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    Dennis Y.

    Minefield: Zcash Mining Fundamentals

    CoinJoy Zcash Mining

    In the next article in this series on mining, we talk about Zcash mining: pools, solo, GPUs, CPUs, rigs, profitability, and calculators. Let's find out what it is and is it worth it to mine.

    What is Zcash

    Zcash appeared in 2016 as an alternative to Bitcoin. The feature of this system is the complete secrecy of transactions. Technologically, Zcash is based on the Bitcoin code and utilizes the same principles as BTC.

    Zcash token (ticker ZEC) was previously known as Zerocoin. As of this writing, the ZEC token has a price of $139 and a market cap of $1.7 million (by CoinMarketCap).

    Zcash has been using the PoW algorithm since its launch. Now the company is reconsidering its approach and sees significant advantages in PoS. Zuko Wilcox, head of Electric Coin Company (ECC), which launched the cryptocurrency Zcash, announced this recently.

    What's the best way to mine Zcash?

    Zcash runs on the Equihash algorithm. Moreover, for mining, you can use a video card and a processor at the same time. For most cryptocurrencies this is useless, but for Equihash-based coins, this method is often profitable.

    Mining Zcash on a CPU

    These processors have usually used for mining this cryptocurrency:

    • IntelCore i5, i7, and above
    • AMD FX8350 8 cores and above.

    The main advantages of CPUs over GPUs are that they cost less and consume less electricity. But they give a poor hash rate — 20-40 h/s on average. Therefore, the use of CPUs does not actually generate much profit.

    Mining Zcash on a video card

    Video cards could be considered as the best devices for mining Zcash, but the calculations should be based on the current exchange rate of the coin. There are plenty of calculators available (see the relevant section of this guide). These calculators provide the simplest way to estimate the Zcash mining GPU comparison and to choose the optimal Zcash mining rig build.

    NVIDIA or AMD video cards are usually used for Zcash mining. There is an opinion that NVIDIA video cards are better for Zcash mining.

    To increase the results, it is suggested to use several video cards combined into a mining farm.

    Even GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1070 look optimal in terms of kilowatts consumed. Mining capacities are enough to make some profit from old video cards, which are not suitable for more advanced coins.

    Zcash mining profitability calculator

    According to BitInfoCharts, at the date of writing, the profitability is 0.0977 USD/Day for 1 KHash/s.

    Zcash Mining

    It is better to use the latest generation video card: NVIDIA GTX 1050/1060/1070/1080 Ti; AMD RX 470/480/570/580/Vega.

    To estimate how much mining will give you, go to the resource WhatToMine. In the appropriate field enter the number of your video cards (for example, one GTX 1080 Ti card), choose the suitable algorithms (Ethash or Equihash), and press the button to get the result. 

    As you can see using this calculator, mining Zcash with GTX 1070 shows quite positive results compared to other graphics cards. The same goes for Zcash mining with GTX 1080.

    Alternative calculators are 2cryptocalc.com, CoinWarz, etc.

    Is it possible to mine Zcash on an ASIC?

    Equihash is more resistant to ASICs — which makes it possible for ordinary people to mine and ensures that the blockchain remains decentralized on all fronts. But in general, ZEC can be mined via ASICs such as Antminer or Innosilicon.

    It is generally accepted that solo mining is not a good idea. Better to join a pool.

    Zcash mining pools

    Reviews say you can choose any pool you are interested in, they are officially listed in the official guide with links to the Poolwatch. At the moment, the top pools are ViaPool, Nanopool, Antpool, Flypool, and Poolin. These are the easiest and most user-friendly pools for people who don't know how to set up a miner through the console.

    Mining Zcash with ethOS

    Not everyone knows, but there are operating systems specifically designed for mining. For example, ethOS is a Linux miner build specifically crafted for GPU Rigs to mine Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, etc. Starting Price: $39. This is a tool for pros, as installation and setup for regular users are quite complicated.

    Zcash cloud mining: contract or refusal?

    Mining rigs can be contracted out using a cloud mining service. No software configuration is even required. You can monitor the work of the remote computing power directly on the website of the service, or through the special mobile applications in App Store and Google Play. But it is important to remind: there are many fraudulent projects in this area: malicious Android applications for cloud cryptocurrency mining and so on.

    Be especially careful with offers of Zcash free cloud mining.

    Bottom line

    Zcash can be mined at home using a CPU or a video card. But before you start, assess your capabilities and hardware. At the current price of this cryptocurrency and the currently estimated profitability, it might not be profitable to mine it. Perhaps the situation will change in the perspective, as Zcash has some potential. Which exactly? We'll find out in the future.

    The content of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. We ask you to do your research.