Let’s talk about ASIC mining

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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).

Subtle changes - someone mentioned increasing the gpu memory requirement - could invalidate an ASIC while still allowing 4GB+ GPUs to hash. I agree that it takes time and planning, but that’s why we’re talking about it now and smarter people than myself are paying attention to this thread.

Informal Poll:

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I think we need to answer first:

Is there any way to distribute coin fairly and decentralizly with ASIC?

Why would we want to do that? To support a brick developing industry, which produces products strictly created for a single thing.

Not to mention that ASICs limit you to use the exact same algorithm as if you change it - you get an ASIC paperwight.

Why do you think everyone is against ASICs in the first place? If ASICs are so good, why aren’t there coins specifically designed for being mined with ASICs?

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I think the first 8 words of his tweet should show everyone what the Zcash Company’s overall response is going to be to keeping Zcash ASIC resistant…



Keeping one’s word can be a tough burden…this is what separates the wheat from the chaff!


This is completely misleading community and put pressure on developers as community request! What is the point of poll such things (ASIC is GOOD/BAD for ZCASH) ?
ASIC is there and there is no way to avoid by changing algorithm.
Of course ASIC is not good for zcash, but how we want to avoid? by change algorithm every 6 months? Is it GOOD for zcash?

@lordfeo You are assuming that all users feel that ASICs are automatically bad for a coin which is not the case. The poll is to see what % think they’re a problem and what % do not. At the end of the day it’s a simple Twitter poll which means little.

I can’t see any big benefit of ASIC in crypto space. btw I’m not agree with changing algorithm time to time. I request community to talk more about PoS even in a new topic.
I believe we can find a good solution.