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The best Zcash (ZEC) wallets for private transactions – Guide and review

Finding the right wallet for Zcash (ZEC) can be difficult and complicated. In this article we give you an overview of the best ZCash wallets on the market.

In particular, we also give you advice on which ZCash wallet to use if you wish to send private transactions with ZEC. Before going into the subject further, it is important that you have a basic understanding of cryptography, wallets and the technology behind Zcash.

You can check the current price of ZCash in our market overview.

The ZCash Basics

If you want to know in detail how Zcash’s anonymous transactions work, we recommend that you read our detailed Zcash Guide. Otherwise, you can also read our Quick Guide below, where we have compiled the most important information for you.

Quick-Guide - Wallets:
Simply put, a crypto wallet is a digital wallet. The difference to a wallet for paper money is that the crypto wallet does not store the cryptocurrency itself, but the access keys. This is known as the “private key”. Depending on whether the access key is stored online or offline, a distinction is made between a

  • cold Wallet (offline) and
  • hot wallet (online)

is made. With a cold wallet the private keys are at no time in connection with the Internet. This is the case with hot wallets, which is why they are classified as less secure. Attackers have a potential gateway via the Internet connection to hack the wallet. This is why large investment companies and cryptocurrency exchanges always keep most of their customers’ money on a cold wallet!

You should take this as an example! Cold wallets offer by far the highest protection and can be purchased in the form of hardware wallets. The big disadvantage of hardware wallets is that, unlike desktop wallets and mobile wallets (both hot wallets), they are not free of charge.

Quick-Guide - Zcash:

If you are interested in sending anonymous Zcash transactions, you should know that not all Zcash transactions are anonymous! Zcash users can choose to use either shielded (z addresses) or transparent (t addresses) addresses. Only the z addresses are not public and therefore not visible in the Zcash blockchain.

Shielded addresses can be recognized by the fact that they begin with ‘z’, while transparent addresses begin with ‘t’. It is also important to know that both address types are interoperable. The following graphic shows which combinations are anonymous (“grey” = anonymous, “white” = public”):

Zcash Transaktionen

Source: https://z.cash/technology/

According to the graphic, Z-to-Z transactions and T-to-Z transactions are anonymous. Of particular interest is the option of sending ZEC from a transparent address to a shielded address. This interrupts the link between future transparent addresses. However, a Z-to-T transaction is transparent. The protection of privacy is then lost.

Now you may be wondering which wallets support shielded addresses? The answer is relatively simple. Currently, there are very few wallets that support shielded addresses. Even the hardware wallets of Ledger and Trezor don’t support shielded addresses (yet).

TypeShielded TransactionsMemo Field
Ledger Nano XHardware
Ledger Nano SHardware
Trezor Model THardware
Zec WalletDesktop
Guarda WalletDesktop, Mobil

✅ (Android Beta) /

❌ (Others)

Zepio WalletDesktop
Trust WalletMobil
Coinomi WalletDesktop, Mobil

Beyond the private transactions of anonymity we would like to give you two more recommendations:

1.Even before buying Zcash (click here to read our guide), you should already have set up a ZCash wallet. If you buy Zcash from a broker, you can enter your own wallet address (e.g. also the z address). On the one hand you can create your privacy, on the other hand you can possibly save additional fees.

2.The permanent storage of Zcash on the wallet of a cryptocurrency exchange has two disadvantages. On the one hand, cryptocurrency exchanges are very popular targets for hackers, as a result of which cryptocurrencies could be stolen even from large exchanges such as Binance. On the other hand, there is (at the time of writing) no exchange that supports shielded addresses.

The best Zcash hardware wallets

Hardware wallets are the most secure option to store Zcash’s private keys, as they are stored isolated on the device and never come into contact with the Internet. Even if you release a ZEC transaction via the hardware wallet, the digital signature is done via a private key exclusively on the Hardware wallet.

This is achieved by the fact that the operating systems of the hardware wallets are designed in such a way that only “non-critical” components go online to retrieve and receive the data from the blockchain. This means that hackers theoretically have no chance of accessing the private key.

