SERO VS Zcash : A comparative analysis


With advancements in the cryptography and cryptocurrency space, the definition of “true privacy” has always changed with different projects coming in. This article covers a comparative analysis between two of the most strongest and solid privacy projects present in the current cryptocurrency space with both based on the privacy cryptographic technology, Zero Knowledge Proof.

What is Zero Knowledge Proof ?

Zcash is highly sought after and comes from its ultimate anonymous technology — “Zero knowledge Proof”, through which absolute anonymity can be achieved.

Zero-Knowledge Proof means that the “prover” (verified person) can convince the “verifier” that a certain conclusion is correct without providing any useful information to the verifier. Zcash uses zk-SNARK zero-knowledge proof technology to verify the conditions of valid transactions in anonymous transactions without revealing important information such as the address or value involved. Only the person with the view key can see the transaction content, and the trader can choose the transaction and can provide a view key to others.

How to Anonymously Prove With Zero Knowledge

The blockchain is recorded through the miners, who are the third parties to the transaction. If all the data about the deal are hidden, how do miners account for the transaction?


In the anonymous transaction between shielded addresses, the miners records contain only evidence of the existence of an undischarged balance and the creation of a transaction, without recording the blocked address and the amount of the transaction itself. During a transaction, the sender uses the private key to sign the transaction for that Zcash, proves that he has access to the Zcash and provides zero-knowledge proof that the Zcash was authorized to consume. 

The miner only needs to verify the zk-SNARKs without having to know anything about the address to record the transaction.

Zcash wallet addresses fall into two categories: transparent and shielded. 

The transparent address function is similar to bitcoin, and the transaction information (including the transfer address and the transaction amount) is available in the block information. 

Shielded addresses enhance privacy, and address information and transfer amounts are not shown in the block information, and third parties cannot access the blocking information through open channels. Sending or receiving with a shielded address requires generating zero-knowledge certificates that allow others to authenticate the encrypted data of the transaction without generating information disclosure.

Zcash’s shortcomings

While Zcash’s technology is powerful, the following issues remain:

1. Only a few transactions in Zcash are anonymous. This provides a basis for potential transaction analysis when the majority of users are trading using transparent addresses.


2. When making anonymous transactions on Zcash, it takes a long time to generate and prove Proofs, which affects the user’s willingness to use anonymous transactions.

SERO’s advantages over Zcash.

Zcash is a relatively old coin, and with the development of blockchain technology, the new generation of anonymous currency system SERO has evolved and become more powerful in every aspect. In contrast to Zcash, the SERO system has the following features:


1.Compared with Zcash, which currently has only about 10% of tokens that are anonymous, SERO is 100% anonymous, which is more secure.


2. In both SERO and Zcash, the anonymous part uses Zero knowledge proof, but with SERO the circuit structure is more optimized than Zcash, generating an order of magnitude faster than the Zcash code to prove that part and speed of the encryption is faster than Zcash.

3. SERO is world’s first anonymous currency platform based on Zero Knowledge Proof that supports Smart Contracts, this means users will be able to issue and trade anonymously with ERC20 Token or ERC721 Token, smart contract, which has a unique ecological application.

4. SERO Ecosystem

SERO boasts of four types of assets; SERO coins, anonymous Tokens, Tickets, and Packages, together constitute the ecosystem of the SERO ecosystem’s anonymous assets. These asset types are perfectly integrated in a single coding system, combined with the programming of these assets by Turing complete smart contract of SERO ecosystem, developers can pioneer the implementation of various privacy-related DApps that are not supported on the previous system in the blockchain, and are suitable for the implementation of business requirements in various privacy protection fields.

Briefly, the SERO system addresses the following weak points in the anonymous currency area:


1. Anonymous currency does not support smart contract, anonymous ecology cannot issue assets for Dapp programming.

2. Zero-knowledge proves and encryption are slow

3. Industry requires 100% anonymous currency based on zero-knowledge proof

How SERO solves the encryption speed issues of Zero Knowledge Proof

For the blockchain system with non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs ( NIZK) scheme, the biggest application bottleneck is the long time of transaction generation proofs. Even though Zcash recently upgraded the sapling version, anonymous transactions can take a long time to transfer, largely affecting usability. Especially in the case of too much UTXO per transaction, the transfer time is even more unbearable. So on the Zcash system, only about 10% of transactions are anonymous, the rest are explicit currency transactions. The fact that Zcash is over-represented has in turn seriously affected Zcash’s anonymity security.

