Zcash is another popular cryptocurrency which makes use of zk-snarks. This is done to make sure that the information about user transaction is encrypted safely. Miners can still verify the transactions in order to ensure that there is no instance of double spending. This cryptocurrency makes use of a hash algorithm called Equihash and this is an asymmetric Proof of Work algorithm. It needs high RAM in order to bottleneck generation of proofs. Not every miner will have access to powerful computers or the time and patience to independently mine the Zcash currency. There is also no GUI or Graphic User Interface Miner available as yet. But it is possible to do Zcash mining using the CPU or GPU on Windows. You can use the Nicehash miner for mining using CPU and the Claymore miner for the GPU. Alternately, you may even resort to cloud mining contracts with reputed names like Genesis Mining or HashFlare.
How to do Zcash Mining
When you want to do Zcash mining, you will need a wallet for storing the funds. You can get multiple GUI wallets online and compare these before choosing any one. You may refer to online guides to install these on Linux. Next, you will require a mining pool where you can direct your hash power. Here also, it is possible to compare multiple Zcash mining pools before selecting one. With both the wallet and mining pool in place, you are all set to mine Zcash.
How to mine Zcash using the CPU and GPU
It is recommended that you use the Nicehash miner for mining Zcash with a CPU. This miner can work equally well for both GPU and CPU. But it is advisable to use different miners for both to get the best results. The Claymore miner performs faster but it will work for the GPU. The Nicehash miner has two versions; one where you are paid in Bitcoins and the other where you get directly paid in Zcash. For the GPU mining, the Claymore miner is recommended. It is well reputed and can improve hash rate considerably. The genoil miner will work best for pool mining as well as AMD cards. It also charges developer fees but guarantees superior performance.
How Zcash blockchain is distinct from Bitcoin blockchain
Zcash mining uses a distinct algorithm which explains the difference with Bitcoin. It is therefore incompatible with the ASICs that have been developed for the purpose of mining Bitcoin. The Zcash mining algorithm is called Equihash and is a memory-intensive algorithm. It is best suited for mining using GPUs. Zcash is also different from the Bitcoin because it has a built-in privacy feature in the form of zk-snarks. This is designed to make this one of the best privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies in the market, comparable to the Monero and Dash. Zcash has a block time of 2.5 minutes in comparison to 10 minutes for the Bitcoin. It also produces rewards to the tune of 10 coins for every solved block.
Once you have understood the workings of the Zcash blockchain, you need to understand how to determine the Zcash mining profitability. You can take the help of online calculators to get updated figures about the current rates, network hash rates, block times etc. You can plug in the card and choose your model number to see the hardware hash rates and profitability information. When you have tried out different mining profitability calculations with multiple GPU selections, you can get the cost-power-performance combination. While the AMD cards may outperform Nvidia as far as mining Ether goes, it is not true for Zcash. Ideally, the card must have a minimum of 1GB memory for mining to run optimally. The Nvidia 1060 with 6GB RAM is extensively used for Zcash mining.
When you have chosen your mining hardware, you need a wallet address for Zcash mining. You can go the official site for Zcash and download Zcash client. You may even use hardware wallets like Trezor or mine directly to the exchanges. Zcash can also be mined by joining a mining pool. Solo mining is not very profitable unless you have an entire warehouse of GPUs. So, it is better to select a reputed mining pool. You can choose from multiple options in the market.
When you have joined a pool, you need software which will be compatible with your computer version. When you have accumulated some coins and you want to withdraw this, you need to click on the option “wallet” and then select “cash out”. But, you must verify the wallet address and amount first. Then the amount gets transferred to your digital wallet.
Zcash mining is unique in a way. Although it may be like the Bitcoin in the sense that there are caps on the total number of coins at 21 million, 10% of the amount mined is given to its founders, investors, employees and advisors. At the start, the protocol will generate 50 ZEC after every 10 minutes and 20% of this goes to founders. The remainder is given to miners. Many factors are responsible for its price volatility. While this cryptocurrency witnessed strong demands just after release, soon its demands fell. Moreover, the zk-snarks have not really been subjected to testing which is also why many platforms have still not adapted it. So, for the time being, its value remains purely speculative. In the future, the prices will be determined by demand and supply.