10 min read
What is Zcash and how does it work?
The idea of Zcash was born in 2013 when developer Zooko Wilcox, concerned about the lack of privacy in Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain, decided to seek a solution to this problem.
Created from a fork of Bitcoin, Zcash, initially called Zerocash Protocol, differs from Bitcoin by being a privacy focused cryptocurrency as its transactions cannot be traced.
Zcash uses an identity masking protocol known as zk-SNARKs, which means that transactions are completely private and anonymous.
The token for Zcash is ZEC and this cryptocurrency, like BTC, has a limited supply of 21 million tokens. So, if you want to know how to mine the ZEC privacy token and if it is profitable, keep reading the complete guide where I will tell you how to mine Zcash step by step.
How to mine Zcash?
As I said in the previous paragraph, Zcash has a limited amount of tokens, which means that, once you reach 21 million ZEC, it will no longer be possible to create new currency.
Unlike Bitcoin, Zcash uses an algorithm called Equihash, which is not compatible with the special mining hardware (ASICs) developed for Bitcoin mining and is more suitable for GPU mining.
Other features that differentiate ZEC mining with BTC mining is that Zcash has a block time of 1.25 minutes (Bitcoin’s are 10 minutes) and produces a block reward of 6.25 ZEC tokens per solved block.
How to Mine Zcash from your PC
If you want to start mining ZEC, you will first have to buy a suitable hardware and software for Zcash mining, to ensure a minimum profit from this activity.
Because of this, below I will explain how to mine Zcash from your computer, how to choose the best hardware and software and whether it is more convenient to mine alone or with a mining group.
Let’s get started!
Hardware for Zcash Mining
As I have already advanced you, to start mining cryptocurrencies from your PC, you need mining hardware that you will use to run the right mining software.
That’s why it’s important to first understand the difference between GPU, CPU and ASIC. I mean 3 types of computational power that you can use when mining a specific crypto.
So, before choosing hardware to mine ZEC, let’s take a look below at the differences between GPU, CPU and ASIC mining of Zcash.
Mining Zcash with CPU
This type of mining uses the power of your computer’s processor (CPU) to mine.
An example of high-performance CPU is the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950x , it has 16 cores and a 32-thread processor and is available at a price of $ 889.99.
Note that, if at the beginning you could mine Zcash with only a CPU, now, due to advances in software, GPUs have a big advantage over CPUs. If you want, you can still use a CPU to mine ZEC, but your ROI (Return on Investment) will be very low.
This is why it is advisable to use, like most miners, GPU equipment.
Mining Zcash with GPU
GPU mining uses graphics cards as there are many ASIC resistant cryptocurrencies, so GPUs are an excellent alternative to ASICs and CPUs.
Among high-performance GPUs we find AMD cards or Nvidia cards which, as far as Equihash algorithm-based mining is concerned, far outperforms AMD cards. It is important that you choose a GPU card with at least 1 GB of RAM.
Among the best rated GPUs for ZEC mining we find the following:
Hash rate: 510 H/s – 620 H/s
Power consumption: 180W – 210W
Price efficiency: 1 $/H – 1.31 $/H
Power efficiency: 0.29 W/H – 0.41 W/H
It is considered the most efficient GPU card for Zcash mining since it has good power and price efficiency.
Gtx 1080 Ti
Hash rate: 700 H / s – 800 H / s
Power consumption: 200 W – 280 W
Price efficiency: 1.125 $ / H – 1.64 $ / H
Power efficiency: 0.25 W / H – 0.4 W / H
The GTX 1080 Ti has the highest power for Equihash mining and good energy efficiency. The only drawback is that it is currently very expensive.
AMD Vega 56/64
Hash rate: 440 H / s – 515 H / s
Power usage: 140 W – 170 W
Price Efficiency: 1.46 $ / H – 2.7 $ / H
Power efficiency: 0.27 W / H – 0.386 W / H
Although, as I said above, AMD cards are not very good for use in the Equihash algorithm, the Vega series offers quite good performance although the quality does not justify the very expensive price.