Also see, SERO achieved 20 times faster encryption against Zcash during testnet.

SERO greatly improves the encryption time of Zero Knowledge Proof generation by optimizing Zero Knowledge Proofs generation speed ( at the same security level, zero knowledge proof generation speed is a order of magnitude higher than that of Zcash) 

Improved SERO experience is enough to support 100% anonymity for all transactions in the SERO, so the whole anonymous trading system doesn’t have explicit currency addresses, which solves the problem of anonymous security perfectly.

SERO’s Zero knowledge proof system, Super-ZK, has made a breakthrough in several aspects compared with Zcash.

1. SERO generates NIZK using the zk-Snarks derech framework, Using the ALT_BN128 curve and Groth16 preprocessing process, this process takes 1/3 less time than the PGHR13 preprocessing scheme.


2. SERO uses a Twisted Edwards elliptic curve when generating a public key, To replace the SHA256 algorithm and use ECC Hash to generate the Merkle tree, the transaction generation speed can be increased more than 4 times.


3. SERO uses a single input and output structure, each of which is linked by an asset channel, which is more modular in construction and gives a threefold increase in parallel execution efficiency in the case of multi-core CPU.


4. Part of the code for Super-ZK is written in assembly language, optimizing engineering structures such as resource allocation and making it more efficient to execute code.

SERO Support for Smart Contract

SERO has created a hybrid transaction model of Bitcoin’s UTXO and Ethereum’s ACCOUNT model. In the computing layer of privacy protection, UTXO mode is adopted, and the ACCOUNT pattern which is logically equivalent can be mapped to support the operation of Turing complete smart contract virtual machine. SERO brings together the two patterns seamlessly through transactions, consensus, and the Pedersen Commitment algorithm, enabling smart contracts to perform surprisingly well.


A token similar to ERC20 and ERC721 protocol can be issued by SERO smart contracts. Like SERO coin, it is also anonymous based on zero knowledge proof and can be programmed with smart contract. This is a groundbreaking innovation for the whole anonymous currency field.

Zcash and SERO related application scenarios

The current Zcash application scenario is very simple, that is, value is stored. Keeping currency anonymous is very reassuring, especially for the rich.


SERO system, besides the value storage function of Zcash, supports smart contract and anonymous coining, so it is more rich in the support of application scenarios, such as the following scenarios:


1. Supply chain system


Blockchain can solve the problems of upstream and downstream transaction vouchers and traceability in supply chain system, simplify the difficulty of enterprise management in supply chain center and provide corresponding solutions for upstream and downstream enterprises to finance. However, the price, goods and other sensitive data, the chain of words faced with the problem of the disclosure of trade secrets. By using SERO system, we can completely solve the problem of the exposure of trade secret, and at the same time, let the participants enjoy the benefit of the application block chain system.


2. Medical Health


In health-related industries, data privacy can be found in everything from individual cases to medical records, Multi-role-oriented privacy protection and authorization mechanisms need very flexible and secure privacy protection capabilities, involving hospitals, patients, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. The protection and restriction of data privacy is particularly important. The SERO system, which solves privacy issues for patients and hospitals, also opens channels for insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies to comply safely and use data with the patient’s permission.


3. Online Auction


The privateness of bids is very important in the pursuit of fair online bidding, but it is hard to do it under the drive of profit, and SERO can provide a completely safe, independent and fair bidding environment.


4. Online gaming-related industries

The development of online gaming has been constrained by a centralised mechanism in a vast cash flow industry, There is a great need for a decentralized smart contract system that can provide multi-bid, payment and settlement, and the SERO system can fully support this kind of business.


5. Games

Large games often require a currency system that is easy to circulate, trade, and settle, and can be issued and circulated based on smart contracts, while balancing the privacy of transactions. At present, SERO is the only technical solution that can make multi-currency system issue and circulate on the basis of the same smart contract system, and take account of transaction privacy.

Zcash and SERO coin metrics

Zcash has a total supply of 21 million which is halved every 4 years. SERO has 1 billion supply with the same halving duration of once per year.


SERO system is the most perfect platform of blockchain anonymous system. Both value storage and application ecology have huge, rigid demand, so it has great potential for appreciation.