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How to Buy Zcash (ZEC) in the UK (2022)

Cryptocurrency is not regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is not subject to protection under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme or within the scope of jurisdiction of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. Investing in cryptocurrency comes with risk and cryptocurrency may gain in value, or lose some or all value. Capital gains tax may be applicable to profits from cryptocurrency sales.

Although Zcash (ZEC) is one of the 100 largest cryptocurrencies, it isn’t available in as many places as you might expect in the UK.

Given that, where’s the best place to buy Zcash (ZEC) in the UK in 2022?

In this short guide, I’ll quickly summarise your options and then outline how to buy Zcash (ZEC) without getting ripped off.

Quick Version: How to Buy ZEC in the UK

Don’t have time for the full story?

Here are the only places I’ve been able to find that allow you to buy Zcash (ZEC) in the UK.

ProviderPayment MethodFees (Approx.)
KrakenUK Bank Transfer< 1%
BitpandaSEPA Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, & More1.5%+
eToro*UK Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, PayPal, & More3.5%+
*68% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. No EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.

Kraken is the lowest-cost place on this list where you can buy Zcash (ZEC) in the UK. You’ll pay maximum trading fees of 0.26% and also be quoted the real exchange rate (i.e., no hidden fees).

Click the links in the table above to head straight over there or read on for more information on how you can buy Zcash (ZEC) in the UK.

Where is Zcash (ZEC) NOT available in the UK?

Although Zcash (ZEC) is available from some well-known names (e.g. Coinbase and Gemini) in the United States (and other countries), it’s currently not available on these platforms if you’re from the UK.

You’ll find that this is the same for other privacy-focused coins – like Monero (XMR).

When I last checked, here are some of the places where you could NOT get Zcash (ZEC) in the UK:

How to Buy Zcash (ZEC) in the UK

#1. Kraken

Kraken is one of the longest-running and best cryptocurrency exchanges available to UK residents.

You can easily deposit GBP into Kraken using a UK bank transfer. This is processed via Faster Payments, so it doesn’t take long for anything you send to be credited either.

Kraken’s trading fees are a maximum of 0.26%. Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, you can unlock fee discounts if you’re a large volume trader.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy Zcash (ZEC) directly with GBP on Kraken. This means you’ll have to buy it with one of the following currencies:

  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)

The price might differ very slightly depending on which cryptocurrency you choose to buy Zcash (ZEC) with. However, the prices you’re quoted will usually be close to the real exchange rate (i.e., there are no hidden fees).

Option #1: Kraken

  • Make an account on the Kraken website. This shouldn’t take that long.
  • Deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer. This should usually be quick and there are no fees.
  • Exchange GBP for EUR on the GBP/EUR market using a limit or market order.  Maximum fees are 0.20%.
  • Go to the ZEC/EUR market and buy Zcash (ZEC) using a limit or market order. Maximum fees are 0.26%.

Like other cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken isn’t beginner-friendly. But once you get the hang of it, it works out as a low-cost way of buying dozens of popular cryptocurrency in the UK.

And one more thing: You won’t be able to withdraw anything from your Kraken account for 72-hours after your first GBP deposit. You can find out more about that here.

Kraken WebsiteKraken Review

#2. eToro

If you’re looking for somewhere that’s a bit more straightforward than Kraken, then eToro* is an alternative you could check out.

*68% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. No EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.
While Bitpanda looks cheaper than eToro, there are additional steps involved if you don’t want to pay any unnecessary fees. This involves sending money with a SEPA transfer, which can incur bank fees and take days to be processed. Not ideal.

With eToro, you can buy Zcash (ZEC) and more than 40 other cryptocurrencies – which includes popular options like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).

Depending on what you’re buying, there’s a hidden fee that you’ll pay whenever you buy or sell that cryptocurrency. This is 3.5% for Zcash (ZEC), but is just 0.75% for Bitcoin (BTC) and 1.9% for Ethereum (ETH).

While this isn’t great, eToro is much easier to use than a cryptocurrency exchange and supports payment methods that aren’t commonly available (e.g., PayPal).

Contrary to what some think, it’s possible to withdraw cryptocurrency from eToro (in the UK and some other countries). If you’re intending to do this, this article notes that you should use a wire transfer (instant) or online banking (7-day delay). If you use other payment methods, you might be temporarily restricted from withdrawing your coins. Check out this and this for more information.

