Zcash Mining Guide
Zcash Mining Guide

Zcash Mining Guide

By Fabio Lugano - 22 Jul 2018

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Zcash Mining Guide: the reasons and advantages of devoting yourself to this crypto, the list of the main pools and the possible economic return.

Zcash is a cryptocurrency known for offering a high level of anonymity.

The crypto uses the zksnarks system to ensure that essential transaction information is accurately encoded.

The algorithm at the base of Zcash is called Equinash, Proof Of Work, but with an encoding called Asymmetric memory hard that creates a bottleneck at the RAM level designed to avoid the development of ASIC machines, ie with integrated circuits created ad hoc to solve this type of problems.

Crypto communities do not like ASIC machines because, although efficient, they are specifically dedicated to mining and therefore lead to a progressive centralization of the token itself.

Thus, traditionally, the preferred machines for creating this currency have been GPUs/CPUs.

What are the reasons for dedicating oneself to Zcash mining?

There are some good reasons for this:

  • Zcash mining can enable the financing of more complex machines and hardware;
  • Zcash is easily tradable in many markets;
  • It is a simple way to enter the Zcash market in a more convenient and less risky way than buying on the market, often extremely volatile;
  • Although it has been very volatile, its capitalisation exceeds 600 million euro and its value is nevertheless significant.

The essential steps to be able to perform the mining of Zcash are:

  • A suitable machine;
  • Download and set the relevant software;
  • Join a pool if necessary.

Zcash mining is very widespread and popular because it can be performed with a variety of processors, from AMD to Nvidia, although the former is more profitable for Ethereum.

In general, the most common software for the various hardware, are:

To facilitate mining activities it is also useful to join a mining pool, a choice that allows you to combine computational skills to increase the chances of mining a block, in exchange for a small percentage of what is obtained.

For Zcash the main pools are:

  • Nanopool (commission 1%);
  • Flypool, (commission 1%, minimum payment 0.001 Zcash);
  • Dwarfpool (0,01 Zcash of minimum commission).

Joining a mining pool can increase the chances, but at the same time it can also increase overall energy consumption, so be careful.

The entire process of downloading the software and setting it up can be done in just over twenty minutes.

There is no need to download the entire blockchain and the mining result can be saved directly to a wallet or even to an exchange.

A complete Zcash mining guide can be found on Github, ZEC produces one block every 2.5 minutes and each block has a prize consisting of 10 coins.

Recently there has been a growth of hashrates in Zcash, i.e. power applied to mining (from Bitinfocharts):

Naturally, this has led to a parallel increase in difficulty, so that the performance of mining, with the same machinery used, has been very reduced over the last four months.

Of course, the economic return could drop much faster than you are led to think.

In general, a good suggestion is to rely on online websites such as whattomine, which estimate the expected return on your investment, also considering the energy cost.

To conclude, although Zcash was born resistant to ASICs, Bitmain managed to overcome these difficulties and managed to produce an ASIC; the S9 Mini, capable of mining ZECs.

This has brought a heated discussion within the community, but it seems that the orientation is no longer so rigid against dedicated hardware so we could see a growth of this type of machines in the future.

Fabio Lugano

Graduated with honors from Bocconi University, Fabio is a consultant for companies and wounded shareholders of the Banche Venete. He is also the author of "Scenari Economici", and lecturer and analyst of cryptocurrencies since 2016.

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