Bitcoin, which was the first cryptocurrency, started off a revolution in the digital economy.
Here, we will take a detailed look at how to mine ZCash. However, before we go deeper into that, here’s a quick look at what ZCash is and how it came around:
Before you head into the details of ZCash mining, it is essential to know what the currency is all about. It is a rather recent cryptocurrency as it is just one year old in the markets. In this one year, ZCash has managed to impress millions of users from around the world. ZCash has the backing of many major investors such as Pantera Capital and is hence considered a legitimate heavyweight in the markets.
ZCash is popularly known in the world of cryptocurrencies as ZEC. ZCash was created after observations of the Zerocoin Electronic Coin Company. The company developed the Zerocoin cryptographic protocol back in 2013 and 2014, and based on those learnings and observations, came out with the ZCash cryptocurrency.
The creation of ZCash took in a lot of effort and brainstorming from some of the top names in the world of cryptography. Cryptographers from MIT, Tel Aviv University and The Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) came together to create this coin. This in itself is a strong testament of its technological superiority compared to many other altcoins.
What makes ZCash really special and unique is the fact that it focuses much more on privacy compared to most other altcoins. ZCash functions on zero-knowledge proof constructions called zk-SNARKs. Thanks to this, two users can exchange information (transfer currency) without having their identity revealed.
This privacy, again, comes because of the original Zerocoin protocol mentioned above. How the Zerocoin protocol functions are that it first converts the original currency into zerocoins, transfers it, and converts the transferred zerocoins back to the original currency. This conceals a lot of information about where the payment came from and who sent it, as well as where it is going and who is receiving it.
Let us now take a detailed look at how to mine ZCash:
Mining for ZCash is one of the simplest and easiest mining processes as compared to other cryptocurrencies. Users mining for ZCash does not need to download the entire blockchain or need much of technical know-how as well. However, it is essential to know what the coin stands for before investing in it or mining for it. Setting up the mining for ZCash is so easy that everything can be assembled and mining can begin in about 20 to 30 minutes.
First off, let us make this clear that mining for ZCash is slightly different than mining for Bitcoins. When it comes to mining Bitcoins, it can be done with the help of ASIC devices. However, the Equihash algorithm that powers ZCash does not allow that and users cannot make use of ASIC miners to mine ZCash. Hence, GPU mining is the most prominent way for mining ZCash.
Here’s a list of four things that you need when it comes to mining for ZCash:
ZCash Mining Hardware
ZCash Mining Software (EWBF Miner)
ZCash Mining Pools
Let us take a detailed look at each of them:
Mining for ZCash can be done with the help of GPUs. There are a number of cryptocurrencies which can be mined with the help of GPUs. However, unlike Ethereum where AMD GPUs tend to mine better than Nvidia GPUs, in case of ZCash, Nvidia tends to be a better performer. This is because Ethereum is based on the EthashAlgo while the algorithm that powers ZCash is the Equihash algorithm.
As opposed to mining for Ethereum where you would require 3GB of RAM on the GPUs, mining for ZCash can be made possible even when you have 1GB Graphic Cards. However, one must make sure they are using newer graphic cards as the older ones may not be profitable.
Here’s a list of some of the best GPUs for mining ZCash:
Nvidia GTX 1060 Series
Nvidia GTX 1070 Series
Nvidia GTX 1080 Series
AMD RX 470
AMD RX 480
AMD RX 570
AMD RX 580
AMD R9 Series
AMD HD 7990
AMD HD 7950
For the best results, we would strongly recommend getting a 6GB Nvidia 1060 card. After you buy your graphic cards, make sure you install the appropriate drivers on your PC.
A basic requirement before mining any cryptocurrency is setting up your wallet. If you compare cryptocurrencies to the real-life equivalent of money, cryptocurrency wallets are the real-life equivalent of bank accounts. People with your wallet address can send you money.
Wallets give you a public address and a private key. The public address is like the account number which you give to people when you want to be paid. The private key is to be kept solely with you and is the password to log into your account. There are many different kinds of wallets - these are classified on the basis of how they store your keys.
For a detailed insight into this, check out our chapter on different kinds of cryptocurrency wallets
When it comers to ZCash wallets, we would strongly recommend the users to go for a hardware wallet as they tend to be the safest. The best options for hardware wallets are: TREZOR and Ledger Nano S.
For a detailed insight into this, check out our chapter into hardware cryptocurrency wallets
The EWBF Miner is the best software when it comes to mining for ZCash. It can be downloaded from here. Before you download the zip file, make sure you’re downloading the most recent version of the miner. After download it, extract it. Sometimes, windows might show you a warning before you download it, but it is best to ignore it if you want to mine ZCash.
Before you begin working on the actual mining process, some windows settings need to be adjusted too.
Make sure your PC does not go to sleep.
Set your page file limit to 16 GB. (Right Click on ‘This PC’ > Properties > Advanced System Settings > Advanced > Settings (under performance). Here, click ‘change’ under virtual memory. Over there, choose custom size and enter 16384
You can also disable windows updates as sometimes they force you to restart your PC.
Add an exclusion to the EWBF program and the folder in your antivirus software if you are running one.
You can use our ZCash Mining Calculator to calculate profitability.
The fourth and final step when it comes to mining for ZCash is joining a mining pool. By now you have purchased and assembled the hardware, set up the EWBF Mining software and have set up a wallet address where you would get your ZCash at. However, the thing about mining is, that if you are mining alone, it requires a heavy investment.
Hence, it is the best idea to pool in your resources along with other miners who are mining for ZCash and mine together. Mining Pools do exactly that. Rewards are distributed based on the amount of resources you’ve put in. There are some mining pools which support mining for ZCash, but we believe Flypool is the best when it comes to ZCash.
Set up your mining pool and provide your wallet address in this pool. This would fetch you periodic rewards based on the effort you put in.
This is how you mine for ZCash!