Russian nuclear subs quietly reached US coast & left undetected – Navy officer

Russian nuclear-powered submarines conducted an exercise near American military bases with the objective of avoiding detection as they came close to the US coast, a submarine squadron commander told a Russian military TV channel.

The stunning revelation was made in a military TV series set to air on Zvezda (‘Star’), the Russian Defense Ministry’s official broadcaster. The episode focuses on Akula-class Shchuka-B nuclear-powered attack submarines.

According to a submarine officer filmed in the show, the Navy command ordered to take position in the vicinity of US military bases during exercises.

“This mission has been accomplished, the submarines showed up in the set location in the ocean and returned to base,” the commander of the submarine squadron, Sergey Starshinov, told Zvezda.

Asked if the submarines had managed to stay off the radar during the mission, Starshinov replied: “Yes. This is our objective – to come and go undetected.” The Navy commander said the Russian vessels came “close enough” to American shores but did not violate US maritime borders, remaining in neutral waters.

The date and location of the covert mission have not been disclosed, but the channel said the Russian nuclear-powered submarines “reached the very coastline of the US.”

Shchuka-B submarine has been commissioned for the Soviet Navy in 1986. The nuclear-powered sub is capable of launching Kalibr or Granat cruise missiles, engaging underwater targets with its 553mm torpedoes, and staying submerged for up to 100 days, according to open sources.

As with many Russian nuclear submarines, the information of their status as well as current and past deployments is sparse. It is understood that several submarines of this class are being operated by the Russian Navy or undergoing modernization. One Shchuka-B submarine was leased to India, where it entered service under the name INS ‘Chakra’.

In 2016, a senior US Navy official complained the military branch cannot ensure full awareness of Russian submarine deployments which were at the level unseen since the Cold War.

“The submarines that we’re seeing are much more stealthy,”Admiral Mark Ferguson, commander of US Naval Forces in Europe at the time, told CNN. The Russians “have more advanced weapons systems, missile systems that can attack land at long ranges,” and their operational capabilities were getting better “as they range farther from home waters.”


What is ZenCash (ZEN)? | A Beginner’s Guide

Why do we need privacy?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of ZenCash, let’s first consider: why do we need privacy?

Thanks to Edward Snowden (an ex-CIA, NSA intelligence officer and whistleblower) we now know the NSA’s “collect all” process in place attempting to collect, monitor and store all forms of human communications on earth.

The Guardian covered this in detail: Numerous NSA documents we’ve already publisheddemonstrate that the NSA’s goal is to collect, monitor and store every telephone and internet communication that takes place inside the US and on the earth. It already collects billions of calls and emails every single day.”

According to Snowden, privacy is not just about protecting our information it’s a fundamental human right.

“Privacy isn’t about something to hide. Privacy is about something to protect. That’s who you are. That’s what you believe in, that’s who you want to become. Privacy is the right to the self. Privacy is what gives you the ability to share with the world who you are, on your own terms, for them to understand what you’re trying to be. And to protect for yourself the parts of you that you’re not sure about, that you’re still experimenting with. If we don’t have privacy, what we’re losing is the ability to make mistakes. We’re losing the ability to be ourselves. Privacy is the fountainhead of all other rights. Freedom of speech doesn’t have a lot of meaning if you can’t have a quiet space.”

~Edward Snowden, when asked to respond to the quote: “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

What is ZenCash?

Meet Zen Cash, the first ever TLS end-to-end encrypted anonymous money network, messaging service, content platform and decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)

The ZenCash team echoes a similar sentiment of wanting increased privacy and liberty for users in their whitepaper: “We live in a hyper-regulated and surveilled world where billions of individuals are deprived of basic human rights, such as property ownership, privacy, free association, and access to information.”

ZenCash (ZEN)
20,62 USD (7,45%)
0,00241647 BTC



$70,70 M USD


$1,55 M USD


Algorithm: Equihash

Total eventual supply: 21,000,000 million (same as Bitcoin)

PoW block reward: 12.5 ZEN

Current circulating supply: 3,274,188

Division of each PoW block: 3.5% Secure Nodes reward , 8.5% ZenCash team treasury, 88% miners reward.

Coins per month: 216000 ZEN’s

Blocktime: 2.5 minute

Reward halving period: every ~4 years, as per Bitcoin

Coin Distribution

Miners: 88%

Secure Nodes: 3.5%

Core team: 8.5%

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About ZenCash

ZenCash launched May 23rd 2017 as a fork of Zclassic,  a fork of Zcash. All Zclassic owned before block 110,000 received a 1:1 ratio of ZenCash.

This means if you had 100 Zclassic, you would receive 100 ZenCash. This “airdrop” style approach preserved Zclassic but and brought  community support to ZenCash as well.

Zclassic began to remove Zcash’s 20% Founders Reward for the first four years and the slow start to the money supply. The reason for expanding into a new fork was because of security. It also extended the functionality as a fully encrypted network along with innovative economic and governance models.

