by Jamie Holmes
A group of European ‘ethical hackers’ have taken steps to launch a newer, improved version of Zcash that addresses many of the hotly-debated drawbacks of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency.
Two significant changes to the Zcash protocol have been made and the launch of the improved version, named Ebitz, is due November 28. Firstly, Ebitz does not support the “founder’s reward,” unlike Zcash, whereby 20 percent of Zcash mined is allocated to the founders for the first four years. This feature has been criticized by many in the crypto-community.
Secondly, the consensus algorithm in Ebitz has shifted to Proof of Stake from Zcash’s Proof of Work. The reason; to prevent the centralization of mining and avoiding the platform being controlled by a handful of GPU mining farms. These two issues have plagued Zcash and the group of European hackers want this to change, while still retaining the zero knowledge proofs underlying the cryptocurrency.
Very few private investors have access to powerful GPU machines, whereby most individuals can only use CPU mining, so private investors with GPUs will be driven by a quick profit, dumping Zcash on the market, as we have seen since the launch.
The Proof of Stake consensus mechanism will see Ebitz holders earn an annual interest rate of three percent, whereby the minimum stake age will be 12 hours. So, the new cryptocurrency will completely get rid of the founder’s reward but promises enhanced anonymity. Not just that, it will be ready for use on DarkNet markets from its conception.
In a press release surfacing from France, the group behind Ebitz stated:
"We belong to a European group of ethical hackers with a belief that technology behind ZCash is the future in anonymity. Our obvious step is to make a new version but after removing its corporate vestiges and promote it for wide use on the deep web using our contacts and influence. We are using our influence for negotiations to make Ebitz the only coin after Bitcoin to be used on the deep web."
Ebitz can be purchased from November 28, 13:00 UTC, where the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) will last until December 29 or until the target of 500 bitcoin is reached. The website states that the group does not want to raise a large amount of money, hence explaining why the ICO will end early if the 500 bitcoin target is achieved.
During the ICO, 95 percent of the 21 million coins will be made available to interested investors, while the remaining five percent will be earmarked for development and bounties.
While Ebitz may seem like a more equitable, modified version of Zcash, the development team states in the press release, “In addition, we want to develop new features on top of Ebitz that are not included on ZCash,” funded by the proceeds from the ICO, as well as transferring all updates from Zcash to Ebitz.
Despite all the hype surrounding Zcash prior to its launch, the cryptocurrency has declined massively in value, trading well below the $100 handle at the time of writing. Those who have benefitted most from this are private investors with the means to engage in GPU mining and the creators themselves.
However, Ebitz looks to make use of the underlying technology that got everyone so excited about Zcash and ensures fairness, simultaneously providing a truly anonymous currency for the DarkNet.