2019: A Look at the Year Ahead – Episode 2: ZelCash


Zel Technologies – A Truly Decentralised Ecosystem

ZelCash is a mineable digital currency based on the technological foundations of the cryptocurrency Zcash which utilizes zero-knowledge proofs, commonly seen in many privacy coins. The inclusion of zk-SNARKs within this technology means that transactions can be shielded allowing for complete anonymity between users.

ZelCash plays a pivotal role in the Zel ecosystem in that it is used as an incentive to own a ZelNode to enable the creation of ZelEx and the ZelDev Platform. This vibrant ecosystem is also home to ZelID and ZelCore where you can find descriptions below:


ZelCore is a multi-asset encrypted wallet and platform with a comfortable UI akin to the apps and services you already use every day. With no remote storage of personal information, 100% of the security is placed in the user’s hands.

Zel ID

Zel ID is a novel approach to getting away from centralized authorization and two-factor authentication services that are vulnerable to single points of failure. Utilizing decentralized 2FA running on the Zel chain, users can authenticate themselves to any service that integrates the Zel d2FA service.

ZelEx (Coming Soon)

ZelEx allows users to exchange pairings right inside of ZelCore, using your assets and addresses, never giving up custody pre-order. With simple and advanced exchange options, ZelEx can be utilized by any trader, regardless of experience level.

The Mission

Zel states in their Whitepaper that the mission is “to be leaders in the blockchain industry and let the technology drive the project with community involvement. Zelcash aims to create tools necessary for developers to expand on the impressive power of blockchain technology, led by our strong team and community, to deliver powerful technology available to all.

The culmination of Zel strives to be a fully decentralised and scalable worldwide network of compute power, enabling developers to utilise the power of the Internet untethered, provide easy-to-use transaction of value instruments to the “Unbanked” people of the world that have been all but forgotten by traditional monetary institutions, and expand on the seemingly infinite potential of blockchain technology.”

Some of ZelCash’s core features can be seen below:

The Roadmap

After an already impressive start to Q1 by completing two of their goals on their roadmap, the ZelCash Community Pool and the Arcadia Upgrade, Zel looks to be fully intent on delivering their most important goal to date – ZelNodes.

As stated in their Whitepaper the introduction of ZelNodes will offer a truly scalable, decentralised blockchain development network. This incentive is created through a portion of block rewards and, eventually through different economic models such as transaction fees or operation tariffs for DApps, to support our vision for a powerful and decentralised node network to allow separate blockchains, apps, tokens, smart contracts, and much more.

The ZelNodes will make the blockchain truly decentralized and will allow for scalability. There will be three tiers of ZelNode and ownership can either be by hardware or by VPS. The Zel team have already partnered up with a range of service providers to provide affiliate deals and reduced costs for their operators. More can be read about this in their Medium article titled “ Zel Partners with Service Providers for Rollout

Below are some highlights of the ZelNode system:

  • High-availability
  • Hundreds of Nodes at launch
  • # of Nodes not artificially limited
  • VPS discounts through our partners
  • Support via Discord for Node operators
  • 3 levels of ZelNode ownership
  • Nodes will power future dapps, smart contracts, sidechains & asset layers
  • Source code available January 31, 2019
  • Network upgrade & Nodes launch February 21, 2019 Details
  • Benchmarking must meet minimum specs, uptime requirement: > 97%

If you’d like to read more about the latest ZelNodes update please read this article titled: “ZelNodes — Dates, Specs, Network Upgrade, Payout Cycles, et al.”

In Conversation

I sat down with Miles Manley, CEO, and Daniel Keller, Advisor, for Zel Core Technologies to discuss their project further:

When did you first hear about Crypto and what was it that drew you into the blockchain space?


I was sitting at my school with a friend when we saw something online about Bitcoin. We decided to read the whitepaper and instantly wanted to get mining. I sold some older hardware to fund some GPU purchases. In 2016, I bought 100+ GTX 1060’s and started mining Ethereum. Within a year, I found myself as part of the development group for BitcoinZ. From there, I developed my own ideas and philosophies for the future of cryptocurrency and launched ZelCash on January 31st, 2018. The goal was simple, create a crypto use case beyond store/transfer of value and develop blockchain products usable by the general public, not just a white paper and a proof of concept.

What is your background and what was it that drew you to the position of Chief Strategy Officer for ZelCash?


I met Miles about a year ago, I have been into blockchain tech for a few years at this point. I was looking for new and emerging projects and heard about ZelCash, I was curious and reached out to Miles about questions I had on the pending roadmap. It became very clear in the call that we would be working closely together, even to the point I left all other projects to focus on Zel. The Core Team we have in place is the best I have ever seen, I am not just saying that. ZelCash and ZelCore as a whole do not follow the “crypto” guidelines of development. They create usable and well-developed blockchain technology. ZelCore, is one of the most polished and well put together platforms in the space. Very little concern for marketing and media, with more focus on community and technology. It was a simple choice for me, I always dreamed of working with a team that would “change technology” and I get that, every day!

2018 was a tough year for the Crypto market. However, from a tech perspective, we witnessed even more innovation and advancements than ever before. Can you talk about the progress you made last year?


