Let's talk about possible solutions to ASIC Anxiety

Please stop personal attacks for a moment and negotiate, give your solutions.

I think possible solutions are:

  • Fork and keep Zcash asic resistance again (change algorithm or parameters regularly).
  • Fork to 2 blockchains ASIC/ASIC-resistance, both supported by original team.
  • 2 mining algorithms for ASIC and GUP to reward both 50-50 or whatever in one chaine.
  • Do nothing

What do you think? Is there any other way? Advantages/Disadvantages?


Solutions to ASIC anxiety: Make a statement on which direction Zcash will go…Problem solved.

Your stated solutions based on comments made in forums and Zooko:

  1. Fork and keep original promise on ASIC resistance (What is expected)
  2. Fork to two separate block chains support by the same team (so…reward ZcashCo with two different founders rewards for not keeping the original promise?)
  3. Two algo’s same coin, 50-50 split. So let the ASIC in, and only let them partially take over. I read this solution as Darth Vadar for some reason…pray I don’t alter the terms further. They still don’t keep to the original intent, so what assurance does anyone have they won’t just scrap it completely anyways at that point?
  4. Continue doing what we are already doing…which does nothing for anxiety…but does volumes for anger, panic, and stress level(s). They go UP further.

I see no reason to debate this at all, especially now as links to original post (before they were changed) have come to light and can be proven. The intent was clear, the promise was clear. This is either going to be a case of keeping the agreement made with your community, or a case of a team very clearly breaking it’s commitment to said community. It’s a matter of ethics and integrity now. Will the rest of ZcashCo and Zcash Foundation allow Zooko to flush the community, the good will between community and developer, all because he believe his beliefs are the only thing that seems to matter? Once you cross that line, you can not undo it, and it will follow you in everything else you do. That’s just reality folks. I’ve heard the argument that it was never intended to sound that way, and evidence that clearly shows the team asserting that it is/was. The problem I have with all this is nobody cared to correct this for the last 1.5 years…and then they did, and altered posts without explanation a day later. That is not transparency, that is not ethical, and yes it is starting to create a quite visible trust issue between community and developer.


So you satisfy with solo fork, means change algorithm or parameters.
what do you expect from bitmain with next algorithm? do they nothing or they make new ASIC asap and keep them behind scene? keep in mind they already made equihash algorithm ASIC, so not much hard if we just change algorithm parameters.
I’m sure Zooko will read opinions and he will consider if they are rational.

They (Bitmain) will feel the pain of gambling. It is not very often a coin opposes their invasion of the space, they are not really use to losing. They will probably try again, and again, until the they realize it is cost prohibitive and they can’t force their way into a space they are not welcome. Then they will either move on to the next target, or silently build an ASIC and mine away themselves (which they have done before). I think Monero has the right answer for now, periodically Fork to knock even the silent ones off, make it clear they will not be allowed to force out th. There may come a day where Bitmain isn’t the company to deal with, a day where ASICs have a healthy competition and access is ubiquitous like CPU and GPU, but that day is not today. Until that day comes it is in every coins interest that is not open to ASIC from the start to keep Bitmain in check. Otherwise they will get to watch Bitmain dominate and overtake them whether they like it or not.

Another edit, saw another point you made:
They made Equihash in it’s current configuration ASIC, which was pointed out long ago to be sub-optimal. Change this to be more optimal IE use more memory if necessary if that alone will kill them off, or fork to another algo if that is what is needed. X16R is pretty darn ASIC resistant currently, and apparently energy efficient based on posts I’ve read, both are postives. But my understanding thus far is simply tweaking the algo settings would be enough to effectively brick their existing miner at this point. That’s the immediate goal, make the uninvited guest unwelcome.


First off, I think Bitmain was already mining with those ASICs for some time and I don’t think there is any (financial) risk for them at the moment. The important point here in my opinion is, certain mining pools had the chance to %51 attack (or %33 is enough if you look at selfish mining) the Zcash chain due to the hash power centralization. I think that ASICs may help to prevent such a scenario and lessen the power of big pools. Is it the choice of lesser evil or are you people trust to mining pools?

Disclaimer: I own significant amount of GPUs and all are mining Zcash

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Short term, you might be right. Long term, it will just pool back up but even more so on what I would expect the default pool for the Z9 which I would guess would be Antpool. 75% of all bitcoins are mined in China, Bitmain controls 30% of bitcoin hash power “personally” in their mining farms. Over time, the same gravitation will occur with every coin Bitmain invades. Centralized in China, and Bitmain will control a huge stake of it.

Do nothing.

Let the competition grow.

Your first statement, and your second statement don’t agree with each other. Look at Bitcoin, look at Dash, Look at Litecoin. Where is the competition? Between miners? That was never a problem before…but it is increasingly becoming one. Time will tell how right/wrong I actually end up being of course. But I expect things to play out to mimic exactly what happened/is happening in Bitcoin. All the hash power will gravitate to China and coalesce around Bitmain. Yes there are other players, but they will be the fringe of it in the end, the majority will gravitate closer and closer to the source of the market monopoly ASIC. Like matter to a black hole.

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But if there is a working ASIC and Bitmain is the sole owner, isn’t this already over (hashpower concentration) according to your line of thinking

In any case this is the solution discussion, I stop polluting this thread.

