Future of Zcash mining (circa 2019 and 2020)


#64

John when you have real wisdom to convey please let me know I’m all ears otherwise as the saying goes the wiseman listens but the fool chatters.
I hardly speak to you people for a reason. And the main reason is I don’t say anything to you people is simply due to the fact that you all are playing childish games with real world money at stake. If any of you cannot understand what I am saying then I feel sorry for you and zcash because with closed minded thinking and not allowing other people to voice there opinions due to the facts that have happened in life for the past 25yrs. Well that’s just being childish and ignorant.
If I have to say something to you. Well it means your saying something that will hurt a lot of people in the long run and your not thinking of the consequences for EVERYONE you just care about yourself or you just can’t see the consequences because you haven’t experienced life. And as an investor into zcash I cannot put up with closed minded thinking. In cryptos we need to be open minded people, the future is ours if where smart enough or “open minded”!!!
Whoever puts a single penny into zcash deserves to be rewarded no matter if they are GPU miners, ASIC miners, FPGA miner, CPU miners or just simply investors who buy and hold the coin. Who are you to deny those people’s right toward the American Dream? Who are you John to tell them to “go get a job?” “That’s just wrong to say to somebody just because you can’t understand what I’m trying to say.” “Where is your honor, sir?”
So Zooko announced a change to mining. SO ALL OF US miners “GPU/ASIC” need to STOP COMPLAINING right this second. And at the same time We NOW ALL need to LOOK FORWARD and MOVE FORWARD towards a common goal that will reward ALL of us in the long run and ESPECIALLY the LITTLE GUY who puts what little savings he has into the coin just because he believes in the vision of it and possibly wants to retire earlier then there parents!!!
That’s the name of the game people!
Money Talks! And BS walks.
Let’s make some MONEY!!!


#65

"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.


#66

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.


#67

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


#68

Not neccessarily. I’m an ASIC miner and I support a gradual change to mining so that everybody wins. Using a multi-algorithm PoW approach, Zcash could slowly phase out ASICs beginning next October by alternating algorithms between blocks. The simplest implementation of this would be alternating between Equihash and ProgPoW every other block (i.e. Equihash–>ProgPoW–>Equihash–>ProgPoW), but Zcash could formulate a predetermined schedule that gradually shifts from mostly Equihash to mostly ProgPoW over time.


#69

Two points:

  1. That is a simplification of the governance results (which were not be-all-end-all decisions anyway). Some of our most recent grants explore ASIC resistance as a possibility that is at least worth researching.

  2. One of the strengths of the Company and Foundation being separate entities is that we can pursue different initiatives as the respective strategic decision-makers see fit.


#70

We shouldn’t be upset each other (GPU or ASIC miners, PoS early adopters, etc… By the way I am the three). When you look at the way BCH becomes, it is pathetic…

Keep on the main goals: PRIVACY and FINANCIAL FREEDOM.

@zooko The way just need to be smooth and transparent to make well-advised decisions.


#71

I’ve always liked the idea of making mining accessible to mobile phones (not everyone has a GPU, but billions of people own smartphones), and I wonder if it would be technically feasible to design a PoW algorithm similar in scope to ProgPoW, but designed to favour smartphones instead of GPUs. I’m fully aware that this may not be possible, but I wonder if there’s anyone who’s heard of any PoW algorithms designed for mobile, or any research projects exploring this idea? Maybe I’m out to left field on this one, but mobile PoW to me would be the holy grail of mining (true decentralization/mass participation).

I’ll be researching this idea further, but in the mean time I would appreciate any resources or thoughtful suggestions on the topic. The obvious obstacles to this are that smartphones are inherently much less powerful than GPUs or ASICs, but could an algorithm leverage some aspect of a smartphone that would be uneconomical for GPUs/ASICs to copy? Perhaps direct user input would be part of this, which wouldn’t scale well for large ASIC farms. Maybe in order to mine, a mobile user would need to be playing a mobile game which can try to determine whether or not a miner is a real person. Think Turing Test meets PoW, giving some form of PoLU (Proof of Live User).

Of course this idea is highly theoretical and there are no guarantees that it’s even possible, but considering the potential for truly decentralized mining it seems like the idea is worthy of further exploration.


#72

Electroneum tried something like that, but people started installing Android roms to PC and cloning apps, so you could mine for like 100 phones on 1 PC.


#74

Actually Electroneum has/had just simulated mining, not real mining, on the smart phones. It was done to attract and make people curious and reward them with airdrop ETN in exchange. But as said, there was no real mining process involved.


#75

Real mining (using CPU and GPU power of the phone) will probably never happen, as it would drain your phone battery so fast, it would have to stay on charger all the time. It would look something like this:


#76

Actually it happens allready. Monero for example can be mined with smart phones. The PoA coins/project that work on mining with ioT devices are the best bet in my opinion as these are very similar (iot devices/smart phones).

