Crypto Glossary

Shielded Address

A shielded address is generated for a shielded transaction, where a payment is made using the blockchain network by keeping the related information private.

What Is a Shielded Address?

With the recent trends in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, there is more interest than ever in methods of performing secure transactions. This interest has led to an increased demand for alternative methods of making financial transactions that are both secure and anonymous. One such alternative method is known as a shielded transaction that uses a shielded address to make payments.

A shielded transaction is a type of transaction that utilizes a cryptographic technique known as "mixing" in order to anonymize the sender's address and the receiver's address. It works by creating a new address specifically for the transaction and then sending the funds from the original sender address to this newly generated address while at the same time sending equivalent funds from another newly generated address back to the receiver's original address. These two new addresses are generated by a mixer service that operates outside of the blockchain and are only used once for each transaction. This makes it impossible to determine where exactly a particular transaction originated or ended up, thus providing anonymity for both senders and receivers. Since only these two unique addresses are used, no one can tell who owns them or where their funds came from or went to.

Zcash - The Best Implementation of Shielded Transactions

Zcash is the first cryptocurrency to implement zero-knowledge proofs and the first "miner-friendly" proof of work coin with no founders’ reward. 

Zcash transactions are published on a public blockchain, but the sender, recipient, and amount of the transaction remain private. This is accomplished by using a zero-knowledge proof construction called zk-SNARK.

Benefits of Shielded Transaction

The shielded transaction is a way to have greater fungibility in the blockchain by allowing its users to send funds without revealing their transacting partners, amounts sent, or even the transaction history. This is done by creating a new address for each transaction which can only be spent using the recipient's private key.

The reason for this is twofold:

1.) For some use cases, such as international payments, or purchases where you want to obscure your spending habits from others, it is beneficial to not tie your transactions together on the blockchain.

2.) Because Zcash transactions are not fully transparent, the amount of data that can be gathered from the blockchain is limited. This will make it more difficult for outside observers to determine how much total money is being put into specific use cases, like gambling sites.

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