Option #2: eToro

  • Open an eToro account.
  • Deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer. eToro automatically converts this to USD, which will incur a small fee.
  • Search for Zcash (ZEC) on eToro.
  • When you find it, place an order for however much Zcash (ZEC) you want to buy. The fee is included in the price that you’re quoted (3.5%).
  • All done! If you want to withdraw it, follow the instructions on this page.

eToro isn’t an obvious choice for buying cryptocurrency and it sounds complicated, but it might be worth checking out if you don’t want to use a cryptocurrency exchange like Kraken.

eToro Website*eToro Crypto Review

*eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFD assets. Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short time frame and, therefore, are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and, therefore, is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.

What is ZCash (ZEC)?

ZCash (ZEC) is a cryptocurrency that prioritises privacy on the blockchain. It’s designed to be a more confidential alternative to other digital currencies that maintains your privacy – even when paying for goods and services using crypto.

The ZCash network and its native coin, ZEC, launched in 2016 after a hard fork of the Bitcoin network. ZCash was created by Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, a self-proclaimed cypherpunk and blockchain engineer, and a group of scientists who had also worked on another crypto project called Zerocoin.

Here’s a quick video that explains the basics of what ZCash (ZEC) is and how it works:

How does ZCash (ZEC) work?

At its core, ZCash (ZEC) is very similar to Bitcoin (BTC).

Like the Bitcoin network, the ZCash network is a public, permissionless, and decentralised blockchain with a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus model. ZCash also features a lot of the original open-source code that’s found in the Bitcoin network.

However, ZCash (ZEC) has some unique features that allow it to provide more privacy than most alternative cryptocurrencies.

The basic principle behind ZCash is that everyone using the network has access to two addresses.

You can use your t-address when you want to make public transactions or when privacy isn’t a concern. These transactions function much like transactions on the Bitcoin network.

Alternatively, you can use your z-address when you want to keep the details of your transaction secret. When you use z-addresses, your transaction is still logged on the blockchain, but the amount that you sent and the addresses that were involved are kept secret.

The privacy that comes with z-address transactions is made possible via zk-SNARKs, which are a form of zero-knowledge proof.

While the technology of zk-SNARKs is too complex to go into here, the concept is that they enable the network to validate a transaction without ever knowing the details of the transaction. This allows private transactions to take place where the sender, receiver, and transaction value are hidden to everyone but the involved parties.

Is ZCash actually private and untraceable?

There’s some controversy over whether ZCash can actually keep your transactions confidential.

According to research from Carnegie Mellon University, more than 99% of ZCash (ZEC) transactions are processed publicly with t-addresses. This high rate of public transactions means that most ZCash transactions (even the so-called private ones) are actually traceable with enough time and effort.

So if complete anonymity is what you seek, it seems like ZCash might not be the cryptocurrency for your needs.

What are the benefits of holding ZCash (ZEC)?

The ZCash (ZEC) coin is primarily designed as a store of value on the ZCash network. You can use it to pay for goods or services or to send money to friends and family. All network transaction fees are also paid in ZEC.

Since ZCash operates on a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus model, there’s no way to stake ZEC coins to earn rewards. However, miners on the ZCash network are paid out in ZEC every time they add a block to the ZCash blockchain.

But other than its utility as a store of value and as a method for paying transaction fees on the ZCash network, there aren’t currently many other use cases for ZEC.

Best ZCash (ZEC) Wallets

Although there isn’t an official ZCash wallet, ZEC is supported by many major software and hardware wallets.

The ZCash Foundation, which is a public charity that funds blockchain research and innovation, currently recommends Zecwallet Lite for your ZEC storage needs. Zecwallet Lite is available as a mobile and desktop app. It offers full support for the ZCash network, including the ability to send both public and private transactions using z-address and t-addresses.

Other ZCash (ZEC) software wallets that you can use for both public and private transactions include:

  • Nighthawk
  • Unstoppable
  • Edge

However, of these wallets, only Unstoppable and Edge support more than just ZEC. If you prefer a multi-currency software wallet, instead, you have plenty of options. Popular ZEC-compatible software wallets include:

  • Atomic Wallet
  • Exodus
  • Trust Wallet
  • Cobo
  • Coinomi

The downside is that these wallets don’t support private transactions on ZCash. You can only use these wallets to send public ZEC transactions.

Want to use a hardware wallet for your ZCash (ZEC)?

Popular hardware wallets that you can use with ZCash (ZEC) include:

The wallet interfaces for Ledger, Trezor, and Ellipal wallets all support ZCash (ZEC). However, most hardware wallets don’t provide full support for z-address transactions (only public t-address transactions). That means they’re not a great choice if you’re looking to keep your transactions private.

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