The best hardware wallets from the two market leaders, Ledger and Trezor, are also protected against “analog” theft. If thieves steal the device, the following hardware wallets offer both PIN and 2-factor authentication protection. Thus the private keys are well protected even in case of physical theft.

Because of this, hardware wallets are by far the safest way to manage your Zcash (ZEC). However, we would like to remind you that there is no hardware wallet that supports shielded transactions yet. In the following box we have summarized all advantages and disadvantages of a hardware wallet:

The advantages of Zcash hardware wallets:
✅ Highest security standard
✅ Storage of private keys offline
✅ Hardware wallets mostly support a large number of cryptocurrencies
✅ Regular updates by the manufacturers
✅ Very good customer support

The disadvantages of hardware wallets are:
No shielded transaction
Not free
❌ No deposit insurance as offered by eToro

The best 3 Hardware Wallets in 2019
Hardware WalletInfoTest
Ledger Nano X kaufen

⚡ OUR test champion: The Ledger Nano X
✅ Manage 100 cryptocurrencies simultaneously
✅ Compatible with more than 1,100 cryptocurrencies
✅ Bluetooth connection for mobile wallet
✅ New flagship of the market leader
⛔ Price: 119,90 € - in the middle range

Testbericht lesen

Read our review

Ledger Nano S kaufen

⚡ Best price/performance ratio: The Ledger Nano S
✅ Very good Price: 59,90 €
✅ Compatible with more than 1,100 cryptocurrencies
✅ Proven quality: more than 1.3 million units already sold
⛔ Manage max. 5 cryptocurrencies simultaneously

Testbericht Ledger Nano S

Read our review

Trezor Model T kaufen

⚡ 3rd place: The Trezor Model T
✅ Over 1,000 cryptocurrencies supported
✅ Proven quality from Trezor
✅ Firmware is not installed on the device until you start it
⛔ In comparison to the Nano X: less features and functions 
⛔ High price: about 180 €

Testbericht Trezor Model T

Read our review

1.Ledger Nano X

The Ledger Nano X is in our opinion the best hardware wallet currently available on the market. This model is the successor to the Ledger Nano S. Launched by Ledger in May 2019, it offers many new features compared to its predecessor, four of which stand out:

  • Bluetooth function: The Ledger Nano X can be connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone (via the Ledger Live App) so that it can be used as a mobile wallet.
  • More memory: The memory has been significantly enlarged compared to the previous model. The Ledger Nano X now has room for over 100 apps.
  • Larger display: The display has also increased the size of the Ledger slightly, so that scrolling is not necessary, as with the Nano S.
  • Improved security: The security chip has been completely reworked. In addition, the component was certified by the French cyber safety authority ANSSI.
Supported cryptocurrencies
The Legder Nano X can store the private keys of over 1,100 different cryptocurrencies. With this large number of supported cryptocurrencies, there is hardly a well-known coin that is not supported. When new cryptocurrencies come onto the market, Ledger is basically very quick to support the coin.

Another advantage of the Nano X is that up to 100 apps can be installed on the device at the same time (instead of only 5 apps on the Nano S) and thus up to 100 cryptocurrencies can be managed simultaneously..

Operation
The operation of the Ledger Nano X is very simple and intuitive and is done via the 2 buttons on the top. In addition to the hardware, the Ledger Live App is required to view the portfolio and perform transactions.
Transparency & Fees

The Ledger Live Software is Open Source and therefore tested by the crypto community. However, the operating system is a secret. Ledger justifies this with the fact that “the level of physical security cannot be achieved with generic chips”.

The transaction fees for ZEC are displayed transparently. They correspond to the network charges. There are no costs for using the Ledger services (beyond the purchase price for the Nano X).

Security
Ledger’s technology is considered the industry leader. This applies not only to the private customer segment, but also to the corporate segment. For example, the French company has concluded numerous cooperation agreements, including with Neufund, blockchain.com and Switcheo. In April 2019, the global Samsung Group also announced an investment of USD 2.6 million.

