Mining is at the Core of the Zcash network. Put simply, Zcashs network of computers around the world mine to find blocks while simultaneously validating transactions and securing the network. For this work a miner can receive Zcash (ZEC) in return for their computers efforts. (this is a very-very basic definition of mining, for a more detailed of what mining is and how it works read this article on coinbase or watch this video)
So as an alternative to simply signing up to an exchange and buying Zcash directly many people wish to support the Zcash network by mining with their own computer at home. For many people building a computer, messing with the code, etc.. can be a very fun and enjoyable hobby. If this sounds like fun to you, read on.
To make things easier to find I have divided this mining topic into
If you are just getting started with Zcash you will want to know a few Mining facts
- Amount of Coins: Zcash is going to follow a model like Bitcoin in that there will be a total of 21 Million coins issued. It is impossible to know how long it will take to mine all 21M coins due to future advances in computer technology and algorithmic difficulty adjustments that will be made by the Zcash team.
- Proof of Work: The Proof of Work (POW) algorithm for Zcash is Equihash. Equihash is a memory hard algorithm based off of the Generalized Birthday Problem. Equihash is designed to be resistant to specialized hardware like ASIC’s. The Zcash team is not opposed to adjusting or even completely changing this POW depending on how the network is operating.
- Block Rewards: The Block Rewards will issue a total of 50 Zcash (ZEC) every 10 mins. The block spacing is 2.5 mins, so each block produces 12.5 ZEC. 10% of all coins mined will go to the Founders Reward.
- Block Reward Halving: Every 4 years the Block Reward will be subject to Halving just like Bitcoin.
- Founders Reward: The Zcash team has implemented a Founders Reward for the developers who built Zcash, to support ongoing development and to start a non-profit organization in the form of ZEC issued back to the team. This means that for the first 4 years the Block Rewards will be issued as 80% to the Miners and 20% to the Zcash team. After the first 4 years 100% of the rewards will go to the miners. It should also be noted that Miners will always keep 100% of the transaction fees.
Now that you know what you are getting into, head over to the Hardware page to learn more about what kind of computers will work for mining Zcash!