Zcash (ZEC) surged by nearly 20% in the past 24 hours, helped by the euphoria surrounding its core protocol's decisive transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
The ZEC price logged an intraday high at $188.80 on Binance after rising two days in a row by more than 27%. The cryptocurrency's move upside also wiped out a big portion of the losses it had faced earlier this week, in the wake of a downside retracement across the crypto market.
ZEC price jumped after the cryptocurrency's main developer, Electric Coin Company (ECC), announced that it would move Zcash's protocol from PoW to PoS within the next three years. The nonprofit noted that the upgrade would limit the ZEC price's downward pressures by removing miners that "immediately liquidate" the token for Bitcoin or fiat.
"This shift will also increase the utility for ZEC through capabilities that include yield generation through staking and a possible path to on-chain governance mechanisms for ZEC hodlers," added Josh Swihart, the senior vice president of growth at ECC, adding:
"There are other benefits of moving to proof-of-stake, which include the reduction of the ZEC energy footprint, providing a possible path to on-chain governance mechanisms and support for interoperability by addressing problems with proof-of-work transaction finality, among other reasons."
ZEC bulls cashing on the PoS FOMO
Unlike PoW, PoS mechanisms allow a person to mine or validate block transactions based on the number of underlying tokens they hold/stake. In return, the so-called "validator" receives rewards in the form of yields.
Ethereum, the leading smart contracts platform by market cap, also initiated its transition from PoW to PoS after introducing a dedicated smart contract. In response, users locked about 8.33 million Ether (ETH) tokens into the so-called Ethereum 2.0 address, effectively pushing them out of active supply.
ECC's announcement promised that users would be able to stake a portion of their ZEC holdings into a dedicated Zcash smart contract to become validators on its blockchain. Therefore, as a result, more ZEC may end up going out of active circulation due to lockup periods, against its Bitcoin-like fixed supply of 21 million tokens.
Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, a venture capital firm, tweeted on Nov. 20 that he would "buy more" Zcash tokens, citing their supply cap. His tweet coincided with a sudden ZEC price rise against the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin (BTC).
Nonetheless, some analysts argued that Zcash would not have a supply cap after implementing PoS.
For instance, on-chain analyst Willy Woo noted in his response to Silbert's tweet that if Zcash could "decide to extend the dev tax," and "if it can switch to PoS and cut out the miners," then he is confident that the cryptocurrency does not have a maximum supply.
"And," Woo added, "that's ignoring the inflation bug of 2018 and assuming we could in fact audit the supply," referring to the Zcash's infamous vulnerability that could have created infinite ZEC tokens.
Minutes after Woo's remarks on ZEC's doubtful supply cap, Silbert tweeted:
ZEC's latest push upside made it enter an inflection zone, prominent for its record of capping the cryptocurrency's rallies.
Specifically, the trading range defined by $170–$205 (the reddened area in the chart below) has earlier provided selling opportunities for traders. Even recently, the ZEC price retreated lower after entering the said range while eyeing extended declines toward the purpled upward sloping trendline.
A clear breakout trend may appear after ZEC closes above the inflection zone, accompanied by rising trading volumes, thus targeting the Fibonacci retracement levels at $247 and $316. Conversely, a decisive close below $170 may risk sending ZEC toward $136.
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