The white paper elaborates further: “We view Zclassic as a fundamentally pure open-source, all-volunteer cryptocurrency project, while Zen extends into a platform with internal funding to facilitate a broader set of communications, file-sharing, and economic activities.”

How ZenCash Works

As discussed in this Zcash article, shielded and transparent options allow users to protect their transactions as completely private (anonymous ‘z’ address) or transparent (pseudonymous ‘t’ address).

ZenCash incorporates secure messaging functionality within shielded transactions which completely protects user identities.

There are 3 main systems behind this:

  1. ZenChat – Although Zcash already possesses a messaging feature, no wallet to date has taken advantage of that feature. ZenChat makes this feature usable with a customized secure communications network
  2. ZenPub – An anonymous document publishing platform using IPFS is in the works in tandem with ZenCash development
  3. ZenHide – The ability to circumnavigate crypto-commerce blocking using domain fronting.

ZenChat – encrypted text-based messaging through the Blockchain

ZenChat messages are encrypted with industry recognized and trusted algorithms like AES-256. Using the 512 character limit text field (per the original Zcash design) of a transaction, messages can appended and send to users.This facilitates secure commerce and communication.

ZenPub – A secure content publishing platform through open-distribution protocols

ZenPub allows users to publish documents anonymously to IPFS through the text field of a z address. Based on testing, IPFS is the current supported infrastructure for publishing. The system, however, can extend to other distributed archives.

ZenHide – Domain fronting protects user and cryptocurrency data from hostile regulator bans

Countries hostile to cryptocurrency can block Bitcoin and even Zcash. ZenCash uses domain fronting technique that hides the endpoint of a communication. ZenCash specifically connecting a commercial content distribution (CDN) with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), a more secure variant of the standard web architecture.

Ultimately, Zen takes the top security use cases on the market and bundles them into a new token, application and platform with additional built-in security and anonymity at a protocol level.

ZenCash feature set

Other ZenCash long-term use cases include:

  • Governance as a Service (GaaS) – Opening up their governance model and platform for other initiatives to use
  • Decentralized asset exchange (DEX) – The ability to host and issue new tokens in a completely decentralized manner
  • Selective proof of title for property – Taking on property management needs by securely transferring ownership digitally through a trustless system
  • Decentralized banking services – The ability to borrow and lend mediated through the Blockchain
  • P2P insurance – A system where members pool their resources to deal with premiums and other coverage

Secure Nodes vs Masternodes

Masternodes (aka bonded validator systems) act as blockchain protectors from network attacks. They function similar to proof of stake algorithms but using slightly different incentives and market structure.

Masternodes (like with DASH) serve functions like instant and anonymous payments. Additionally, they support decentralized governance where node operators can vote on any issues.

One critique of miners is the incentives can switch from one coin to the next as day to day as profitability and difficulty fluctuates. To remedy that, Masternodes require a set amount of collateral to operate the node keeping operators loyal.

The way Masternodes receive compensation through a dividend-like yield (similar to Bitcoin’s miner rewards).

ZenCash works on a a similar incentive model. Slight modifications warranted a name change to secure nodes rather than “masternodes.” The difference is to not lock coins out of the network (causing artificial inflation), keep a low barrier to entry and ensure network security.

Secure Nodes are rewarded for providing critical functions like:

  1. Ensuring all network communications are encrypted between nodes and wallet
  2. Maintaining full ZenCash blockchain
  3. Providing certificate-based encryption connections for ZenCash wallet applications

Secure nodes maintain a standard of security and performance. This ensures the system remains distributed and resistant to DDoS and other attacks.

Secure nodes only require staking 42 ZEN. This creates a much lower barrier to entry and allows more people a chance at running a secure node. Other Master node systems typically require a significant investment (e.g. DASH requires 1000 tokens which is over $300K)

Ultimately, secure nodes lower the barrier to entry for users. Additionally, they enforce encrypted communication between nodes. As a result, they protect against eavesdropping.

Challenges and Critiques

As discussed in the Hush and Zcash articles, ZenCash uses the same trusted private keys and ceremony as Zcash. This means any issues with backdoor would also apply to ZenCash

Rolf Versluis, Chief Engineer of Zencash, comments further:

“ZenCash (and Zclassic AFAIK) use the original Zcash parameters created in the Zcash Parameter Generation ceremony.

After reviewing the process the Zcash team completed for the ceremony, the ZenCash team believed it was done in a way that minimized the possibility of any issues with the “Hazardous Waste”.

The intention was that if ZenCash found market support we would be either able to hold a new parameter generation ceremony or we would move to a different underlying software system and would move to a different set of parameters at that time.”

On a more encouraging note, this would not affect the protocol level communication and security measures in place even if there is a vulnerability. In addition, thus far there has not been evidence that the ceremony itself or any of the actors acted maliciously.