I would be fall down surprised if Bitmain hasn’t had these miners on the network themselves for months. It won’t be instant if allowed to officially exist, but each new wave of production will dramatically raise the difficultly forcing out a larger and larger segment of the existing mining hash power. The device will literally supplant everything else and Bitmain will have control of it all at that point, there would be no going back. Everyone would be forced to either try to compete as is, buy their product to try to compete, or be forced out. In the end only the most efficient of mining farms would be able to survive and turn a profit, and they will be massive in size for the most part, concentrating all the hash power in a handful of easily targeted locations…not exactly ideal for decentralization.


If Zcash forks , Bitmain can still back the original chain amd play foul ! Amd to be honest all these guys who are buying Z9 (now upto 50 per user) will favour mining the coin that don’t make their ASICs obsolete.

GPU mining is centralised as well. Its just an illusion. And above all I don’t think GPU miners are devoted towards one coin in this case Zcash cause if they were they wont mind ASICs cause ASICs make the network strong. They want algo change cause they like the flexibility amd will jump coin to coin if and when current becomes u profitable , not giving 2 damns about Zcash.

Hate me as much as you want. Bit this is the truth.

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Long run, I think PoS will probably end up winning. That alone helps, since that will probably come a lot sooner than we think (2-3 years). The ASICs will definitely stop most of the GPU miners from mining Zcash, it would be better to mine something else and buy zcash at that point. That all said, as a miner, if you do enjoy supporting the network, just take the plunge on the next iteration of chips, and then its probably PoS after that. Early ASICs can be extremely profitable, especially before saturation. I agree that bitmain is a problem, and they will definitely have an advantage when PoS comes into play, but I dont think it’s going to destroy anything since it’s in everyone’s best interest to stay honest. That all said, I definitely wish that the ASICs didnt get built for equihash. You could sort of see it coming though with the Blake2b ASICs.

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Zooko already mentioned a possible problem with masternodes.

I’m not sure that’s how masternodes works, I made some research but didn’t find anything.


I think his point is valid, but I think it will also be addressed in the next few years. It’s in the interest of the masternode to secure their own network, since any attack to their network would affect their profitability. That all said, it’s not a perfect world and we see breaches happening all the time, so that definitely is an issue that needs to be addressed before it could be 100% safely implemented. However, as long as the majority of them are secure (let’s say 63% for good measure) I think everything would be okay. I dont believe masternodes will replace highly distributed mining for cloud and the need for distributed processing power, but even if they were, I guess you could look at them as system regulated banks, since they would have to keep their network secure to maintain masternode status and trust. If you look at Waves as an example, you can lease your holdings to a masternode and gain mining rewards that way. I think the potential problem with masternodes is ensuring they dont gouge those that lease or stake their coins, and then security, scalability, etc. (Since they would need to keep hardware up to date. That’s just my opinion on the matter. People like Vitalik, who are a lot smarter than I am, are probably attempting to figure those things out as well.

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Going to tackle this like a list with counter points:

  1. Bitmain could keep on the original chain if zcash forked…true, but it wouldn’t be Zcash. Zcash is a trademark and they don’t own it. They also don’t have the development team, unless they “chose” to support it.

  2. GPU mining is centralized around pools, but not around a single company, in a single country. ASIC miners can, and a percentage will mine any equihash coin with the Z9 it will support to maximize profits. It’s no different than with GPU’s just different hardware. The same folks centralizing on Flypool could buy Z9’s and do the same exact thing, or sell the hash power to NiceHash. Same thing that happens now…so yeah, nothing really changes.

  3. Enough with the GPU miners are EVIL and bad. The only thing that changes is the hardware, you can still coin jump to any Equihash coin that doesn’t fork it off, and you can still sell your hash power to a cloud mining service. So no GPU miners are not any more evil than the ASIC miners.

I don’t hate you, and I believe you think that was the truth, from a very constrained point of view.


GPU technology is more accessible technology that sustains a larger availability than bitmain can compete with. For mass adoption I am in a catch 22 here seeing as we will need way more efficient hashrate to supple the demand for a global economy.


Why would we need more hashrate?
I may be missing something here, but isn’t most of the network hashrate wasted at the moment?

If the difficulty was halved, the block time halved and the reward halved couldn’t we process twice as many transactions as we do now in the same amount of time with the same hashrate for the same mining reward and same electricity cost?

Is there anything that technically prevents this?

I think what he may be driving at is more efficient as in using less energy, less waste heat, etc. Don’t focus on hashrate, it really doesn’t matter how much you have, difficulty will adjust to keep block emission as constant as possible, and the theoretical max on number of Txs per block doesn’t really change from my understanding other than the ratio of Z versus T transactions as Z transactions are larger (someone check me on that part please).


I think master nodes and current POW schemes are a mistake, they are simple algorithms easily projected out into specific processing blocks in a ASIC processor with custom memory architecture interface. What I think is needed is to create a POW scheme where the “tera flops” of current GPU hardware are exercised in generation of POW block; no ASIC would be able to compete with this in current and future GPU’s due to Nvidia, AMD e.t.c manufacturing prowess in flops/watt and …most people here don’t seem to understand computing processor architecture and area & power optimization. I think a processor architect should be added to ZcashCo team from AMD, Nvidia and Intel to help develop next generation POW to leverage these computing resources or you are just wasting your time as all current and future POW schemes based on algorithms to be “memory bound” or “input and output bound” are susceptible to ASIC’s; instead focus on “flops/watt” achievable in the complex graphics processing pipeline of GPU’s (exercise all available computing units) which will level the playing field now and into the future.

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