Let’s talk about ASIC mining

“If anyone needs help getting a full node on Ubuntu via Windows 10 I can help them it is very easy.”

Are you running a VM with VirtualBox? I am meaning to try that soon. It sounds like a good idea on the mining to nodes. It is essentially what Vertcoin does, but every miner doesn’t have to run a node. They can host a few other miners on each node.

But we see Bitmain will just mine to the old coin if a fork happens to a new coin. So any future forks for Zcash should not lead to a new coin, only change network, change algos etc.

No, with the Windows 10 founders update you can now go into ‘Windows Features’ (just type that after pressing the windows key) and enable ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’ in the drop down. Restart and then download Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store. Once downloaded just follow the instructions on the Zcash command line installation video, the actual commands are all in the video description, you literally just have to copy paste them in order.


An scrypt ASIC attack timed just a bit coincidental with the recent takedown of their posting from /r/cryptocurrency and wide calls for action against ASIC coins.

This is exactly why a proactive increase in the params is needed. It took a few hours to force 51% with an scrypt asic farm coupled with a code exploit.

This has the fingerprints of a well coordinated, planned and executed attack. The Verge community had been popping off a lot (more then usual) recently in a very bold manner.

This is the danger of ASIC, especially for a security-minded privacy coin like our Z.

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Has anyone asked @zooko , on the record, if he has been in contact with any chip manufacturers?

the bugs allowed them to use a scrypt farm and blast out blocks.

The real truth of the matter is the PoS is 100% dependent on wealth. It puts control into the hands of those who are wealthy enough to have very large stakes on the network (so again centralization and control). So how is PoS different from the economic systems we have now?

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So can you use only one instance of Linux or Windows at a time? It would be nice to run both at the same time like a VM, but thanks for the info. I will do that when I need it. It sounds much easier than doing a VM.

Proof-of-Stake is an interesting topic and best discussed on its own forum thread. Let’s keep the current discussion focused on ASIC mining and resistance. Thanks.

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Let me have a stab at this too:

  1. This is impossible to know, unless an algo hard fork shows a big hit to the network. However, if a big drop in hash and difficulty does result from a hard fork it will quickly be obscured by GPU miners switching over. I’m not talking about the 10-100Ksol miners who determine its more profitable to mine Monero and then switch. I am talking about the 1-10MSol and higher miners who will switch into a pool for one block and switch to something else via an automated system. This is common practice and obscures any recognizable patterns.

  2. There is also the argument that Bitmain has been mining with a Cryptonight ASIC for many months. Just a glance at the numbers for such a scenario and its pretty clear keeping an ASIC secret has a astronomical upside profit, then you can sell to the public and get your production costs back, and more likely a profit. This is a win win business model, and I must complement Bitmain, even though I am not a fan.

So a hijacked CPU mining Moreno can make a known amount of hash power. For example: I picked a rather high end Intel Core i7-5820K Desktop Processor (6-Cores, 3.3GHz), this can make $0.2791 cents a day at todays prices and difficulty. So if I had a botnet with 1,000,000 CPU’s, I can make $279.1K a day. Again that is 1,000,000 CPUs with 100% dedication to Moreno mining. So pretty lucrative numbers, and I see your point… but a million people that cant seem to understand why their computer is so slow…Human nature is to turn it off, in this case the botnet gets a small fraction of the total power available. Its also common knowledge via honey pots that bonnets do not want to be discovered. Therefore, it is in their best interest to remain undetectable. This points to throttled usage based on the hijacked system user usage, again pointing to low system availability of the botnet. So corporate users are most at risk here since its still common practice to have every computer in the building running at 2AM without a single employee present. However, corporate IT departments are also most likely to monitor for suspicious traffic and detect the botnet in off hours. Any way you look at it, the botnet will have limited use of its resources if it want to remain undetectable.

So 100% utilization of a botnet, with 100% Intel Core i7-5820K processors, represents 47% of network capacity, a scary number. However, the probability if such a botnet existing is low (I could probably put together a proof of that if needed). And, there is not a way to prove or disprove that a botnet has this level of control and its not actually a secret ASIC miner instead.

Again you don’t know that Monero is not being mined today by ASIC’s. This data would be very difficult to data mine / expose. You cant get this level of detail without a deep learning data dive with AI. I’m not saying it cant be done, but its most definitely a research project.

Having said that, I am working with various top level academics in this field (in different area) that would find this line of research interesting. Several have expresses interest in block chain tech. I can potentialy provide introductions.

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I am thinking about an unconventional idea.

We can overcome ASIC once and for all.

The zcash mining software can prove to the pool and
to the zcash network that it is running on a gpu card.

Lets assume that the pool sends to the mining solver a small cuda code and a small equivalent
opencl code (thus covering nvidia and amd cards), the miner software can run the code on the
gpu and return the result in following submit messages to prove that it runs on a gpu.

I can easily implement this idea in my solver
and I am sure that other solver developers can also do it easily.


Also just to be clear, I agree with most others on this thread (just a bit of kissing the my peers behinds). Your credibility is in question since you have done a 180 on ASIC resistance. This is not exactly what you promised Zcash was going to be about, and your promises ultimately got many of us involved. However, I am not willing to place you into the category of vile enemy of humanity just yet. Your questions have merit and I can understand your position on the subject. More discussion is needed.


That would be an absolutely incorrect statement however. ASIC miners dump their gear when its running negative on any coins. Anyone wanna go buy a gridseed? yea I didnt think so. The difficulty spike and successive ASIC iterations make ASIC one of the most wasteful products on the planet with a very, very limited lifespan and huge amounts of E-waste.


Here’s the why I think asic is more centralized average miners like me who support zcash and are here because we believe in what it stands for run our miners not just to make money but when asic take over that’s all that they care about money only big miners and connected people can get their hands on a affordable asic buy the time bitmain sells it the difficulty has skyrocketed and your brand new (used) miner has been running in their farm for months also don’t think for one minute bitmain doesn’t have a kill switch on your miner plus they probably know the location of everyone of those asic they already admitted to being able to track them


This is a genius idea my friend, well said! I wish i had the time to code my own test coin just to test this :slightly_smiling_face:

Very interesting idea. What solver are you using? Could you share some code?

Well, it’s not about supporting/not-supporting China, or any other country. It is about the accessibility of mining activity to the zcash users. ASICs are expensive, and difficult to get for a normal Joe or Jane. However, GPUs are accessible at computer stores, amazon/ebay etc. Therefore, when mining is still done profitably via GPUs, then more and more people can take part in zcash mining. Not only usage/spending would be decentralized, but also the mining of the zcash itself would be decentralized. And up to today, decentralization in every aspect for a cryptocurrency is considered to be good and desirable.


Short term -> decentralisation
Long term -> stability

Now pretend you are zooko (pretend again you are the only one making decisions) and pick one of those.

With ASIC, I don’t think so. ASICs are specialized hardware. They are difficult to purchase and are expensive. If you try to distribute a cryptocurrency using ASIC mining, then only specialized people (companies, or people who can afford) will get the cryptocurrency.

Keep zcash ASIC resistant.

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