There is allready minergate available for smart phone mining. Another miner is Druidminer if i remember correctly. So technically it’s no big deal at all, in my opinion at least. Only thing i wonder is why not more projects go into this field which should be clearly the future together with ioT devices and POS/PoS likes…

Interesting video about ioT devices mining:

Minergate smartphone mining

Merge Mining on myriad with smart phones:

Did read through this but lists several cell phone miners:


#77

At @zooko’s request, I’m sharing my experience GPU mining Zcash and some thoughts. Hopefully, it will be another useful anecdote in this debate.

In 2016, I was hired by a cryptocurrency trading firm to build a Zcash GPU mining operation. Before the build we created financial models for the operation under a broad number of scenarios. One key assumption shared by all of our scenarios is that the Zcash company/foundation had committed to keep GPU mining competitive, and thus we assumed the GPU hardware would last approximately 2 years until future GPU generations made it obsolete. Most of our scenarios had break-even for the operation around the one-year mark.

Our buildout started in late spring-early Summer 2017 and was completed after a few weeks. Our mining operation was not incredibly large but did have thousands of GPUs. Because of the rapid increase in prices from Summer 2017 through the end of the year, the mining operation made money considerably faster than expected. Excluding labor at the trading firm (including my own) on the project, we probably reached “payback” on the investment in the equipment around January. After January, the decline in prices and the continued growth in difficulty rapidly degraded profitability. We considered expanding the operation in Winter and Spring 2018, but decided against it, for reasons including: a.) we weren’t convinced that there was a real commitment to ASIC resistance by the Zcash company/foundation, b.) we were concerned about the bear market in prices, and c.) we were concerned about the ever-increasing difficulty. By June 2018, the operation was no longer profitable, about a year after launching.

With that experience in mind, I would like to offer some thoughts on the future of Zcash mining.

A key assumption we made when deciding to invest in mining was that the Zcash company/foundation had committed to keep GPU mining competitive. I think this was a reasonable assumption to make given the actions and statements of commitment by Zooko/the Zcash developers. For example, in addition to discussing their commitment to ASIC resistance, the Zcash company chose the Equihash proof-of-work, and discussed ways to maintain ASIC resistance, including changing the Equihash parameters, switching to other forms of proof-of-work, etc. For better or worse, by failing to act in the face of the development of ASICs, the Zcash company failed to live up to its commitment to ASIC resistance.

At this point, I believe that the Zcash company/Foundation have effectively accepted ASIC miners. At ZCon0, I attended the mining breakout session led by Zooko. My takeaway from that session is that the Zcash company, either by lack of resources, it’s development cycle, lack of concern, etc., will not be making any POW changes well into 2019. I believe that many miners have invested in ASIC miners due to the inaction by the ZCash company. For that reason, I would recommend that the Zcash company, whatever it decides to do going forward, should commit to making no changes until the current generation of ASICs have come close to the expected end-of-life. If the Zcash company is comfortable with the state of things such that it doesn’t feel the need to make emergency changes to the protocol, then I think it should avoid upsetting the expections of the latest generation of ASIC miners.

One further thought: Part of the reason I think that the Zcash company failed to aggressively counteract the rise of ASICs is that the loss of decentralization that was expected turned out to be less problematic than thought around Zcash’s launch. Accordingly, the Zcash company focused on its strengths and worked to get Sapling done. I would recommend that Zcash maintain that focus. At ZCon0, Zooko discussed Zcash adopting proof-of-stake or possible other exotic consensus mechanisms. Zcash should stick to core competencies and avoid working on POS, etc., unless the security of the network is threatened, or adoption by other cryptocurrencies has ironed out all the issues.


#78

At ZCon0, I attended the mining breakout session led by Zooko.

Oh, hey ZCon0 friend! :nerd_face:

My takeaway from that session is that the Zcash company, either by lack of resources, it’s development cycle, lack of concern, etc., will not be making any POW changes well into 2019.

My personal takeaway from that session was that Zcash Company couldn’t rush a Hard Fork as some community members wanted and, by the time they would be comfortable with something, it might be already too late to do something about it.

I think the “Harmony” proposed is basically Zcash Company trying to please Greeks and Trojans: they (a) don’t want to screw up users who bought ASICs and (b) users that believed in a supposedly ASIC resistance.

Accordingly, the Zcash company focused on its strengths and worked to get Sapling done. I would recommend that Zcash maintain that focus.

Firmly agree here.
They should be (and I think they are committed to!) pursue more press urgent features that would lead to either more privacy (Z-Addresses ready for it) and usability (SPV, Bolt, Scalability, etc…). After all, if we are pushing people to ditch their dollars for a new currency with enormous inflation, we have to give them good reason to do it.