Let’s talk about ASIC mining

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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oh ok, so who from the company told you they would alter the algo and why did you state it so many times previously? someone from the company must have told you something. and if you are a moderator, we could still say that you represent the opinions of ZEC co. if as a moderator you have been misreprsenting ZEC co… ZEC co should have said something to clarify. I’m sure a lawyer could figure it out. and you were just an example, others who represent ZEC co have also stated they would alter the algo… so I am not sure who is an employee or not… but either way… I think it crosses the line if that was not 100% true.

in responst to zooko inferring that GPU miners have less incentive to keep mining compared to ASIC miners… ASIC miners quit once a crypto is unprofitable also… look at Dash. I just dont think zooko has a very good opinion on GPU vs ASIC… makes me, and I am sure others, question his other opinions.

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Any statements I have made in reference to mining are based off of blog posts or issues opened by Zcash Company.

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ok thanks for the clarification

again, im not saying that I would ever sue ZEC co… but others may feel differently

Equihash was chosen specifically for its ASIC-resistant properties. The question is whether ASICs are still good or bad for Zcash.

On one side ASICs could lead to centralization of mining. Before we even get there though, I think that pooled-mining is just as much, or even a greater danger than ASICs. Flypool (now Bitfly) has over 51% of hashpower and can do just about whatever they want, including making double-spends and protocol changes if they so choose. Yes, there are incentives for Flypool/Bitfly to not do this, as it would pull the carpet out from under the system, but at this point we’re in a state of blind trust.

Further, miners don’t seem to be interested in taking temporary losses by using a smaller pool in order to balance the system. I mined at a loss for some time to try to balance things, but didn’t see other miners being aware or caring as long as they were making as much profit as possible.

Ignoring the mining pool situation, ASICs have created an arms-race for sha256 where only a few large-players with the ability to research and manufacture chips will have control. @cryptomined has mentioned Bitmain, but the fact is that, love 'em or hate 'em Bitmain is the only legitimate manufacturer actually selling to regular consumers. Bitfury and SBI have both developed chips/boards but don’t sell to the public. Bitmain could have easily mined their own hardware, but instead they have a consumer-sales model which does add more decentralization than Bitfury and SBI. If an ASIC does exist, it might not make sense for that manufacturer to sell to the public. My thought is that a private ASIC would hurt Zcash over the long term.

As to @zooko’s comment that ASICS are more risky, I marginally disagree. Over time coins have tended to fork, giving miners alternatives (Bitcoin Cash as an alternative sha265 algo to Bitcoin). Further, miners focusing on Zcash will generally buy Nvidia cards which are more specifically tailored to Equihash than your AMD card lines. GPU systems are also more involved and require a much greater time investment to setup compared to your buy-a-box ASIC.

I’m really not sure what the answer is. I think someone like @amiller is most suited to fully analyze the risks of changing the POW and if it’s worth it. Further, changing the POW might not be ideal for Nvidia cards, which a lot of Zcash miners use. There are many possible outcomes.

By the way, is anyone looking to purchase a few hundred 1080 tis? :sweat_smile:

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daira added “not in Sapling” label on Nov 10, 2017

What was the reason for that?

Quoting from http://www.crypto-news.in/news/alt-coins/zcash-founder-zooko-not-interested-asic-resistance/

“If there is enough interest and demand for ASIC Resistance, they will work towards it.”

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ASIC resistance algorithm doesn’t make sense. Any ASIC resistance algorithm (PoW at all) is ASIC in some point depends on “efficiency” and “technology”. how long we want to play this Cat and Mouse game? I believe there are two good options:

  • Full PoW and accept ASIC.
  • Combination of PoW and PoS.

I’m fine with both.

That would be a question for @daira

@root - maybe :slight_smile:

The reality is that ASIC mining tosses the “indie” miners like myself and others right out the window and favors the large farms with squillions of dollars to spend on hardware. It really becomes a situation where the hogs feast and the rest of us eat their $h1t. Does the ZCash Foundation really want to screw the very people who got them to this point?

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Why are people that are for ASICs saying this is a Cat & Mouse game. To develop and manufacture an ASIC does not require an hour of a regular person’s time, nor does it cost a beer. It is an expensive and intensive process.

If it was otherwise - we would all have ASICs in our homes for crypto mining.

What you are saying is that Bitmain will develop new ASICs for the new Monero algorithm and keep selling them until the XMR devs decide to simply accept their fate? I reeeeally doubt that, as Bitmain will be manufacturing quite expensive paperweights for quite some time if they decide to go down this path.

