Adding mining-related functionality to Zebra (getblocktemplate)

The work to make it possible to use Zebra as a back-end for lightwalletd is nearing completion, so we’re considering what to focus on next.

One option is to add the necessary functionality to make it possible for miners to use Zebra to generate block templates to mine against, and then broadcast their successfully-mined blocks to the network. We’ve begun referring to this work as “getblocktemplate”, as that’s the existing RPC call in zcashd that is central to this functionality.

As part of our research into whether and how we should implement this functionality in Zebra, we’ll be reaching out to miners to discuss how they use this functionality at the moment, and find out their pain points and any improvements they’re able to suggest. We won’t be sharing any non-public information during such discussions, and the mining algorithm is entirely out of scope for this work.

Note that the fact that we’re looking at adding this functionality to Zebra should not be construed as support for proof of work.The Foundation is supportive of moving away from proof of work to a more environmentally-friendly consensus mechanism, and it’s likely that we’ll still need to generate block templates, no matter what consensus mechanism we move to.


This work is nearing completion, and the Zebra team has successfully mined blocks on testnet using a block template generated by Zebra.

We are starting to reach out to miners to ask them to try using Zebra with their specific setup, and to provide feedback. If you’re a miner and you’re interested in trying out Zebra, feel free to message me here on the forum!


Would any work done here to the context of enhancing PoW consensus mechanics be able to fully be applied in a future Zcash PoS consensus implementation? If not, then I’d suggest taking a critical eye to a project like this which could be presumably obsoleted within the next 4-5 years (napkin math timeline for completion of a PoS upgrade).

No work has or is being done to enhance PoW consensus mechanics.

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