New and Noteworthy Developments

  • Zen Help – Service desk system knowledge-base and customer service ticketing system
  • 7240+ secure nodes – This is quite an accomplishments and indicates a very resilient, secure  Blockchain
  • IOHK Partnership – Created by Charles Hoskison of Cardano, IOHK is a Fintech focused data science firm which will be doing a deep dive of analytics for ZenCash
  • Ledger wallet support – Users can now send and receive ZEN with their hardware wallet

As you can see, ZenCash has been busy growing, expanding their team and secure node network. ZEN also remains a top 10 Equihash mineable coin in profitability.

Where can you store ZenCash?

ZenCash has a variety of wallet formats across several operating systems:

  • Arizen and Swing wallets – Developer recommended and supported desktop wallets for Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Web wallet – A nifty web interface which allows wallet access through a browser
  • Android – A convenient mobile wallet available for Android users
  • Paper wallet – One of the most rudimentary and offline methods for storing Cryptocurrencies

Arizen wallet available on Windows, Mac and Linux

Where to Buy or Sell ZenCash

The highest volume exchanges include Bittrex and Cryptopia.

Where to Mine Zen

Some of the top mining pools include and but there are dozens to choose from.


ZenCash is a true leader not only in privacy but with governance, economic incentives and sheer engineering ingenuity. Zen is the first ever Cryptocurrency to build in TLS. It protects not only the protocol but also the data packets sent between communications.

Their secure node system allows a low barrier to entry, passive income stream for node operators. They serve the network by enforcing strict privacy requirements, maintaining full histories, and encrypting network data.

Many people say, “when Lambo”… I say, when privacy? With initiatives like ZenCash, perhaps the answer is, now privacy.

CoinCentral’s owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.

Aaron Mangal

Aaron has spent 10+ years in different start-up, business environments wearing hats in marketing, sales, management and operations.After doing business development and content marketing for a Silicon Valley IT and Cloud services firm, Aaron realized how technology is transforming everything we do in our personal and professional lives.This prompted a deeper professional interest in the Bitcoin and Blockchain space which he had been dabbling in since 2014 as a miner and trader.Aaron now writes about Blockchain Technologies and does content marketing and business development for CoinStructive, a Bitcoin and Blockchain consulting firm.

Spy poisoning scandal: Did Vladimir Putin himself order the attack?

Putin’s spokesman has said that Johnson’s comments are ‘unforgivable’

Stepping up the attack on Kremlin, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson today suggested that Vladimir Putin was directly responsible for ordering the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal had been granted refuge in the UK in 2010 under a “spy swap” but was found unconscious with his 33-year daughter outside a shopping centre in Salisbury.

Speaking to media during a visit to Uxbridge today, Johnson said the UK Government believes it is “overwhelmingly likely” that the Russian president himself ordered the assassination attempt on the Skripals, which left them both critical in hospital.

He added: “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision – and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision – to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War. That is why we are at odds with Russia.”

The statement comes just hours after media reports suggested that Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for PM expelling 23 Russian diplomats. So far, Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.

Meanwhile, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has said that Johnson’s accusation against the Russian president was unforgivable. “Any reference or mention of our president in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour,” Peskov said, according to the Tass news agency.


Putin likely ordered Russian spy’s poisoning barking mad UK FM Boris Johnson says

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claims it is “overwhelmingly likely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy in southern England.

“We have nothing against the Russians themselves. There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening,” Johnson told reporters during a museum visit in west London on Friday.

“Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision – and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision – to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War,” Johnson said.

Britain’s top diplomat said a day earlier that the UK would allow for an independent international examination of the nerve agent.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson addresses the media during a visit to a Battle of Britain bunker in Uxbridge, west London on March 16, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

On March 7, British authorities announced that former spy Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, had been hospitalized after being found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in the city of Salisbury.

British police attributed the critical illness of the two to a nerve agent developed by the former Soviet Union, and British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Moscow of being responsible.

Russia has denied any involvement, insisting that it was ready to assist in the investigation provided that Moscow would be granted access to the case materials including samples of the substance used in the Skripal’s poisoning. London has rejected the request.


Boris in his former east end role as a London Clown

Britain’s claim Putin ordered ex-spy poisoning ‘unforgiveable’

In a swift response to Johnson’s comments on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said accusations that the President Putin was involved in the nerve agent attack were “shocking and unforgiveable.”

“Any reference or mention of our president in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behavior,” Peskov said. “Russia has nothing to do with this story.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow was considering “retaliatory measures” against London and would divulge them in the near future.

Russia says it is considering “retaliatory measures” against Britain, which has threatened to take punitive measures against Moscow over an alleged nerve agent attack in England.

May announced on Wednesday plans to expel 23 Russian diplomats in the wake of the attack.

May also announced a range of economic and diplomatic measures, including a decision to cancel all high-level bilateral contacts with Moscow.

Skripal was found guilty by a Russian tribunal of selling classified information to the UK’s spy agency MI6 and was imprisoned in Russia in 2006. He was exchanged in a spy swap in 2010.

Britain’s National counter-terrorism police have taken over the investigation on the alleged attack and are treating the case as attempted murder.

UK media reports have likened the alleged poisoning to the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian agent who was killed in Britain in 2006 with radioactive material that was purportedly put in his cup of tea by Russian agents.