The current situation the way I see it is this. Rumors started emerging that Bitmain has developed ASICs for many algorithms including the one used by Monero. The XMR devs decided to publicly announce that they will change the algorithm and are against ASICs and what do you know - Bitmain suddenly starts offering ASICs for XMR mining.

There is pressure on ETH to state their position regarding ASICs too, and if my assumptions are correct - they will decide to be against. A very very short time after that announcement is official - you will see another “surprise” - ETH ASICs being offered by Bitmain.

The ASICs are already developed and are in use, they are just not up for commercial selling. Everyone knows that the ASICs are almost always clearly used when you have them delivered and when you ask the manufacturer why, they simply state “quality control” or some other excuse like that.

Where I am going with this is that it will not come as a surprise to me if there are already ZEC ASICs developed and running. The company(ies) that developed them currently have interest in keeping this out of the public knowledge. The ASICs currently are more valuable mining quietly for their creators instead of being sold to the public.

I also do not understand why we have to discuss this thing for a month. No one says that ZEC should fork NOW. Everyone here wants to just know the developer’s position on this matter as lately it not clear at all. On the z.cash website it is stated that ZEC will always remain ASIC resistant, @zooko says otherwise. I really hope that the company finally comes out with a clear position on this topic.

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I 100% agree with what has been stated with regards to being asic resistant but I also want to go a step further.
Taking @zooko on his own words “its not the kind people we want” based purely on your 180 degree turn and your now current stance on Asics I say zooko is not the kind of person we want. I would like to see a community driven action to have him removed from zcash. A line has to be drawn somewhere and how much longer is the community that helped maintain the network going to be shit on by those that have now had a taste of power and are now letting it go to there heads. If you continue down this path you are no better off than the banks and other corrupt forces that the crypto community is supposed to be against.

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If you change the POW once to deter ASICs, nobody will take the huge risk of developing one in the future, when a simple algorithm change would instantly invalidate it.

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Having this conversation is valuable because it allows us to be more informed about hardware purchases. I do agree that a Zcash ASIC would stay private, but if one existed I would expect a more extreme difficulty change than we’ve seen (5x to 7x the current difficulty). At this time I think it’s a hypothetical that people may be trying to work on.

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You could be right about the ASIC development, but I still think that for a self-respecting company like ZCash it shouldn’t be this much of a problem to provide an official statement on what already has 107 (108) with mine posts in a topic for more than a month.

I understand that this may not be the proper channel to communicate this with them, but as I see several members of the company have posted around the forum and I doubt that no one has noticed this thread. It is just that at this point they believe that it is best to not take any sides out of fear to not disrupt the current situation and are generally having doubts themselves about which is the right path for this.

I don’t know, every time I try to swipe a problem under the rug for some time it just grows bigger and bigger and at the end it always proves that the better thing was to address it when it was initially presented.

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Bitmain just announced an Ethash ASIC - the Antminer E3. I think this discussion is very relevant.

Update: The asic is only 25% better at hashing than your regular RX 480, although it is cheaper than buying the cards outright to get the same hashpower. However, the gpus do have resale value, making them still viable in terms of Ethash.

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and they are sold out!

We are proud and happy to announce the all-new Antminer E3, a new Antminer model for mining cryptocurrencies based on the hashing algorithm Ethash.

The Antminer E3 is estimated to deliver a minimum hashrate of 180MH/s while consuming 800W of total power.

The very first batch of the Antminer E3 is available to order now and all orders will be shipped as soon the miners are ready. Although this is estimated to be after 16 July 2018 (and before 31 July 2018), we will ship all orders as soon as the miners are ready.

To prevent hoarding by some users or resellers and to ensure that more individuals around the globe are able to order this new ASIC miner:

There is an ordering limit of one miner per user.
The miner is unavailable in Mainland China.
The batch cannot be ordered if the delivery address is in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.

I understand your point but you missed some fundamental facts,

Find another periodic resistant algorithm is NOT easy. to understand this we need to understand, What is ASIC? and how an algorithm is ASIC resistant?

Current algorithm of Zcash, Ethereum, Monero and etc are based on RAM hardware which was ASIC limitation, thats why we called them ASIC resistant.

But now they break this limitation by adding some kind of RAM function to ASIC machines. they made semi-ASIC machine, can mine RAM base algorithm coins more efficient than GPU.

What kind of hardware limitation can we have for next algorithm generation?

Also it is NOT easy to Declare ASIC (or semi-ASIC) miners for current algorithm to change algorithm again (Suspicion Inevitable).