New forms of Bitcoin have popped up on a regular basis over the years. These so-called “hard forks” try to put a different spin on the Bitcoin concept and piggyback on the popular name. BitcoinZ claims to be “the true Bitcoin 2.0”, although it remains to be seen if it will live up to those expectations.
BitcoinZ in a Nutshell
As the name somewhat suggests, BitcoinZ takes a page out of the zk-SNARKs playbook to offer anonymity features. It also incorporates a few aspects of Bitcoin Cash, such as bigger blocks to accommodate more network transactions. Given all of the previous forks of Bitcoin, it will be difficult for BitcoinZ to stand out. Its ASIC resistant mining, though, is something to take note of.
The Key Features
Bitcoin itself lacks privacy and anonymity features. That has never been much of a problem for the majority of users. Over the past year and a half, the rise in popularity of altcoins offering privacy and anonymity shows that there is a growing market for coins with such features. BitcoinZ wants to make a name for itself in that regard.
To do so, it taps the zk-SNARK technology for transaction anonymity. BitcoinZ is not the first currency to have looked into zk-SNARKs by any means, as dozens of currencies have done so in the past. It is even possible that Bitcoin itself will receive some much-needed privacy upgrades based on this exact technology.
Perhaps the only unique point about BitcoinZ is that it will maintain ASIC resistance at all times. The currency is designed to be mined with GPUs, rather than specialized devices. ASIC miners are officially “banned” from the network through the ZHash algorithm, and hard forks to maintain that status are part of the future roadmap. Whether or not this will hinder the growth of BitcoinZ remains unclear, as ASIC mining has become an integral part of cryptocurrency.
The Road Ahead
While BitcoinZ is already available today, there is still some work to be done. Making zk-SNARKs compatible with mobile wallets will remain a key challenge, but progress is being made. The developers are also working on “masquerade technology”, though it remains a bit unclear what that will entail exactly. Game development is also part of the roadmap, although no further explanation is given on that front.