Is not an open source community, 20% of Zcash coins in the first 4 years will be allocated as a ‘Founder’s Reward’ to early investors (10% of total supply), Controversial due to media influence of The Digital Currency Group 
Sep 30, 2016
Zcash was developed and launched by top cryptographers in 2016. The underlying protocol is based on the research of scientists from MIT, Technion, Johns Hopkins, Tel Aviv University and UC Berkeley.
User choice of Shielded Pool or Transparent Pool, Supply Model near identical to bitcoin, Available for purchase on Kraken and Poloniex in multiple currencies, Selective Disclosure is available for auditing purposes. 
Launched on October 28th, 2016, Zcash is a decentralized, open-source cryptocurrency that was built using similar functionality as Bitcoin with a few key differences and additional features. The project initially started as the Zerocoin protocol which was designed by Matthew D. Green of John Hopkins University and two graduate students, Ian Miers and Christina Garman. The protocol was intended to be an extension to Bitcoin as well as any cryptocurrency, allowing for a sort of laundering system to allow anonymous purchases, but did not find mainstream success. The second iteration, known as the Zerocash System, was a stand-alone technology utilizing the same fundamental concepts as Blockchain and its functionality, but was said to have made significant improvements to the Zerocoin protocol, with Matthew D. Green stating in 2013 that they “reduced proof sizes by 98%” and introduced the early version of the key feature that Zcash is known for; direct anonymous payment that hides payment amount from being visible to anyone that checks the Blockchain. 
Around late 2015, the Zerocash website included a message that stated that the Zerocash System was being developed into a “full-fledged digital currency.” Almost a year later, the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, also known as Zcash Company, led by CEO Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn and Matthew D. Green, released Zcash (ZEC) into the digital world.
Zcash began marketing itself as the ‘https’ to Bitcoin’s ‘http’, offering the option to ‘shield’ users in the sense that while the record of the transaction is published to their decentralized Blockchain – much like Bitcoin -- information of the specific nature of the transaction, such as recipient, sender, and amount are kept hidden via their ‘advanced cryptographic technique’ or what they call a ‘zero-knowledge proof’ construction named zk-SNARK (succinct non-interactive zero-knowledge arguments of knowledge), which is a proprietary software of Zcash Company that provides a method of verifying the integrity of a transaction with the computation having zero knowledge of the exact details. The only way to view the transaction details is by having the correct view key.
Zcash will have the same coin supply as Bitcoin, 21 million, and also shares the same issuance rate over 131 years. The differences begin with their minute/block average and block rewards.
The block average will be 2.5 minutes with 4 times the block rewards, though that amount will be cut in half every 4 years. 
How to Buy
A Basic Guide to Buying ZEC
Zcash Company provides an official Linux-based wallet, but their community members have modified it to support Windows and MacOS as well. You can find the official wallet download link here: https://z.cash/support/getting-started.html Zcash is also supported by multiple third-party wallets, including internet, hardware, local, and exchange wallets. It is extremely important that you never lose the secret key to your wallet. Basically, you must consider yourself the treasurer of your own bank, and the secret key the only copy of your vault key. If you lose it, your Zcash or any other cryptocurrency you have stored will be lost forever. The best practice is to have both a physical copy of the key written down and stored somewhere secure, and a digital copy, preferably an encrypted document that cannot be easily hacked. Security is paramount in storing a digital copy of your wallet key. The list of supported wallets can be found on their community website: https://www.zcashcommunity.com/wallets/
There are multiple ways one could go about buying Zcash, the easiest being is to initially purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then exchange them for Zcash. You can utilize services like Binance, Changelly, and Kraken to perform the exchange.
Once you have purchased Zcash, it is highly imperative that you transfer the funds to your secure wallet immediately, and never leave any money on the exchange platform. Since the creation of Bitcoin, there have been countless hacking attempts, both successful and unsuccessful, by those that greedily wish to steal what they do not own, and benefit off the misery of others. If you wish to get into the world of crypto-currencies, always put security at the forefront of any decision and transaction you make.
- Get a wallet that supports Zcash
- Choose a method to buy Zcash
Pros & Cons
- User choice of Shielded Pool or Transparent Pool
- Supply Model near identical to bitcoin
- Available for purchase on Kraken and Poloniex in multiple currencies
- Selective Disclosure is available for auditing purposes. 
- Is not an open source community
- 20% of Zcash coins in the first 4 years will be allocated as a ‘Founder’s Reward’ to early investors (10% of total supply)
- Controversial due to media influence of The Digital Currency Group