Future of Zcash mining (circa 2019 and 2020)


His posts are great!


How great is it, to have zooko sometimes here replying to us? It is an amazing feeling, it is motivating!
Of course, not for people that has a tunnel view…


Can you comment on the idea behind GPU’s and ASIC’s? The idea behind updating the firmware on current ASIC’s and spending all that time to be wasted? I get the the decentralization part, but when new ASIC’s come out after awhile, what is the idea behind it? GPU’s like ASIC’s will still mine through pools. Looking to get your 2 cents on the matter. Awesome work you’re doing by the way.


I always liked this one https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-96884-1_26


ProgPoW aims to settle the ASIC vs GPU nonsense by leveling the playing field (or race track according to IfDefElse Medium post analogy). The problem remains that an ASIC manufacturer is unlikely to develop an ASIC unless they believe that they can monopolize the hash, or so I have been told.


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I do, but when you look at the hiring and monthly expenses over time, this money has not been hoarded. Most of it has been spent and that expenditure has helped lay a sound foundation for Zcash’s future (Overwinter and Sapling).

The Founders reward and development funds were part of the deal from the start. If you’re not on board with that, then you should look to Zclassic (ZCL).

There was a financial overview at Zcon0 that should give more clarity as to what funds went: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVjHDEDw_DQ

This included audits by independent security researchers, etc.

Also, we will need continued funding for these developers after the first 4 years. I don’t know where that will come from but it absolutely needs to happen.


"The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision
making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone
able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote. The majority
decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested
in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the
fastest and outpace any competing chains. "

As GPU have a lot slower hash than ASICS, this way of deciding decisions would be quite the opposite of majority decision as 1 z9 Mini hashes as much as 21 GPU.

Only way to reach the majority decision, the way i see it is by which one gets backed with more $$$.
I dont understand why we cant have chain split, one ASIC, one ASIC resistant, and lets see which one the community supports better.


Maybe also consider Horizen’s change to the Satoshi Consensus that penalizes late blocks helping to defeat a certain type of 51% attack. https://blog.zencash.com/zencash-leads-the-fight-against-the-51-attack/


Tangential, but I’d recommend Horizen (previously ZenCash) or Monero over ZCL.


But perhaps not Horizen for this user since they have a dev fund too. :slight_smile:


@zooko , thx for taking the time to read and reply to my post.

Thank you as well to clarify that POS won’t be an option the next 2 years.

I personally think private POW won’t survive that long. Especially for the current private hold community asics they won’t be able to mine with profitibility the next 2 years, even 1 year is optimistic in my opinion. IF ZEN changes equihash parameters even worse. The GPU miners, in case 2019 a GPU friendly algo or a 2nd algo for GPU’s is choosen will face a similar problem. ETH constantinople upgrade will shift a lot of hashpower and ETH POS will end it as well for the private GPU miners.

I think working asap on POS was the only chance somehow to unite the community again and to prevent larger ZEC mining going to being earned by big mining facilities. POS in soonest 2 years means that these big mining facilities again and automaticlly have a big stake in ZEC. For ZEC this could be for good or bad, no idea, but for us smaller miners it’s for sure not for the good.

But than again, that’s just my personal prediction and i honestly hope i’am wrong with some prediction and Zcash doesn’t lose ground to it’s direct competitors like Monero, PIVx and the others upcoming and newcomers in the privacy coin market…


To paraphrase you regarding POS @zooko, it sounds like this is an interesting longer-term option for consideration in the future.

I’ll limit my comment therefore to the POW and mining implications of your post and others’ replies.

I’m concerned by the implications and context of your post. I don’t agree network security and community “health” is a matter for nostalgia.

I see it as a red flag that you can state declaratively that the company has decided to change mining contrary to expressed community needs. A vote at the foundation determined ASIC resistance was not a priority for the foundation https://z.cash.foundation/blog/governance-results/. Why would you lead the company in contradiction to the foundation vote? You must be aware this can cause repercussions that are damaging.

What are you specifically trying to achieve changing mining? Are you trying to obtain better security or are you trying to increase coin distribution? Given the risk is community fracture which is more destructive than perceived risk we should be quite clear what the aim is.

Profits from mining are obviously centralising regardless whether GPU or ASIC. The risks from corporate takeover are probably overstated (incentives can be relied upon) yet comparable. Please take the time to consider the arguments in this post on why there is a lot at risk changing mining parameters: https://pdaian.com/blog/anti-asic-forks-considered-harmful/.

Miners need more than a year for any change to not affect them financially. Breakeven is probably two years (obviously variable) for anyone who invested in an ASIC recently. Accordingly, I am advocating for a long lead time and no short-term “fix”. If you give two years notice on where the company will head and do not move the goalposts, I think most people would be able to make their decisions accordingly.

Some ideas to address security:

  • Zcash foundation run a mining pool to counterbalance Bitmain influence (I don’t think this is appropriate but it seems many people view Bitmain as a threat)
  • Zcash foundation work on open sourcing a hardware ASIC design to develop alternatives. Possible partners/collaborators are GRIN community who are adopting ASIC friendly approach

@boxalex I don’t agree that economies of scale deliver much benefit. The post linked above outlines some. It’s the same inputs for everyone.

Full disclosure. My friend and I own ASICs to mine ZEC because we believe in the privacy mission. We couldn’t obtain GPUs to mine ZEC due to the global shortage when we first considered mining before ASIC release.


When you change mining in fall 2019, ASIC based on equihash will not work? Or it’s a matter of pool only which should modify its software?


Abrupt changes will be avoided. That would mean Equihash (200,9) will be slowly phased out.


how? I thought you’d have to hard fork to implement any adjustment on the mining…


The problem with POS is if the coin goes under then now you lost your investment. Your putting all your money into 1 investment. And Any successful investor will tell you that is a STUPID move. As a business man i only have room for so much error. I’m looking to make money ASAP the best way possible. If I stick all my money into 1 coin then I’m limiting myself on how I can make a profit. Because now if zcash goes to $0 then I’m stuck with nothing. As a business man I need to have options. I don’t have money to throw away like that so investing into some type of POS is useless unless your a VC. It’s gonna make me and a lot of people poor in the long run. Or they just won’t be able to invest into zcash because it will be too expensive like the way commodities are in the stock market right now. 20yrs ago Everyday people could invest into these instruments and make a killing in the short run like we can with crypto’s but now hedge funds have so much money into to them that they are now the only ones really able to make money in those markets. The same thing will happen if you go to POS.
At least right now the little guy still has a fighting chance to make it to the top.
If you take POW away in which zcash is, say bye bye AMERICAN DREAM. Unless you have money upfront and are able to throw it away in case the coin goes to $0.


"Great study leading to no detail and no idea in post.

Reality: Nothing will change, just delay tactic. We think about mining. They think about Second Dev Fund." :cry:

1 year?? srsly? to prevent instant bricking of asics? so now you care about miner investment? or you care because Bitmain will be hit the hardest, in case of algo changed?

you admire boxalex posts for years? srsly?

this little things makes me understand this project more. anyway, fact is zec belongs to China.


It would take them a few months at least to have it ready even if they started now. They always said Sapling was the priority and it was too late to do it until the next upgrade.

It seems to me that GPU miners want them to switch right now and bag holders want them to move to PoS. I would rather determine what is the best course for the network and adoption and then adapt to the conclusions. I would have been fine with an algo change in April that completely bricks ASIC’s, even though I have a few minis, as long as the switch to GPU’s made sense.


You forgot: … and asic miners want no change at all …