Zcash logo
Current price per coin: $

A step by step guide on how to buy & store the Zcash (ZEC) cryptocurrency

What is Zcash?

Zcash protects the privacy of its transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography.

What are ZEC coins?

Zcash are crypto coins that can be exchanged for goods and services- privately.

Important note

This guide is not, and should not be regarded as 'investment advice' or as a 'recommendation' regarding a course of action.

How to buy Zcash
Important: Be wary of scammers - get into the habit of double checking that URL's look correct in your browser address bar when moving / purchasing / selling cryptocurrency.

Notes: Images can be clicked to see a larger version. If you're confused by any terms used, a glossary can be found here.

1

For most cryptocurrencies we usually recommend the official wallet provided by the coins creators- but for Zcash, the wallet situation is complicated, murky and hard to know who to trust to keep your coins safe.

So we can't personally recommend a single desktop wallet to keep your coins safe.

Instead, you should take the step of purchasing a hardware wallet (it's like a USB stick that plugs into your computer) that makes it practically impossible for your coins to be stolen.

My recommendation is to purchase from Ledgerwallet.com. We personally use their Nano S model. And don't worry, they provide step by step instructions to help you set it up once you receive it.

When you have your Ledger you can come back to this page and use the instructions to purchase Zcash and then send it to your new, safe hardware wallet.

Ledger Nano
2

Now we'll purchase the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, so that we can exchange it for Zcash (if you already own Bitcoin you can skip ahead).

Choose which Bitcoin exchange you'd like to use (by clicking on the logo), and the guide will continue:

Choose your exchange
#
Coinbase
  • Operates in 32 countries.
  • Accepts debit & credit cards and bank transfers.
  • Can have low buy limits at first, increases with use.
  • ID verification required.
#
Cex.io
  • Worldwide coverage, 99% of countries.
  • Accepts debit & credit cards and bank transfers.
  • High initial buy limits compared to other exchanges.
  • ID verification required.
#
LocalBitcoins
  • Worldwide coverage.
  • Accepts Paypal, Western Union, gift cards, bank transfers & lots more.
  • No ID required for some payment methods.
There are also some other exchanges listed here.
3

If you use this link to sign up to Coinbase we'll both receive ten dollars of free coins when you spend over $100 (or the equivalent in your currency).

Coinbase
4

Press the 'sign up' button and fill out your name (make sure this is exactly how it's written on your photo ID), email, password and location.

Just like a US bank, Coinbase is regulated by the US government, and has to follow strict financial rules. So they take verifying your identity very seriously. It's a pain, but it does give Coinbase a reputation for being the most trusted way to convert fiat currency to cryptocurrency.

Signing up to Coinbase
5

To verify your account you must supply a phone number, upload an image of your photo ID and verify a credit/debit card or bank account before you can buy.

Using a credit/debit card means higher fees but offers instant purchasing. Using a bank transfer is cheaper but slower (taking up to a week to get your coins).

Signing up to Coinbase
6

Once your payment details are verified, click 'buy/sell' on the top menu.

Select 'Bitcoin', and at the bottom of the page choose how much to spend in your local currency / how many coins you want to buy.

Once you're happy with the amount, click the big 'Buy' button.

Buying Bitcoin on Coinbase
7

You'll be asked to confirm your purchase.

Press the 'Confirm Buy' button.

Congratulations! You now own some Bitcoin. But don't close Coinbase yet, we're going to need it again in a few minutes.

Confirm buying Bitcoin on Coinbase
3

Click here to go to Cex.io

Click the 'Register' button along the top menu.

Cex.io
4

Enter your email address and a secure password. Click the checkbox to agree to the terms.

Click 'Register'.

Signing up to Cex.io
5

You will now be asked to set up 2-factor authentication for your new account. It is strongly advised not to skip this step, as 2-factor authentication makes your account far more secure.

We recommend using the 'Smartphone App' option.

Signing up to Cex.io
6

Once your security has been set up, you'll be taken to your account dashboard.

Before we do anything else, head on over to your personal email account- there will be an email from Cex.io asking you to click a link to verify your account. Click it.

You will be taken to a page telling you your email has been confirmed. Click 'Go back to the site'.

Signing up to Cex.io
7

Look for your user ID in the top menu, hover your mouse over it and in the drop down menu click 'Verification'.

Signing up to Cex.io
8

Every exchange that lets your buy cryptocurrencies for cash require you to verify your identification before doing so.

