April’s gains followed an equally impressive March, which itself saw a 100% increase in transactions over February. In total, the jump from February’s 2,430 fully private transactions to the 8,721 in April represents an increase of over 250%.
In contrast, it took three years for fully shielded transactions to break through the 2,000 per-month level, which only happened in November last year.
15% of Zcash transactions had some element of shielding
While 6% of the total transactions may not seem like an awful lot, this only includes those which were fully shielded. When considering all transactions with some shielded component, this goes up to 23,676, or 15% of the total.
Zcash supports two types of address: z-addr, which are shielded, and t-addr, which are transparent. Transactions between t-addr types are fully transparent, and can be viewed on the blockchain in the same way as Bitcoin (BTC) transactions.
Transactions between two z-addresses are fully shielded, and transactions between the two address types can be either shielding (t to z) or deshielding (z to t). It is worth noting that all of these three transaction types with a shielded component add to the privacy of the network.
Why such a big increase now?
However, it has recently become a lot easier for Zcash users to use shielded transactions. In early April, Guarda released its wallet app for Shielded ZEC. This now joins Zecwallet Lite, which was launched last November, and defaults to sending private transactions by shielding any transparent ZEC sent to it.
Zcash was also added as a perpetual contract option on Binance’s futures platform in February. This coincides with the point at which shielded transaction numbers started to go up dramatically.