Mining Zcash with ASICs
As I explained before, the Equihash algorithm used to mine Zcash is resistant to hardware ASICs. However, in 2019 the famous ASIC hardware producer, Bitmain, announced the release of an ASIC for mining the Equihash algorithm, compatible with Zcash.
It is the Antminer Z11, three times more powerful than its predecessor, the Z9 mini.
The Antminer Z11 features a hash power of 135 KSol/s and a 12 nm chip, an approximate power consumption of 1418 W and an energy efficiency of 10.50 J/KSol.
Another ASIC that supports Zcash mining is:
Innosilicon A9 Zmaster
Hash rate: 140 Ksol / s +/- 6%.
Power consumption: 1550 W
Operating temperature: 0 – 45 °C
Main connection: Ethemet
Zcash mining software
Once you have purchased your hardware, you can install Zcash mining software.
There are several types of software that work with different hardware. One of these is Zcash Mining Software.
You can find a complete guide on how to install and use this software on the page readthedocs.io.
The disadvantage of this software is that it only works with CPUs, so if you want to use a computer with a GPU, the Zcash community suggests using the following types:
- Optiminer – Zcash Forum – BitcoinTalk
- Claymore – Zcash Forum – BitcoinTalk
- Genesis SGminer – BitcoinTalk
- EWBF Cuda – Zcash Forum – BitcoinTalk
- Nicehash EQM – (only works with nicehash) Zcash Forum – BitcoinTalk
- NEHQ – Zcash Forum
Mining Zcash alone or in a mining pool?
Zcash Solo Mining
In the past, solo mining (‘solo mining’) was quite profitable for Zcash mining. However, now the hash rate of the network is very high and requires a lot of electricity and expensive hardware. This is why we recommend you to start mining with a mining pool.
You can always choose to mine alone, but keep in mind that to earn a minimum amount of ZEC, you need to have a warehouse full of GPUs and a lot of electricity at your disposal.
Zcash Mining Pool
Mining in a mining pool means that you are grouped with other miners to increase your chances of earning Zcash tokens.
Normally in a mining pool miners pool their computational power to solve the puzzles of a blockchain and earn profits once a block is successfully mined. The advantage is that the profits are distributed among the miners according to the computational power each miner contributed to the Zcash mining.
This means that, if you join with other miners, your chances of winning increase, but your share of the winner decreases.
If you are interested in mining ZEC in a mining pool, here you will find a list of Zcash mining groups that you can join and start your mining activity.
You can also find a complete and updated list on the Poolwatch platform.
How many Zcash can I mine per day?
According to Coinwarz’s Zcash mining calculator, depending on the type of hardware used to mine Zcash, 0.06177302 Zcash can be mined per day with a mining hashrate of 140,000.00 H/s, a block reward of 2.5 ZEC and a difficulty of 59,757,576.60.
After deducting energy costs and mining fees, the final daily profit from Zcash mining is $1.80 in Zcash.
How long does it take to mine 1 Zcash?
Always using the Zcash mining calculator on the www.coinwarz.com platform it would now take 16.2 days to mine 1 Zcash at the current difficulty level along with a mining hashrate of 140,000.00 H/s, consuming 1,550.00 watts of power at $0.10 per kWh, and a block reward of 2.5 ZEC.
Is Zcash mining profitable?
Today, Zcash mining is considered a very profitable practice. However such profitability may vary due to many different factors. This is why I advise you to consult one of the Zcash mining profitability calculators, which provides up to date figures on current prices, block times and hashrate.
By inserting your hardware model, you will be shown the hash and profitability information.
Here is a list of the best ZEC mining profitability calculators:
How to buy Zcash
Finally, if you think that mining Zcash is not too profitable or too complicated, you can always choose another option. If you haven’t done it yet, I remind you that you can buy ZEC and other cryptocurrencies on bitnovo.com or in more than 40 thousand physical stores in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal at the best price in the market and in an easy, fast and safe way.