The Zcash Foundation has recently announced its efforts in maintaining ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) resistance, which is considered an immediate technical priority to pay attention to. This announcement came in response to Bitmain, a Chinese Mining Hardware Manufacturer’s, claim that it has developed an ASIC miner, which is strongly compatible with the Equihash Mining Algorithm.
— Zcash Foundation (@ZcashFoundation) May 8, 2018
Zcash (ZEC) is a decentralized crypto that claims to offer users complete privacy when involved in transactions. The mining algorithm that has been implemented is that of the Equihash PoW, which apparently has been chosen to prevent the progress of Zcash ASIC miners. The growing concern here is the use of ASICs, which has been controversial for some time, as they are considered the antagonists of decentralized systems.
Also referred to as the Antminer Z9 mini, Bitmain’s first ever Equihash ASIC miner will be shipped early June. According to the claims made, ASICs are far more efficient than miners are and require less power, as they will be powered by GPU chips. Upon shipping to the public, it is believed that Zcash’s mining landscape has no choice but to make changes, as it either must appreciate the presence of ASICs or eliminate its influences on the Zcash Network at once.
The decision on Zcash’s part is hard to make, as keeping ASIC shows acceptance of centralized systems, whereas trying to eliminate them completely is not necessarily that simple. According to executive director, Josh Cincinnati, it is not an easy task to resist ASIC, as new ASICs are likely to form, forcing the Zcash Foundation to revisit the same concerns. Cincinnati quoted the following, “I’m all for a Sisyphean effort now and again, but perhaps there is a better solution – one that subverts the entire ‘ASIC resistance’ debate?”
He believes that the concern under consideration is wrong altogether, and that more emphasis should be placed on the perceived goals of ASIC resistance, mainly, “decentralization, less concentrated PoW, and increased access to the network.”
How do you think Zcash can maintain ASIC resistance?