How much hashrate does Zcash need?

(+) Zcash decided to use the Equihash algo for a reason
(+) You have hundreds of sources to buy a GPU everywhere in the world
(+) You can easily calculate the amount of GPUs dedicated to this network
(+) You will achieve the highest possible distribution through GPU/PoW
(+) You only compete against each other through efficient power prices and setups
(+) You can not create GPUs out of thin air
(+) Market prices are mostly self regulating and effiency improvements are bound to a ~2 year manufacturing cycle
(+) In a decentralized world the creation of a coin shouldnt be 100% industrialized through farming it in a few datacenters, but instead everyone of us (single individuals) will have to share some resources/work to create the currency
(+) With that in mind, the future world could only function properly if every one of us takes the responsibilities ourselves instead of (again) relying on big corporations

On the other hand…

(-) There is one seller of the new Equihash ASIC in the world
(-) Large (unknown) quantities could be created in the dark
(-) Bitmain can premine with their batches before selling/dumping them
(-) Only a few market participants can buy this ASIC (already sold out)
(-) Bitmain dictates the price and the distribution
(-) You can not rely on a stable network hashrate for your own economics, because you get diluted all the time and this forced to install more maschines soon
(-) You will lose all the resources which are dedicated by gamers, who are themselves often tolerant to new ideas such as crypto payments and thus are a massive user group of the coins

I am wondering if the current network hashrate of Zcash of 430 Mh per second is enough for a global privacy oriented cryptocurrency. Why operate 15000 Mh with less distribution. The existing market is in a equilibrium with power costs as the most important factor in terms of competitiveness. The network is well distributed and reliable. ZCash is the only meaningful Equihash coin with a loyal community that took 18 months to develop. The community created and distributed all the ZEC in existence. Why leave Bitmain the responsibility as worldwide distributor of Zcash? Why destroy 18 months of work and dedicate all the future profits to one company?

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You should also list the bad parts of GPU mining and the good parts of ASICs.

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Can you please list the good parts of ASIC mining in its current form. I keep asking and people keep avoiding my question. Please inform us on all the benefits to ASICs?

  • ASICs are more efficient and use less power for many times the hashpower
  • ASICs are simple to setup, more non-technical users can get involved in mining - this actually increases decentralization so long as they are widely available (more manufacturers in the future)
  • ASICs require miners to make a larger commitment towards Equihash-only. Zcash is the best equihash crypto, so this would be good for Zcash.
  • ASICs manage their own temperatures, auto-restart and other settings. This is more difficult with gpu systems.
  • There aren’t any risers which tend to catch fire. Overall less wires and components reduce the points of failure and fire in your mining system.
  • ASICs are built to run hotter than GPUs, making them viable at higher temps
  • Any part of a gpu system can fail, debugging that takes time and energy. ASICs are more straightforward.
  • Gamers get cheaper GPUs to play games if there is no longer gpu mining.
  • ASICs will make it easier to switch pools and potentially fix the >51% hashpower that flypool has right now.
  • Last but not least: ASICs will increase Zcash’s security by increasing the hashpower. More hashpower == more secure.

Given that difficulty in Zcash automatically adjusts proportionately with hash power, why does increased ‘increased network security’ automatically follow from a hash power boost. Said another way, why do 10 ASICs running 10 independent nodes with 100,000 sol/s in combined HP constitute a more secure network than 10 1080Ti’s in the same configuration with 7000 sol/s?

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In the pro-ASIC camp they believe it is safer because the hashrate is higher. In reality, the higher the coins value the more attack resistant the coin is because more miners can mine it more profitably. It doesn’t matter if you need 51% of GPU’s or 51% of ASIC’s. They cancel each other out.

But the amount of money needed to overtake the network depends on the price to acquire and run 50,60,70% of the network for a period of time. Thus it will be a lot less money needed for this kind of attack with the introduction of cheap ASICs in the next months, correct?

Yes and no. it depends on just how many are released, how quickly, to how many independent parties

Thanks for responding root, I have asked a few people to list the pros and they have yet to reply with any. You do have a couple on your list I can agree with but alot of them can be flipped and said about GPUs.

Agree, they do more hashes per watt, however look at Bitcoin, they are using ASICs and are using more energy then small countries. They dont save power in the long run.

It only took me 10 mins watching a youtube video to start GPU mining with my desktop computer to try it out for the first time. Kinda hard to beat that. ASICs are pretty easy to setup tho.

True they are invested in the algo since ASICs are so specialized, but what happens if there is a bug or code needs to be changed that would render ASICs broken…how would they adopt it? This could make the network less flexible in the future.

GPUs manage their own temps, can auto restart and “other settings”?, Most of these options are built into the cards.

Risers catching fire? Dont overload components or they will break…People running 3 1080s on one SATA…Try running a bunch of ASICs off one power cord, same thing.

ASIC run hotter yes, that is why they break sooner, Why do you think they only have 3 months of warranty(from ship date, might take a month to get) vs 2-3 years on GPUs?

ASICs benefit GPUs because they make them cheaper, this is possible, but this sounds like a GPU benefit not a ASIC…

How do ASICs make it easier to pool hop and fix >51% flypool hashpower?

More hashpower does not increase security.

I can kinda agree on a couple of the points, but it seems like your struggling to come up with valid ones after the first 3.

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You conviniently leave out the negatives of ASICs vs. GPU…that being the capital investment per unit.
While I run GPU rigs and they cost more than ASIC, I also run my home PC with a single card in it. I know a dozen other people who do the same. All of those people would no longer be able to mine. That would also remove them from the capital volume of the currency as they don’t have much reason individually to use ZEC if they aren’t holding it from mining.

Just simple math for an example…you would end up increasing the ability of one person to mine with an investment of capital, but you would be excluding 9 others from mining since they can’t GPU it anymore. Those 9 are not likely to continue using ZEC, but more likely whatever coin they move their GPU to.

This is how the centralization issue happens and how it makes a real market impact on price and volume.

To the point of the original post, I don’t see ZEC as having any issues with hashrate. Actually, I view difficulty as being a little high already (meaning we are “over hashed”). The double hash rate likely to come from ASICs isn’t needed from my observations and I transfer ZEC almost daily.

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This leads into a point I had already made. When the hardware is single source currently (Bitmain) that becomes a serious problem. They do not exactly have a great track record when it comes to acting in the best interest of the coin, or their customers. I know someone is going to hold up the news about Samsung, but I invite you to read that again.

They aren’t getting into the ASIC business, they are just going to make chips, like TSMC is doing currently for Bitmain (as well as GPU companies), for “someone” who is not named. It could actually end up being Bitmain…or it could be someone entirely different. Nobody actually knows, but they are “not” going to compete with Bitmain personally.

Good points. We need real users in the long run which are doing transactions in ZEC. Originally Satoshi Nakamoto designed the mining to widespread the distribution of the coins and with it the real usage.