Zcash Alpha Release: Mining Slow Start

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Today Zcash released a update to the Zcash public alpha test-net. This new update includes the new Mining Slow Start which will limit the block rewards for the first 5000 blocks thereby allowing miners who join late to have a fair chance of getting a block reward.

Also I am happy to report that this new release has fixed the 100% CPU consumption bug  that was slowing my miner down significantly. This new version also includes a more optimized version of Equihash that greatly reduces its solve time.

Be sure to update ASAP because this update (as with most updates in the Alpha) breaks compatibility with the old test-net.

Official blog post below:

Taylor Hornby, Sean Bowe | Jun 01, 2016

Today, we deployed a new alpha release of theZcash reference implementation, v0.11.2.z4, to the testnet. The new release includes the following changes [1]:

  1. We implemented a mining slow start to slowly ramp up the controlled currency supply after launch. (#762).
  2. We enabled binary serialization (#954) and multicore zkSNARK computation in libsnark (#957) which provide performance improvements visible on our newperformance tracker.
  3. We added cryptographic binding of transactions using Ed25519 (#976).
  4. We optimized the memory usage of our implementation of the Equihash proof of work (#921). The differences in running time and memory usage between the unoptimized and optimized versions are visualized in this chart.

With mining slow start, the block reward linearly ramps up over a period of 5000 blocks before reaching its maximum value. This limits the effect of the “race to start”, by providing a window after production launch during which the reward is low. Miners surprised by the launch will only be missing out on the low-value early blocks. Mining slow start was suggested by Jack Gavigan, one of our advisors.

As with our previous alpha releases, this resets our testnet, invalidating all previous coins and breaking backwards compatibility. To get connected to the new testnet, follow the instructions on the Public Alpha Guide.

Source: Zcash