Let’s talk about ASIC mining


@amiller re: a PoW change.

I recall that @tromp was working on a PoW called Cooko Cycle, though I’m not sure if it would be considered ASIC resistant.

It could be an interesting alternative to Equihash but I would think that just changing a few parameters with Equihash to require more RAM would be easier to implement than a complete shift to a new PoW from an engineering perspective.

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I agree. How hard would it be to raise the memory requirement to around 4 GB? That would make it very expensive to produce an ASIC version and most video cards would still be able to mine ZEC.

How hard would it be to raise the memory requirement to around 4 GB?

Harder than raising it to about 2.5GB with the author recommended (144,5) parameters, that were already part of the Miner Contest.


“During our travels through Asia last week, we confirmed that Bitmain has already developed an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in 2Q18,” analyst Christopher Rolland wrote in a note to clients Monday. "While Bitmain is likely to be the largest ASIC vendor (currently 70-80% of Bitcoin mining ASICs) and the first to market with this product, we have learned of at least three other companies working on Ethereum ASICs, all at various stages of development."

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No it would not. It doesn’t much matter if every ASIC ran a full node if said nodes were all controlled by the same hand full of people. ASIC’s centralize the network, put mining out of reach of the common person, and place the control in the hands of a few with deep pockets. It is everything you do not want in a block chain. The only winner in a ASIC world will ultimately be Bitmain, and companies like Bitmain. The point of CPU and GPU mining was that “anyone” could participate in the process. ASIC’s are literally a hash rate arms race. The smaller guys, the hobbyists, and the enthusiast get pushed out when ASIC’s show up.


Ethereum community are discussing a hypothetical change to their PoW (before they switch over to PoS).

Twitter thread here:

Reddit discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/87ucsk/would_you_support_a_hard_fork_that_obsceletes_eth/

Github discussion here: https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/958

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No, they are from Taiwan. and you can trust GPU manufacturers…
You can not trust China Bitmain or other China based ASIC manufacturers!

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My guess is that this community would quickly come to a consensus on opposing ASICs. The foundation could facilitate this kind of communication, for example we could include it as a resolution to discuss and publicly vote on in our upcoming election.

@amiller Is there a date set for the upcoming election? How does the community submit a resolution to be voted on? Who is eligible to vote?

I personally think it would be great to see a pow change hardfork proposed from outside the company, although I also don’t think there’s an urgent need yet.

The absence of an Equihash ASIC available for public sale does not preclude the possibility that an ASIC currently exists and is being used to mine in secret.

If the community wishes to flush out any ASIC miners, there are two opportunities to do so. The first is the Overwinter network upgrade due to take place in the summer, the second is the Sapling network upgrade due in the fall.


I don’t think we have a specific place to submit resolutions, but an issue on github.com/zcashfoundation/zcashfoundation would make sense to me. I am waiting for Josh next to publish a draft list of eligible voters, i.e. people invited to the “Community Approval Panel”. The election date will be prior to June 25 (the date of Zcon0).

Would it be easier to change the algorithm at the same time as the overwinter upgrade? Since there is already an alternative from the miner contest it might be better than doing another hard fork later on. The network hash has gone over 600 million a few times, but seems to have decreased during the downturn. That was much higher than it ever had been before.

With ZEC being a company….and with many statements throughout the last 1.5 years in these forums - on altering or changing the algo if an equihash ASIC was created… if ZEC did not change the algo to eliminate any threat of ASIC… would that not open up ZEC to class-action lawsuits from large farmers? Has ZEC co. consulted with lawyers in regards to not keeping their word?

I mean… . personally I wouldnt do that to someone (sue them… just against my personal ethics)… but @Shawn (dont get me wrong shawn, i love you, your a great guy, not trying to pick on you by any means) has stated many times the algo would just be altered to eliminate ASICs… Shawn is an employee of ZEC co. (again not trying to pick on you Shawn, just using you as an example of a ZEC co empoloyee) there are many people who have invested 100,000’s of $ in GPUs and mining equipement… signed year or longer leases on bulidings… wouldn’t they be able to sue ZEC for losses? damages? @root

of coarse it is important to keep your word of altering the algo… if the word given that equihash would alter or change the algo to eliminate any threat of ASICs was not kept… how can we trust ZEC co. anymore?

once a promise is given… it should not be broken. Keeping equihash ASIC free was the reason why a lot of people trusted ZEC,… had faith in ZEC co… once you loose that Trust with your community… it will be very hard to regain that trust level ever again.

