In about five hours, the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency Zcash will spawn a new blockchain network called Ycash.
It’ll be the first of its kind to boast a near-identical codebase to the Zzcash blockchain but function as a separate network and de facto competitor.
First announced in April, the effort is spearheaded by long-time Zcash supporter Howard Loo. Loo described in a Zcash forum post that Ycash was a preemptive move to resist future community decisions that may extend Zcash’s system of developer funding known as the “Founder’s Reward” beyond a promised 10 percent cap of total token supply.
“We are also launching Ycash to uphold a promise – that the Zcash Founders Reward would be forever capped at 2.1 million coins – that we fear will come under increasing pressure between now and the expiration of the Founders Reward in October 2020,” Loo wrote in the forum post.
Since then, prominent leaders in the Zcash community such as founder of the coin Zooko Wilcox have publicly expressed their support of Loo’s initiative, agreeing to disagree on certain network changes to the Founder’s Reward and others that will make Ycash backwards-incompatible to Zcash.
Normally, network splits of this nature actually add value to a user’s cryptocurrency holdings. This is because users are able to redeem the exact same amount of coins minted on one blockchain on the new blockchain, free of cost.
“From a speculator’s standpoint, network splits often present an intriguing investment opportunity,” said former CoinDesk markets analyst and current crypto trader Sam Ouimet. “New money often buys up the cryptocurrency being forked in order to secure his/her claims of the new coins.”
Of course, the value of these newly issued coins,