Last year was a banner year for ZelCash and ZelCore. Early on we understood that we would need to make it through “Crypto Winter” and keep developing tech. The Core Team agreed we need to for a Foundation to ensure that the project would be successful even in the down market. With this, we developed the Zel Foundation that has been able to keep developing new technology as the market has wavered. ZelCore has grown to over 100 assets, multiple new features including:

  • ZelCore launch for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android
  • Decentralized Two Factor Authentication- (d2FA)
  • Overwinter and Sapling Network Upgrades
  • Native proxy support to work around country/ISP blocking of crypto services
  • Tax records export feature (export to CSV)
  • Multiple Portfolio wallets with three unique addresses per asset
  • Complete ZelCore UI/UX overhaul
  • Shapeshift, Kyber, Changelly and CoinSwitch integration

The list goes on, we have taken the charge to be the crypto “Last Mile” to deliver usable and seamless blockchain tools and asset storage, with a focus on “frontend simplicity, backend versatility”. Owning, storing maintaining and investing in one simple solution, that is ZelCore.

What was your finest achievement in 2018?


Honestly, it’s very hard to pick just one. We have had so many milestones in the past 11 months, where do you start? I think if I would have to pick one, it would be the community development. The mining, trading and investing community has really embraced the “No frills, all tech” way of life. We run the project as a business with Agile sprints and communicate well with the community and enlist feedback. The Core Team worries very little about the “Price” of Zel, only getting the next rollout complete. Sometimes I have to ask others what the price is, and the community is about the technology, not the bottom line. Honestly, it’s refreshing and new in this space.

See more here on Medium

You have some big updates coming in Q1 this year, what can we expect to see with the introduction of ZelNodes?


We anticipate many hundreds of ZelNodes, in all tiers, to be stood up the first week of launch. Since no other project has created a computational node network quite like this before, fully decentralized and completely controlled by the individual node operator, the process will be iterative over the coming months. The rough outline will be to:

1) Decentralize all our infrastructure supporting ZelCore by utilizing the ZelNode network,

2) develop the necessary sidechains to process backend dapp data flow,

3) increase the efficiency and security of the ZelCash network, and

4) start putting into place the key components required to support the dapp SDK and Javascript framework to begin testing dapp development.

With things like Zel ID, using zk-SNARKs protocol, and built-in proxy support, privacy is clearly of huge importance to you. What does privacy in Crypto mean to Zel?


We believe in the same ethos of privacy as crypto was founded on: “people need the means to take back their own freedom from centralized authorities”. Being a Zcash fork grants us the benefits of both transparent and private addresses, which gives us lots of flexibility as we develop the Zel Project. All users have the option to take advantage of private transactions. Coupled with this is the ability to utilize t-addresses, which are becoming necessary for some crypto-related actions requiring KYC/AML protocols, but this can ultimately lead to true mass adoption of crypto. The ultimate goal is to provide the option to the end user to choose between public and private transactions, instead of being told they must transact information transparently within a system that gobbles up every byte of data possible.

Can you give us any more information with regard to the upcoming ‘Project Paradigm’?


We plan to release a full write-up announcing “Project Paradigm” with all the bells and whistles in early February. For now, we can say it will be a large upgrade to the features available within ZelCore. Today, ZelCore provides great tools for asset custody management and access to quick exchanges directly from your own wallets/address. “Project Paradigm” will expand on these two substantial features to give much greater interoperability within the ZelCore platform to hold and exchange assets for the well-rounded crypto advocate.

You’ve managed to build up an impressively strong core following – how do you keep your community so engaged and satisfied?


From the start, we have been very transparent about overall goals, problems, solutions, and the business vs. community side of the project. I feel that this transparency has been appreciated by the community, and as such the community strives to stay well-informed on the roadmap. Another boon is that we have rolled out an impressive amount of new technology, both for ZelCash and for the ZelCore platform. I think the community appreciates the efforts by the Zel Team, and in turn are very helpful in supporting the network via mining, helping spread the word about the project, and supporting new members as they come on board the project.

What can we expect from ZelCash 2019? Are there are many surprises around the corner?


The team has made a habit of keeping the technology coming, I would venture to say that this year we will see more push for adoption of the ZelCore platform. A couple of surprises are around the corner and fit with the model we have of building the use case for ZelCash, and crypto overall.

What are your views on Crypto as a whole for 2019?


Exciting, I believe we are on the brink of mainstream adoption, and this time we are working on developing the tools for the next phase. It’s imperative that we take the time to build the tech correctly to handle mass adoption.

Can you summarise your ultimate vision for ZelCash?


Zel will be the decentralized ecosystem and ZelCash is the ecosystem’s currency. The short pitch is that we want to create a working version of Ethereum, a decentralized computational network with a very high TPS. Overall, a platform where DAPPs can easily be built, deployed and operated, the next generation of the dapp technology that can be more easily utilized and deployed by 3rd party developers.

I thank both Miles and Daniel for their time.

You can find all of ZelCash’s relevant information below:

ZelCash CMC



Blockchain Explorer

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