The Bluetooth feature, which was initially heavily criticized by the crypto community, is also considered safe and does not pose a security risk to your Zcash (ZEC). As Ledger clarified after the launch of the Nano X, only non-critical data (not the private key and not the recovery seed) is transferred via Bluetooth. Furthermore, a release with the Ledger Nano X is always necessary to send transactions. Thus the Bluetooth can be used without hesitation.

2.Ledger Nano S

Even though the Ledger Nano S is no longer the latest Ledger model, it can be a very interesting option, especially for beginners. If you are not willing to pay 120 Euro for the Ledger Nano X, you will get 60 Euro for the Nano S – a hardware wallet that has proven to be very safe over several years.

The Nano S is still one of the most secure and reliable hardware wallets on the market. It has already been sold over 1.3 million times worldwide, which clearly speaks for the quality of the wallet. It is also important to know that hackers have never managed to steal cryptocurrencies from the device.

Conclusion: If you live without the new functions of the successor, then Ledger Nano S is ideal for you. You get a hardware wallet whose price/performance ratio is unbeatable.

Supported cryptocurrencies
Just like the Legder Nano X the Nano S is operated with the Ledger Live Software. Using Ledger Live, the Nano S can store over 1,100 different cryptocurrencies (or their private keys). Due to the small memory only 5 Apps can be installed at the same time. This means that users must always install and uninstall the various cryptocurrency apps (the data / account balances are not lost!). If you don’t mind this small effort, the Nano S is the best choice for you.
Operation
The operation of the Ledger Nano S is also very simple and intuitive. This is done via the 2 buttons on the device. Additionally the Ledger Live App is required. Both Nano S and Nano X use the same Ledger Live software. The software allows you to send and receive cryptocurrencies and view your account balance and portfolio in real time.
Transparency & Fees
The Ledger Live Software is open source software whose source code is publicly available. However, the operating system of the Ledger devices is a secret. The fees for a transaction (network fees) are transparently listed in the Ledger Live Software. Ledger itself does not charge any additional fees.
Security
Ledger’s technology is industry-leading and is not only implemented in Ledger’s hardware wallets. Various companies use them to store the private keys of cryptocurrencies.

3.Trezor Model T

The Trezor Model T was also launched in May 2019. It replaced the Trezor One, which had a facelift. The result is the Trezor Model T, which not only supports a variety of new cryptocurrencies, but also has some new features:

  • Touchscreen: A new feature is a touch screen which must be used to release the transactions on the device.
  • Firmware Upgrade: Trezor Core has been improved for security reasons.
  • More powerful processor: The processor is significantly faster than its predecessor, making operation even smoother.
  • Card slot for Micro-SD: New is also a Micro-SD card slot, which can be used for data encryption.
  • USB-C port: The “old” USB port has been replaced by a new USB-C port.

Conclusion: The Ledger Nano X is slightly superior to the Trezor Model T in a direct price/performance comparison. This is because the Nano X is significantly cheaper. In addition, the Nano X has a few more features, offers more native apps, and requires less third-party software. Nevertheless the Trezor Model T is one of the best and most modern hardware wallets on the market. Due to the comparatively high price of around 180 euros, however, the Trezor Model T only ranks third in our ranking.

Supported cryptocurrencies
The Trezor Model T can manage more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies using third-party software. Something of a pity is that not all crypto assets can be sent and received with the Trezor Bridge software (currently only 51 cryptocurrencies). A complete list of supported cryptocurrencies can be found on the official Trezor website.
Operation
The Trezor Model T is very high quality. The touch display works very well and simply. In addition, the new Trezor Bridge software offers numerous new functions.
Transparency & Fees
The Trezor software and hardware is largely open source and publicly available on GitHub. The code was designed by Trezor with third-party extensibility in mind. There are no additional fees for using Trezor software other than the purchase price of the device and Zcash’s network charges.
Security
Ledger and Trezor are the best known and most popular manufacturers of hardware wallets worldwide. With the Trezor One, Trezor has launched the first hardware wallet on the market, which was widely used. This gives Trezor the longest experience in the development of hardware wallets, which is also reflected in the quality and security standards of the Trezor Model T

The best Zcash desktop and mobile wallets

Desktop and mobile wallets are hot wallets and are programs that are installed on your device, such as a computer or smartphone, to manage, send and receive Zcash (ZEC). In contrast to hardware wallets, they therefore have the disadvantage that the private keys are not stored offline, since the devices are usually connected to the Internet.

