Using Zcash in DeFi

RenBridge & renZEC

The Ren 1.0 network will be sunset. Minting new Ren tokens has now been disabled, but users can burn tokens until mid-December.

If you hold renZEC, you should immediately bridge the asset back to native ZEC on the Zcash blockchain.

Please understand the steps in the RenBridge and ZeroBridge sections of this guide should not be followed until the Ren 2.0 network is live and Zcash support is enabled. Please see this thread for more details.

Zcash users are capable of leveraging Ethereum smart contracts and wider DeFi applications while preserving their privacy via @renprotocol using this 4-Step process:

Step 1: Acquire Shielded ZEC

Purchase ZEC from any Exchange & Proceed to withdraw to your personal non-custodial wallet such as Nighthawk, ZecWallet Lite or Ywallet.

If withdrawal was deposited to a T-address, Auto-shield funds or make an additional transaction to Z-address.

This means that the money within your wallet is no longer tied back to your identity.

Similar to withdrawing cash from a bank, once withdrawn the bank can no longer monitor your transactions.

Step 2: Convert Zcash to Ether

Using an Exchange swap your Shielded ZEC for ETH:




Step 3: Using DeFi

Now you have received ETH you are capable of interacting with the multitude of Web3 applications & services via Metamask & Trust wallet for DeFi, NFT's, DAOs etc!

Step 4: Convert ETH back to ZEC using RenBridge

Once you're ready to cash out, convert your ETH to renZEC using:



Now head over to RenBridge

-Select "Releasing"

-Paste your destination address and convert your renZEC back to Transparent ZEC (Only T-address currently available).

Within your non-custodial wallet auto-convert your Transparent ZEC to Shielded ZEC.

Congratulations!! you have successfully used your Zcash to onboard to & use DeFi applications in a privacy-preserving way with renZEC.

ZeroBridge & ZeroDAO

ZeroBridge is a decentralized client of the Zero DAO protocol, enabling cross-chain asset scripting in a browser with your existing wallet, @zerodaoHQ makes it possible to fund a fresh ETH address with Shielded ZEC.

Step 1: Convert Shielded ZEC to ETH

Visit ZeroDAO

Connect to your wallet of choice

Now head over to the "Transfer" tab, select $ZEC as your "from asset" and select to transfer to $ETH.

Proceed to send your $ZEC to the T-address noting any transaction fees included.

Step 2:

Under "Manage Transactions" you can view ongoing transactions and history. This information is stored client side so even if you refresh or close your tab, you will still be able to view it.

Once the ETH has been deposited to your fresh address you are now able to access DeFi, NFT marketplaces and more.

Note: It is also possible to bridge any ETH you already have to private store as Shielded Zcash using the "Release" Tab & entering your Transparent address. You may then use the 'Autoshield' in your mobile/desktop wallet.

For this application to remain private it is recommended not to swap from ZEC > ETH and back from ETH > ZEC.

Innovation around Zcash DeFi

Layer 1 Solution

Options are currently being explored to enable DeFi applications within the Zcash ecosystem using the current Layer 1. This could be possible by perofrming most of the contract operations off-chain with a sequencer & have the validation of those actions done on chain. A version of this was created in partnership with JP Morgan on their enterprise blockchain. As of NU5 a mechanism exists (TZE) to add this type of extension to Zcash.


This would bring native programmability to Zcash with an EVM-compatible virtual machine that supports zero-knowledge proof computation. This would allow Zcash to find growth through a more diverse developer community and foster an ecosystem of privacy preserving applications and tokens. This would make it comparable to other existing L2 privacy solutions.

Continuing research into Proof-of-Stake & the Cosmos Interblockchain Communication Protocol is led by the ECC. Next steps are being assessed along with the success of the Ethereum Merge to PoS with any issues that may arise.


Zcash Shielded Assets / User Defined Assets have been in development with the assistance of a dedicated team. Following the NU5 protocol upgrade they are significantly closer to fruition. Mechanisms for trustless & private cross-chain bridging of these assets enabling interoperability are currently in the works. A link to the Zcon3 presentation on this below.


Zcon3 Private Cross-Chain Transfers

Zcon3 QEDIT Presentation on Defi / Drawing Board

Ian Miers on ZSA's & Stablecoins

Proof-of-Stake Research


The unequivocal advantage Zcash has over other existing smart contract platforms is it's natively private Layer 1. This completely removes any possibility of information leakage while using any Layer 2 applications. Allowing for a fundamentally simpler and more secure application layer that can permission access to information much easier.