“SHH!” – Shielded Zcash at retail is Finally A Reality

World’s First Retail Purchase with Encrypted Zcash, Portsmouth, NH 2017

A girl with dreadlocks and wearing cyberpunk clothes walked into the Bitcoin Shoppe with a laptop under her arm. It was the fall of 2017, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire was teaming with crypto tourists. She picked out a laser-cut “Live Free or Die” wooden wall plaque and a “Legalize Gay Marijuana” bumper sticker. The plan was to pay for the items with shielded Zcash using Anypay. It took a whole minute on a computer dedicating 8GB of its RAM just to computing and producing the transaction signature. Once broadcast, Anypay picked it up in seconds. The screen turned green and produced that beloved “PAID ✔” message. Proof of concept.

One crypto winter later, the technology emerged to produce Zcash shielded transactions on a mobile, with much less time and processing power than previously required. “Sapling” made it possible for customers to use their Zcash the way it was intended! When Anypay learned of this, we submitted a proposal to the Zcash Foundation for a grant to engineer a solution for retail Point of Sale. We already offer the easiest and most private crypto point of sale available, totally free. But could we also give merchants the ability to accept Zcash from customers totally privately, just like cash?

That was our mission, and the Zcash Foundation agreed it was a good one. They sponsored us. We worked diligently to produce a satisfying experience for merchants and customers. With the release of the ZecWallet for mobile, we had everything we needed to make the vision a reality. No longer would customers need to walk into a store with their laptop, burn through 8 gigs of RAM and sit down and wait a whole minute just to compute the signature needed to pay privately. No! They can do it in seconds using the ZecWallet. And best of all, the merchant can receive it as shielded or transparent — their choice! So even the most un-savvy business owner can open a simple wallet and start receiving Zcash. But their customers get to retain their privacy. Winning.

Finally, today, the mission is complete. You can today pay any merchant who accepts Zcash on Anypay, and your transaction can be totally private. See for yourself.

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