It is important to mention (in the case of the wallets presented here) that the private keys are “at least” stored on your own computer and not on a company server, such as an exchange wallet. As a result, only the user of the wallet and no third party, not even the Developers, has access to your Zcash. This makes the security of the desktop and mobile wallets considerably higher than on an exchange wallet.

However, this advantage also entails a great deal of responsibility. Since the private keys are stored (encrypted) on the user’s own computer or smartphone, the user is responsible for protecting the private keys from hackers. This means that it is very important to keep the device up to date with security updates. In addition, anti-virus and anti-spyware software should be installed as a matter of urgency and should be updated regularly. In order to increase anonymity, it is also recommended to use Tor and / or VPN.

A very big advantage is that there are currently a few desktop (and a mobile) wallet in beta phase which allows shielded transaction!

Below we have created an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a desktop wallet:

The advantages of Zcash Desktop wallets:
The official Zec wallet offers the possibility for shielded transactions.
✅ Sole control over the Private Keys
✅ Significantly higher security than with exchange wallets
✅ Multicoin wallets support many different cryptocurrencies
✅ Free to use
✅ Access to Zcash (ZEC) via Smartphone

The disadvantages of Zcash Desktop wallets:
❌Less security than using a hardware wallet (more vulnerable to hacker attacks)
❌ No deposit insurance, e.g. with the eToro wallet
❌ Caution when selecting unknown wallets: danger of fraud

The best ZCash wallets for Desktop and Smartphone
  1. Zec wallet (Linux, Windows and MacOS)
  2. Guarda wallet (Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Google Chrome extension)
  3. Zepio wallet (Linux, Windows and MacOS)
  4. Trust wallet (iOS and Android)
  5. Coinomi wallet (Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android)

1.Zec wallet

Zec wallet

The Zec wallet is the official full node client of Zcash. Because of this, the wallet is certainly not suitable for everyone. Since it is a full node wallet, the entire blockchain must be downloaded and permanently synchronized, which is why the computer on which the wallet is installed should run as permanently as possible. Otherwise the synchronization may take some time before the wallet can be used.

Within the Zcash community, the wallet enjoys a very good reputation because it is published by the Zcash Foundation. In addition, the Zec wallet was the first wallet that had shielded addresses implemented and was Sapling compatible. The most important reason for using the Zec wallet is therefore undoubtedly the possibility to send anonymous payments and to use the functions of the memo field. If you are not interested in these features, there are much better and more user-friendly wallets that we can recommend.

But if you want to use the shielded transaction, the Zec wallet is the best choice. It is available as desktop wallet for Windows, MacOS and Linux. You can download it via the following link (click here!).

Supported cryptocurrencies
Only Zcash (ZEC) is supported.
Operation
The biggest criticism for using the Zec wallet is the operation. Since it is a Full Node wallet, the blockchain must be downloaded once and then permanently updated to be synchronized with the blockchain. This is an obstacle, which can be very big especially for beginners and technically not gifted people.
Transparency & Fees
As with any other wallet, the fees are displayed transparently before a transaction. The source code of the wallet is open-source and therefore publicly available on GitHub.
Security
The security of the wallet is very good because it is published by the Zcash Foundation and has been peer reviewed.

2.Guarda wallet

guarda wallet Zcash

Guarda is in our opinion the best multicoin wallet to store Zcash (ZEC). There is a particular reason for this: In contrast to many other multicoin wallets, the Guarda development team strives to implement specific features of individual cryptocurrencies. For Zcash, these are the shielded addresses that have not yet been implemented in any “light client”.

The Guarda development team has taken this task to heart and in May 2019 released the first “light client” wallet for Zcash in the form of a beta test version for Android, which supports both transparent and shielded transactions. The official release date had not yet been fixed at the time of writing. Once this is done, the Guarda wallet is clearly the best ZCash wallet.

