistent strong confidentiality is desired, whereas Zcash offers the advantage of selecting between privacy and transparency based on preference.

Keep on reading for factors to keep in mind when thinking about Monero vs Zcash invest strategy:

  • Emphasis on confidentiality: XMR prioritizes transaction confidentiality at all times, whereas ZEC provides the flexibility to opt for transparency too.

  • Individual Preferences: those seeking absolute anonymity typically favor XMR, while those occasionally requiring transparency may lean towards ZEC.

  • Usage and Adoption: XMR enjoys popularity in darknet markets thanks to its privacy characteristics, whereas ZEC’s ability to cater to both confidentiality and transparency may make it more suitable for mainstream adoption.

  • Technical Details: depending on the technological advancements one wants to benefit from, they can make a preference towards one or the other when talking about Zcash vs Monero. 

Taking these aspects into account can assist you in selecting the cryptocurrency that aligns with your requirements and intended usage.

Where to Buy, Sell, or Exchange Monero and Zcash Tokens?

Finding a reliable platform for purchasing, selling, or exchanging tokens is crucial for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. An exceptional platform worth mentioning is SimpleSwap, which provides a flexible exchange service allowing users to easily trade a wide range of digital assets, including XMR and ZEC.

SimpleSwap sets itself apart with its intuitive interface, ensuring accessibility for traders of all levels, including beginners. Whether you're looking to invest in XMR or ZEC or diversify your portfolio by trading them for other cryptocurrencies, SimpleSwap simplifies the process.

What sets SimpleSwap apart is its extensive support for a wide range of cryptocurrencies. In addition to popular options like Bitcoin and Ethereum, SimpleSwap accommodates many other tokens, catering to diverse investor preferences. With such a diverse selection, traders have ample choices when utilizing SimpleSwap's platform.

The Bottom Line

Within the realm of online assets prioritizing anonymity, Monero and Zcash emerge as prominent contenders, each employing distinct methods to safeguard user information. Monero (XMR) places utmost importance on anonymity, by default. In contrast, Zcash (ZEC) adopts a more adaptable stance, granting users the freedom to determine the extent of transaction information they wish to disclose.

For those considering investing in projects like Monero and Zcash, it's crucial to conduct comprehensive research and assess personal needs and risk tolerance. By gaining a deep understanding of the distinctive attributes of each cryptocurrency, Investors can make well-informed choices that match their investment goals and tolerance for risk.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

FAQs about Monero and Zcash

After reading this article, one might still find themselves with a few questions. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Are XMR and ZEC on the same blockchain?

No, Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC) are not on the same blockchain. They are two separate cryptocurrencies, each with its own unique blockchain. Monero’s blockchain is designed to be private and untraceable, while Zcash’s blockchain offers the option for both private (shielded) and public (transparent) transactions.

Is Zcash or Monero better for privacy?

Both Monero and Zcash offer robust privacy features, but they approach privacy in different ways. Monero provides privacy by default, meaning all transactions are private and untraceable. On the other hand, Zcash offers selective privacy, allowing users to choose between private (shielded) and public (transparent) transactions. If absolute privacy is a priority, Monero might be the better choice. However, if flexibility and the option to choose between privacy and transparency are important, Zcash could be a better fit.

Should I buy Monero or Zcash?

The decision to invest in Monero or Zcash depends on your individual investment goals, risk tolerance, and belief in the technology and use case of each coin. Both coins have shown potential as investments, but they each have their own strengths and risks.

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