ECC Partnerships: Year in Review

Delivering economic freedom requires a community of teams coming together to share technologies, talents and ideas. For this reason, Electric Coin Co. partners with innovative organizations from across the cryptocurrency and blockchain worlds. In 2021, in addition to defining our North Star and releasing a compelling roadmap for Zcash, we saw some major wins in ecosystem expansion and shielded pool growth.

Here are some of the exciting things that we worked on last year:

Collaboration with Protocol Labs, Filecoin Foundation, and Ethereum Foundation

In September, ECC announced a partnership with Protocol Labs, the Filecoin Foundation, and the Ethereum Foundation to advance the research and development of Halo. The goal of this joint effort is to explore the future of Halo within each protocol and further develop the technology for cross-chain functionality.

  • You can read more about the collaboration here.
  • Additionally, Zooko, Vitalik, and Marta participated in a panel at the Messari Mainnet conference in September, which can be viewed here.

Partnership expansion

The Zcash ecosystem continued to expand in 2021, with new platforms to support both shielded and transparent ZEC. ECC invests in these partnerships because Zcash adoption depends on availability and ease of access.

In October, Grayscale announced that its Zcash Trust (ZCSH) was available for public trading, marking the first time Zcash would be made available to portfolio holders without them having to purchase and custody the asset directly. The trust is available to trade on a variety of platforms, including:

  • Merril Lynch
  • Fidelity
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Vanguard
  • ETrade
  • Ameritrade
  • Active Trader
  • Webull
  • Charles Schwab
  • Trade Station
  • OTC Markets Group
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Ally

Edge Wallet, one of the first and most trusted software wallets in the industry, announced support for fully shielded Zcash, allowing its users to hold, exchange, and use ZEC privately as medium of exchange. To celebrate the announcement, Edge CEO Paul Puey and ECC CEO Zooko Wilcox sat down with Naomi Brockwell, the host of NBTV, to discuss the importance of privacy and the Zcash integration on Edge. You can check out the conversation here.

Singapore-based exchange Bybit added support for Zcash in 2021, greatly increasing access for Zcash users outside of North America. As one of the fastest growing exchanges in the world, Bybit’s addition of ZEC to the platform will help continue our mission of bringing economic freedom to people across the globe., a retail trading app similar to Robinhood, launched its crypto currency offering in early 2021 and added support for Zcash later in the year. This was a major win in helping spread access to ZEC outside the crypto-native ecosystem and making it available to acquire on a non-native app.

Finally, in December, Coinbase UK announced it was re-adding ZEC to the exchange after a brief period of delisting the asset, thus reaffirming that Zcash is fully compliant with the United Kingdom’s AML/KYC laws and regulations. This was not the case for all privacy-focused protocols.



Shielded growth

2021 also saw impressive growth in the Zcash shielded pool activity and size. In Q4 of 2020 there were upwards of 282,000 transactions with shielded outputs; by the end of 2021 that number had more than doubled to 547,000. These gains are thanks to increased effort to bring shielded ZEC access to new partners throughout the year.

The overall size of the shielded pool grew nearly 44 percent between 2020 and 2021 with October of 2021 producing an all-time month-end high value of 808,145.

Welcoming 2022 and beyond

Since 2016, Zcash has become one of the most widely adopted digital currencies, supported by high-quality financial institutions and crypto companies around the world, including heavily regulated US-based exchanges such as Gemini and Coinbase.

As we look toward the future, our focus at ECC will remain on bringing a world-class user experience to ZEC. Part of that will entail releasing our Unified Addresses and Shielded by Default features in the Halo Arc product suite (April 2022) to allow for increased interoperability between different apps. Separate from these features, we will also have renewed focus on forging strong alliances with tech partners to ensure that ZEC users have access to a variety of platforms to acquire, exchange, leverage, and store their Zcash.

To share your thoughts or suggestions about partnerships, please email [email protected].

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