Complete the Cex.io verification process by supplying your personal information and uploading your ID.

Signing up to Cex.io
9

Once you're verified, click the 'Deposit' button along the top menu.

You now get to choose how you'd like to deposit money:

Via credit/debit card

If you choose credit/debit card you can buy instantly, but you pay commission on the money you deposit.

Via bank transfer

This option takes a few days for the transfer to arrive but has no commission fees.

Choose the method you prefer and follow the instructions to deposit your money.

Signing up to Cex.io
10

Once your money is in your account, click 'BUY/SELL' on the top menu.

Choose 'BTC' and the currency you'd like to buy it in (Dollars, Euros, Pounds or Rubles).

You will be offered some precalculated amounts of Bitcoin, or you can scroll to the bottom of the page and input the amount of Bitcoin you'd like to buy in the 'Custom amount' box.

Once you've decided, click 'Buy'.

Signing up to Cex.io
11

You'll be asked to confirm your buy.

Check everything looks correct and click 'Confirm the order'.

Signing up to Cex.io
12

Congratulations- you now own some Bitcoin!

Press 'Ok'.

Signing up to Cex.io
3

Click here to go to LocalBitcoins, and click 'Sign up' on the top right menu.

LocalBitcoins
4

Enter a username, your email and a strong password (that you won't forget!).

Click 'Register'.

An email will be sent to you with a link to confirm your email address. Go find that email and click the link.

This will open a new window that will have automatically logged you into your new account.

Press 'Buy Bitcoins' on the top menu.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
5

Click 'Quick buy'.

In the first input box, write how much money you want to spend on Bitcoin.

In the first drop down menu, select your currency. For example USD is US dollars, GBP is Great British Pounds etc.

Then in the next drop down select the country you're in.

If you wish to buy Bitcoin without needing to provide any ID, click the check box beside 'ID not required'. Please note that this may limit the numbers of sellers, and may be a more expensive way to purchase Bitcoin.

In the final drop down menu you're given a wide range of buying methods. You can choose to look for sellers that accept Paypal, bank transfers, Amazon gift cards etc. - or just choose to look at all options.

Once you're happy with your selections, press Search.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
6

You'll be given a list of sellers matching your criteria.

Beside their user names you will see the number of transactions they have done on the site (e.g. 1000) and their feedback (e.g. 100% positive).

You will also see the payment methods they accept, the price they're selling Bitcoin at and any limit to the amount they will sell in one transaction (for example, they might have a lower limit of $50 and an upper limit of $10,000 for a single transaction).

Choose which seller you'd like to use and click 'Buy'.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
7

On this page, read the terms of trade with your selected user. Make sure you're happy with them.

Pay attention to the opening hours- are they open right now? Also pay attention to the 'payment window'- this is how long you have to pay after sending the trade request. If you're not ready to send the payment within that time frame, don't continue.

Once you are ready, input the amount of Bitcoin you'd like to buy in your chosen currency. You may be limited to a smaller amount as this is your first time using LocalBitcoins- your limit will increase as you get positive feedback.

You may choose to write a message to the seller, but this isn't required.

Press 'Send trade request'.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
8

You will now be given the payment details for the seller- for example, their bank account details, Paypal address etc.

Use these details to send the correct amount of money to the seller, within the payment window, by following the steps laid out on the right side of the screen.

It's very important to include the reference message with your payment so the seller knows the money came from you.

Once you have made the payment, click the 'I have paid' button.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
9

You will be asked to confirm that you've made the payment.

Read the information and when you are sure you're happy to accept, press 'Confirm payment complete'.

You must now wait for the seller to confirm they have received the payment.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
10

Once they have, the Bitcoin will be released into your account- you will get a message on the site (which can be seen as a red speech bubble along the top menu), as well as an email to confirm it.

Your coins will appear in your wallet (also on the top menu). Click it.

And now leave this page open as we're going to need it soon.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
8
13
11
1

Now we'll use the site Changelly to exchange your Bitcoin for Zcash. 

Click here to go to the Bitcoin / Zcash exchange page.

Choose how much Bitcoin you're going to exchange.

In the box marked 'You get' it will now display how many Zcash you will receive.

Once you're happy, click the big green 'Exchange' button.

Go to Changelly
9
14
12
2

You will be asked to register with Changelly using your social media or - and this we recommend- simply your email address.

They won't ask for your name, address or anything like that.