In addition, the Guarda wallet is a very user-friendly multicoin wallet that supports over 40 different cryptocurrencies, including all ERC20 tokens. It is an open-source wallet that is available as a web, iPhone, Android, desktop version and as a Google Chrome browser extension. All wallet versions offer the advantage that the private keys are stored on the user’s end device. Users thus retain full control over their cryptocurrency. Guarda claims that no personal or cryptographic information is stored by the company.

Another advantage of the Guarda wallet is that there is an integrated feature that allows users to purchase any of the supported cryptocurrencies with a credit card. Guarda uses the payment service provider Simplex (which is also used by Binance and KuCoin) for this purpose. In addition, the Guarda Web wallet also has the ability to connect to Ledger’s API.

It is important to know that the iPhone version of the wallet is called “Guarda”, whereas the Android version is called “Moxi”. The name may be related to a grant received by the company on behalf of the Zcash Foundation.

You can download the wallet from the official website.

Supported cryptocurrencies
Besides Zcash, Guarda supports a total of 48 cryptocurrencies and all ERC20 and BEP-2 tokens. Among others Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), XRP, Binance Coin (BNB), Waves and Qtum (QTUM) can be stored with the Guarda.
Operation
The wallet is very easy to use and clearly arranged. Operation is no problem even for beginners.
Transparency & Fees
The code of the wallet is open-source. There are no fees for the use of the wallet. In terms of transaction costs, a recommended fee is displayed for each transaction, which the user can freely customize.
Security
The security of the wallet is very good. The company behind Guarda is established and develops a total of 10 different crypto applications. We are not aware of any hacks or major bugs.

3.Zepio wallet

Zepio wallet

The Zepio wallet is a full node wallet that supports sapling and shielded addresses. Accordingly, while it has the same advantages as the Zec wallet, it also has the same disadvantages in terms of the characteristics of a Full Node wallet. It requires the user to download the complete blockchain and a permanent synchronization.

The wallet was first published in May 2019 by the Zcash Foundation. As usual for a desktop wallet, the wallet stores the private keys on the user’s computer in encrypted form. Besides the basic functions of a wallet, the sending and receiving of ZEC, the Zepio wallet offers no further functions. The wallet is aimed in particular at users for whom a minimalist wallet is sufficient to enable private transactions. It is pleasing that it enables both the connection to the Mainnet and the Testnet.

You can download the Zepio wallet from the official website (click here) for MacOS, Windows and Linux.

Supported cryptocurrencies
Only Zcash (ZEC) is supported.
Operation
Because it is a Full Node wallet, the whole blockchain has to be downloaded and updated continuously. This can be a problem especially for beginners.
Transparency & Fees
As with any other wallet, the fees before a transaction are displayed very transparently. The source code of the wallet is open-source and therefore publicly available on GitHub.
Security
The security of the wallet is very good, as it is published by the Zcash Foundation like the Zec wallet.

4.Trust wallet

Trust wallet Tron

The Trust wallet is a multicoin wallet especially developed for Smartphones, iOS and Android, which is developed by a company called Six Days LLC (US Office) and does not allow shielded transactions. It is available in 11 languages and currently supports 42 cryptocurrencies and over 2,000 ERC20 tokens.

The name of the wallet (“Trust”) is intended to refer to the intention of the developers, who have focused their development on security and anonymity. The Trust wallet was tested by the security company Stateful. In addition, the wallet operates in a server-free environment so that each wallet is installed locally and the private keys are stored locally only. This means that neither the developers nor third parties have access to the private key.

In addition, the Trust wallet can convince with the following additional features:

  • A decentralised exchange: the wallet has integrated the decentralised exchange from its partner, the Kyber Network.
  • FaceID and TouchID: In addition to classic passwords, FaceID and TouchID can also be activated to protect the wallet.
  • Real-time portfolio: View the entire crypto portfolio and its value in real time
  • Push notifications: can be enabled to be notified of transactions.

The download links can be found on the Trust wallet’s official website.

