The "Company Values" section at the Zcash website states:

we are not the controllers or the power-holders, and do not control the mining or distribution of Zcash. Every user of Zcash contributes to its decentralization, helping to protect it against failure and corruption.

but the zcash Security Information page reads that:

If we are sufficiently hacked, or if we collectively turn evil, the above resources will not be sufficient to protect you. Luckily, the Zcash network is growing into a larger and more resilient community beyond Electric Coin Company itself. If you suspect that the company has been compromised, please also check other community resources unrelated to Electric Coin Company.

This is slightly confusing to me. I would have thought that the distributed / decentralised nature of it offers enough protection against anyone turning evil. What is the level of control that the Zcash have over the currency?

3 Answers 3


Zcash the currency requires the generation of parameters that must then be securely destroyed. If this data is not securely destroyed by Zcash the company they could undermine the currency, by being able to create new money. For a more thorough discussion, see also the Zcash blog post on the problem and one by Greg Slepak discussing the potential risks.

The process for securely generating these parameters has been described, and for the security assumptions to hold requires at least one of the parties involved to be honest. More information is provided in the Q&A section of a recent talk by Eran Trommer.

However, in the event that the parameter generation process was compromised this will be hard to detect, since the design of the network pretty much ensures that this would be kept secret as long as the currency is not sufficiently devalued to make it obvious that actually it was devalued. Such an attack can still not compromise the privacy of the users, but can create currency at will.


I think this warning about the possibility that Zcash will turn into evil is not realistic. I'd focus on its poor potential in the first place. The coin is still fully operative and private AF, but look at the dynamics. I guess Zcash is fading away.


The decentralized and distributed nature does prevent evilness to a certain extent. However, there is always a possibility of a 51% attack - The ability of someone controlling a majority of network hash rate to revise transaction history and prevent new transactions from confirming.

  • The question does not (and did not before being edited) mention the trusted setup at all, and is not specific to it. Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 12:02

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