Signup with Changelly
10
15
13
3

A confirmation screen will ask you to look over the transaction to be sure everything looks correct. Click 'Next'.

Confirm transaction on Changelly
11
16
14
4

You will be asked for your ZEC address.

This is your personal wallet address we saved earlier from Zcash wallet in step 1.

Copy and paste this address into the box and click 'Next'.

Enter wallet address
12
17
15
5

You will be asked to look over the transaction one more time. Take your time, make sure it all looks correct, and then press 'Confirm and make payment'.

Confirm transaction on Changelly
13
18
16
6

You will be presented with an address to send your Bitcoin to. Copy it.

Confirm transaction on Changelly
14

Now, return to Coinbase.

Click 'Accounts' from the top menu, then find your Bitcoin wallet listed on the left.

Click 'Send'.

Sending Bitcoin on Coinbase
15

In the 'Recipient' box, paste the Bitcoin wallet address we just copied from Changelly.

In amount, type how much Bitcoin you wish to send (there is a 'use max' option if you wish to send it all).

Click 'Continue'.

Coinbase may ask you to confirm with your password/phone. Follow the instructions until it confirms the Bitcoin are sent.

Sending Bitcoin on Coinbase
19

Go back to Cex.io

Press 'Withdraw' on the top menu.

Under 'Select currency and amount' click 'USD' and select 'BTC' in the drop down menu.

Input the amount of Bitcoin you're sending.

In the box labelled 'Enter the recipient's address below' paste the Bitcoin wallet address we just copied from Changelly.

Once you've looked everything over, click the check box to confirm you've double checked everything is correct.

Press 'Withdraw'.

Signing up to Cex.io
20

You will be asked for a 2-factor authentication number.

Use your selected method of authentication to generate the number and write it in the box. Press 'Confirm'.

Signing up to Cex.io
21

You will be sent an email to confirm the withdrawal.

Go to your personal email and click the link Cex.io has sent you. This will send the coins on their way.

Signing up to Cex.io
17

Go back to LocalBitcoins.

You should still be in your wallet page.

In the box labelled 'Receiving Bitcoin address' paste the Bitcoin wallet address we just copied from Changelly.

Enter the amount of Bitcoin you're sending.

Press 'Continue'.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
18

You will be asked to enter your password to confirm the send.

Once entered, press 'Send from wallet'.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
19

You will be taken back to your wallet and a message will appear to confirm the Bitcoin has been sent.

Signing up to LocalBitcoins
16
22
20
7

Now we've got to wait a few minutes for the coins to move across the network.

Unless there's an unusually large network backlog, the coins will take between 5 and 30 minutes to arrive at Changelly. The Changelly page will update automatically so there's no need to refresh it.

While you're waiting, consider sharing this guide with your friends and followers to spread the word about Zcash, encouraging its popularity and value to grow.

Here's some share buttons to make it easy:

17
23
21
8

Once your Bitcoin arrives at Changelly it will automatically refresh to keep you updated on the three steps of conversion:

1) Waiting for payment

2) Exchanging

3) Sending to your wallet

Exchange process
18
24
22
9

Once the transaction is complete a confirmation screen will appear. Do not close this page yet.

Exchange process
19
25

Go back to your Zcash wallet.

You should see your Zcash coins appear in your balance.

If the coins haven't appeared within an hour, go back to the Changelly exchange page and scroll to the bottom, then click the 'Having troubles?' box and follow the instructions.

Links

Other buying guides
Further reading

buyingzcash.com and its affiliates make the information in this web site available as a service to its customers and other visitors, to be used for informational purposes only. While we have tried to provide accurate and timely information, and have relied on sources we believe to be reliable, the site may include inadvertent technical or factual inaccuracies. buyingzcash.com does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the materials provided, either expressly or impliedly, and expressly disclaims any warranties or merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Neither buyingzcash.com nor any of its affiliates, directors, officers or employees, nor any third party vendor, will be liable or have any responsibility for any loss or damage that you incur in the event of any failure or interruptions of this site, or resulting from the act or omission of any other party involved in making this site or the data contained in it available, or from any other cause relating to your access to, inability to access, or use of the site or these materials. Decisions based on information contained on this site are the sole responsibility of the user, and in exchange for using this site, you agree to hold buyingzcash.com and its affiliates harmless against any claims for damages arising from any decision you make based on such information.
Ledger Coinbase Cex.io