Supported cryptocurrencies
A total of 42 different cryptocurrencies are supported: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, GoChain, POA Network, VeChain, Tron, Wanchain, Callisto, ICON, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, TomoChain, Dash, Zcash, Zcoin, Ripple, Kin, Nimiq, Thunder Token, Aion, Stellar, Tezos, Theta, Doge, Ontology, Cosmos, Groestlcoin, Qtum, Viacoin, Binance Coin, IoTeX, Ravencoin, Zilliqa, Waves, Aeternity, Nebulas
Operation
The wallet is very easy to use and understand. It has an intuitive user interface and a whole range of useful functions that are specially tailored to the user.
Transparency & Fees
The code of the wallet is open-source and has been reviewed by the community. Overall, the wallet can be classified as very secure and trustworthy. The Company shall not charge any fees behind the wallet for the use of the wallet.
Security
Due to the features described above, the wallet is secure and trustworthy.

5.Coinomi wallet

Coinomi wallet

The Coinomi wallet is also a multicoin wallet, which is suitable for iOS and Android operating systems and can store over 275 other cryptocurrencies besides Zcash (ZEC). It is one of the oldest multicoin wallets on the market and was released in 2014 and has over one million users. One criticism, however, is that it does not support shielded transactions.

In addition to the very large number of coins, the Coinomi wallet scores with the fact that it has an integrated encryption for the IP addresses of the users. In addition, the private keys and transaction data are exclusively stored locally on the user’s terminal device. A further plus point is the connection to the Coinomi cryptocurrency exchange of the same name.

However, there is also a point of criticism with the Coinomi wallet. The wallet does not yet have two-factor authentication. Apart from password protection, there is therefore no second level of security. If attackers succeed in hacking the user’s computer, a keylogger is sufficient to steal the password and thus gain full access to the wallet.

If you want to use the wallet, you can download it from the official website (click!).

Supported cryptocurrencies
ZCash and 275 other cryptocurrencies.
Operation
The user interface is very clear and intuitive. This makes the wallet ideal for beginners.
Transparency & Fees
Open source software is seen by many users as an important feature of transparency. Coinomi was part of the open source software movement.

However, in 2018 Coinomi postponed its project as closed source. This doesn’t mean their code is malicious. However, a certain amount of transparency has been lost as a result. It is also important to know that Coinomi does not charge any extra fees. The wallet is free of charge.

Security

The main reason for the popularity of the Coinomi wallet is the privacy, which is very high by default. Coinomi does not collect any personal data and encrypts the IP addresses of its users. In addition, the private keys are stored on the user’s device (PC or smartphone) so that no third party has access.

In addition, during setup, the wallet provides the ability to create a recovery seed that can be used to reinstall the wallet on another device if the user’s device breaks down.

Important note: The Coinomi wallet was never hacked before 27 February 2019. On this day a critical bug was discovered for the Coinomi Desktop wallet. However, this bug was fixed very quickly by the Coinomi team. Further details can be found here.

Store Zcash on cryptocurrency exchanges

The most commonly used wallet type is probably the exchange wallet, which is set up automatically with each account at an exchange. They offer the big advantage that the users can trade cryptocurrencies out of the wallet. This is probably also the main reason why they are so popular, although they have some serious disadvantages.

The biggest disadvantage is that the private keys come into the possession of the cryptocurrency exchange. As a result, users must be confident that the exchanges will store their private keys securely and protect them from hacker attacks in the best possible way. However, as numerous successful hacker attacks in the past have shown, cryptocurrency exchanges do not always succeed.

That is why exchange wallets are by far the most insecure way to store cryptocurrencies. You should therefore only store your Zcash on a cryptocurrency exchange as long as you trade. You should also choose established stock exchanges and brokers such as Binance, Coinbase, CEX or the European broker Litebit.

Further important information about the ZCash wallet test

The information in this article has been compiled by us to the best of our knowledge and experience. However, despite all efforts, you should always gather further information and test different wallets to find the best wallet for you.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our ZCash wallet review, please feel free to leave us a comment. We’ll be glad to help you! We would also be happy if you would give us a positive rating if you liked the article.

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About Author

Jake Simmons

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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