In this post I am proposing a crowdfund for an optimized Zcash GPU miner for all interested parties.
You may be asking, "GPU mining for Zcash at launch, is that possible?" Not only is it happening now but multiple parties are developing GPU miners. This new development has altered the previous perception of a fair CPU launch. As it currently stands, these GPU miners will be sold to private parties, putting the rest of Zcash early adopters at a disadvantage during launch; however, there is some significant interest in crowdfunding the software release to a larger body of interested parties. I propose we stir up enough interest that these miners will be in the hands of the many, not the few.
The GPU specs have not been made public at this time but are confirmed superior to CPU mining by trusted individual mining developers. The advantages between GPU vs CPU for mining Zcash is referenced in this Equihash paper in section VI.b. It's roughly estimated that GPU miners will effectively speed up the mining process by 4x in comparison to CPU mining. However this estimate does not take into account High Bandwidth Memory GPUs, that may have much more competitive advantage than anticipated. Also, Zooko has commented recently in the #mining Zcash slack channel, that modifying the PoW algorithm to exclude GPU mining is not on the dev team's radar given the amount of work that needs to be done in order to make the core product successful.
Two independent parties, @wolf0 and @ampy on the Zcash slack channel, are currently developing two separate miners. However, if we gain enough interest, they will collaborate to create the best GPU miner for our crowdfund. If we fail to generate enough interest, then we will have to hope that someone else will release a competitive public/open source GPU miner for free.
I am proposing to lead a crowdfund and put this software in the hands of the majority. In order to do this, please share what amount of bitcoin you would be willing to commit to acquire this software prior to launch. The goal is to collectively fall within a range of a 5 figure number, $USD. This will make the crowdfund competitive with private offers being made. The exact figure of the private offers has not been revealed to me.
What happens next:
1) We successfully generate enough interest
2) @ampy and @wolf0 formally commit to the project
3) We acquire a trusted mediator
4) All interested parties are contacted and given further direction
5) Upon completion of the crowdfund all parties who contributed the minimum requirement of 1 BTC will receive a copy of the GPU miner software client.
Let's do this! And keep the Zcash launch as fair as possible.
Update: After some negotiating between Ampy and Wolf0, it became clear that Ampy has an optimized GPU miner ready to go; therefore, we will continue negotiations solely with Ampy. We are getting closer to a deal and I will update everyone when I have something substantial to share. Keep in mind that Ampy is also considering other offers. If he agrees to our deal, he will release the benchmarks prior to the official crowdfund. Fingers crossed!