The Rising Monopoly Of Asics In The Zcash Blockchain Network
Despite the high-risk and volatile nature of cryptocurrency assets, many people are still investing in this sector, particularly the mining niche. Currently, the Zcash network is experiencing a massive influx of ASICs, with the dedicated mining rigs taking up a sizable chunk of the blockchain’s mining pool. As per Forklog, the figure presently stands at 40% of the entire network.
Last month, Bitmain, the company behind the manufacturing of ASICs, launched a new product known as the Antminer Z9 Mini. The device’s primary target was several blockchains, including the most prominent such as Bitcoin Gold and Zcash. The Antminer Z9 Mini operates of the Equihash mining technique.
Shortly after the inauguration of the Z9 Mini, Forklog, a reputable Russian digital currency journal, reported that ASICs are currently dominating the hashing power of many cryptocurrency mining pools, especially on the Zcash blockchain. Specifically, the article noted that there had been a rapid increase in the number of blocks extracted by ASIC miners on the Zcash network over the past two weeks.
The numbers are fast approaching the 40% mark, which is well over the share owned by Flypool, the largest mining pool on the Zcash network. Furthermore, the publication speculates that this unforeseen incident may necessitate the conduction of redistribution of hashing power in favor of the ASICs.
As expected, Flypool will not relinquish its dominance to ASIC miners without opposition. Nonetheless, ASICs are vastly superior to their competitors and are therefore likely to win this fierce battle. A similar incident occurred previously and adversely impacted other Equihash digital currencies, namely Bitcoin Gold and ZenCash. Among the most severe implications of ASIC miner domination is double-spending, a factor that enables attackers to make illicit profits off a blockchain network.
For instance, the ZenCash network lost a whopping $360,000 to double-spending, with the hackers investing a paltry $7,000 to facilitate the process of manipulating the vulnerable distributed ledger.
Apparently, Bitmain is yet to sanction the mass release of ASIC miners into the Zcash mining pool. The reluctance to launch these devices is a result of the ongoing negotiations between Bitmain and Zcash developers regarding the provision of the blockchain's consensus algorithm. As of now, no precedent supports the allegation that Bitmain will initiate a massive attack on a single blockchain network. Nevertheless, the constant attacks on Equihash blockchains are somewhat irritant and disturbing.