Personally I never sold or traded ZEC… I was a long time Hodler… but due to zooko’s comments… i have started to trade some ZEC for other cryptos like ADA…Stellar… and other coins that I believe have a future (I have enough ETH)… that is all because my trust with ZEC co. has been downgraded over zookos comments… I always had 100% trust and faith in ZEC co… I can’t say I do anymore… ZEC and ETH were always my 2 favorite cryptos for the last 1.5-2 years…

I asked:

@zooko Do you have any advice on how to alter Ethash so that any current ASIC in development or use would be rendered obsolete? Ethereum + Zcash both should be as decentralized as possible. 1 CPU = 1 Vote. Any suggestions? Helps is appreciated. Thanks”

In response i received this:

"I’m not sure it is possible. Also it might be undesirable, because commodity mining means miners have less at stake and don’t lose much if abandon or betray the project. Also CPU-mining means the people making the money are botnet gangs—not the people I want to have around. "

I just wonder if people who can’t keep their word are worth having around… sorry… I am loosing confidence in ZEC

We believed in ZEC… we were the behind the scenes builders of ZEC… and we can be thrown under the bus in an instant… scary thought…

we are expendable, because it is easier for us to betray the project…

im sorry, but that is LOW… really really LOW.

we did not have a problem paying ZEC co. the 20% founders fee… we literally paid ZEC co. salaries and we get ditched… I guess ZEC wont care cause they will get that salary if its through GPU or ASIC mining right? Money Talks…

Rich get richer… poor get poorer…

It is very sad that this topic even exists.

respect is supposed to be a 2-way street… doesn’t seem that way today with ZEC co.


You do appreciate that Zcash is a decentralised protocol? See amiller post above this is a great opportunity for the Zcash foundation to facilitate this.

@garethtdavies not sure why people who are not really wanted should care about voting. We are the betrayers… those who abandon ZEC… (meanwhile in reality it is the other way around isn’t it?)… that if ZEC co. did not keep their word… they would be the ones betraying and abandoning us.

it shouldn’t even require a vote as it was a promise given by ZEC co. employees.

and why should only forum members be approved for the vote? there may be people who have invested much more than forum members in mining just due to reading the posts by ZEC co. employees stating that equihash will eliminate any ASICs.

no one even really uses these forums anymore… just look at how old this thread is and how little attention it has got.

I would not be surprised if class-action lawsuits follow any ASIC take over of equihash.

we always have Monero… XMR actually cares about decentralization… they don’t need a vote… and it will be on ledger hardware wallets soon, so we will have a safe place to store it… and we can actually send anonymously from our ledgers with XMR … something that in 1.5 years ZEC has been unable to develop… easy to use anonymous transactions for the masses… I had faith in ZEC but it seems like ZEC is not getting proper development… and the 20% founders reward is getting squandered on practically useless things that do not actually benefit the use of ZEC… I honestly didn’t think that XMR would look more attractive than ZEC… but today it does.


I think you missed my point - it isn’t up to the Zerocoin Electric Coin company to dictate this.

Noone is suggesting this. amiller is suggesting that the Foundation facilitate the discussion around this topic. If there is clear consensus (which there probably is) and an ASIC-resistant POW change is proposed it can be implemented (as outlined above there are already two suitable time windows).

sure it is up to them to decide on what to do,… they are a company.

missed? or just dont care after zookos comments… you decide.

when a company makes a promise to investors, they need to keep it… or else there are consequences.

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@cryptomined I am not and have never claimed to be a part of Zcash Company. People that work for Zcash Company have the title “ZcashCo Team Member” where I am simply a Moderator.

My opinions are my own, I do think that Zcash should remain ASIC resistant as you can see by my first post in this thread but I ultimately have no say on the matter.

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