A quick guide to buying some zCash (ZEC)

If you have decided you want to buy some zCash but don’t know how to go about doing it, here’s some help. It’s a little complicated to do as of now (May 2017) given that it’s a fairly new currency. There are many different ways to do this, what I have here is just one way that has worked for me.

Before you proceed, please pause to reflect. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and are not good investments. Think of the amount of ZEC that you plan to purchase – $100, $1k, $10k, more? Now imagine flushing that much cash down the toilet. How does it feel? If you’ll miss that cash and have better use for it then maybe you shouldn’t be buying ZEC with it. It’s best to only buy the amount that you are very comfortable losing entirely.

Step I: Create a virtual wallet

To hold your cryptocurrency, you need a virtual wallet. There are lots of options available for holding your currency. You can have wallets that are hosted by someone else or you can just physically own your virtual wallet on an electronic device you own. I have found JAXX to be the best wallet option out there. It’s available for every device/platform, syncs your wallets across them, is the most beautifully designed and is very reliable. JAXX is actually multiple wallets – one for each currency – you can choose which currencies you want to store in it. For our purpose here, you only need to initialize the ZEC wallet within JAXX.

  1. Go to JAXX
  2. Download JAXX for your device (iOS, Android, OS X,  Windows etc).
  3. Launch JAXX after it is installed
  4. Select zCash (ZEC) as the wallet you want to initialize
  5. When it’s initialized, it will display a long gibberish string titled “your zCash(ZEC) wallet address). That is the unique address of your wallet that you will need this for step III.
  6. Right now your ZEC balance should be 0.00

Step II: Convert Cash (USD) into Bitcoin (BTC)

It’s very easy to exchange one cryptocurrency for another. The most friction is in converting regular Cash (USD) into the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin (BTC) is the easiest cryptocurrency to work with. Assuming you don’t already have BTC lying around, the very first step is to convert some USD into BTC. There are several options but Coinbase is the easiest to use.

  1. Create an account on Coinbase
  2. Connect your bank account or credit card to it
  3. Get verified
  4. Go to Buy/Sell and Buy some BTC

Step III: Convert BTC to zCash (ZEC)

There are several exchanges that sell ZEC against various other currencies. I have tried a few and I found Changelly to be the easiest and most reliable way to do it.

  1. Go to Changelly
  2. Put in how much BTC you want to convert
  3. Put in your ZEC wallet address from your JAXX (from Step I in the beginning) where you want to receive the coins
  4. Send the BTC from your Coinbase wallet to the Changelly address
  5. Sit back and wait for the ZEC to arrive in your JAXX wallet


It can take time for cryptocurrencies to be transported. This is because “work” has to be done to verify the transfers by independent 3rd parties. But as long as you got the addresses right, it will work. You should now have some ZEC in your JAXX wallet. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, or leave any tips that might help others.

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