The First Month of Zcash – A Summary
The first month of a new cryptocurrency is always the most exciting; prices spike, blocks are mined, money is made. The cryptocurrency that made the headlines last month was Zcash – a coin that promised the anonymous transactions Bitcoin could not deliver.
In its first week, Zcash momentarily became the world’s most valuable currency. The limited supply and massive demand caused prices to skyrocket, reaching a record high of 3,299 BTC per ZEC on Poloniex. It also became known as one of the most volatile, bouncing from $1453 USD/ZEC to $95 USD/ZEC in only the second week. It’s since shown some stability, hovering around 0.07 BTC (or $57 USD) per ZEC, as of December 5th.
Meanwhile, various exchanges rushed to add support for Zcash at launch, including ShapeShift and HitBTC, Jaxx – a multi-token blockchain wallet – and TREZOR – a hardware wallet.
It wasn’t all profit and excitement, though – Stefano Quintarelli of the Italian Parliament reported a proposed bill that would ban fully anonymous cryptocurrencies, including Zcash. It remains to be seen how the Italian Parliament will achieve a ban on cryptography (and mathematics) to accomplish this task.
There were a few technical difficulties which were fixed fast: there was a bug which caused private transactions (known as joinsplits) to not be mined; a bug which caused old nodes to follow an invalid chain; and a brief DDOS attack.
And then, there was media frenzy when whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted about the possibility of tax protests, in the wake of the anonymous cryptocurrency; Zooko Wilcox acknowledged it.
New coins emerged. A fork of the Zerocoin protocol, Zclassic, announced a removal of the slow mining start and founders reward. Founder Zooko Wilcox showed his support on the official Zcash forums, approving the fork. A european group of ethical hackers followed up with their own fork, Ebitz. NAVcoin sought to tread down a similar path, promising anonymous transactions that utilized a second Blockchain called ‘the subchain’.
Peter Todd, one of the participants of Zcash’s “Trusted Setup Ceremony”, documented his adventures (Which included a road trip, and a roasted laptop.) – and the meticulous process of ensuring his secret key was destroyed, which included a road trip, and a roasted laptop. The ceremony was deemed ‘security theater’ by some, and a resounding success by others. Morgan Peck, of the IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) reported his observation of the ceremony; other participants were revealed to be Derek Hinch, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Andrew Miller and Zooko Wilcox.
The 20,000th block was mined on the 1st of December, ending the slow start and awarding 12.5 ZEC per block. The Founders Rewards address was revealed; preparations have begun for distributing the rewards, though at the time of writing, no ZEC has been spent.
The Zcash Electric Coin Company launched the “Open Source Miner Challenge”, seeking to bridge the gap between private and public software. Marc Bevand, an ex-Google employee, took first place with his GPU miner, SilentArmy; newcomer xenoncat took first place for the CPU miner with his assembly language implementation. Runner up’s included Tromp; David Jaenson; and Pavel M.
In response, Genesis Mining has been hard at work, optimizing our own private miner to ensure our customers receive the most competitive rates. Since the launch of our Zcash contracts, we’ve upgraded our hashing power six times – with no intention of stopping anytime soon. We’re the leading hashpower provider, after all – and we intend to keep that title.
It’s been an interesting month for miners and investors, and we’re excited to see what waves Zcash, Ebitz, NAVcoin and other anonymous currencies will continue to make in the financial industry – and the world at large.
We’ll keep you posted with news as they emerge!
Today at 09:00 PDT the Zcash Genesis Block was mined by the Zcash team as soon as the blockchain went live, we rolled out the protocol on our mining hardware. So far everything is going smoothly. We’re also happy to confirm for everyone who pre-ordered a 12(+1) month Zcash contract before launch that your mining hardware is directly joining the network as we speak.
The launch of Zcash marks the beginning of a new cryptocurrency era: one of privacy, through zero-knowledge and transactional transparency. We’re working hard to ensure a smooth, seamless experience – while challenges may occur along the way, we’re confident we can ensure they’re resolved with minimal interruption to your mining.
On that note, we want to reiterate that Zcash will have a slow start. This was how Zcash was designed. Let’s take a look at the current mining schedule.
The slow mining start
The slow mining start spans over approximately 34 days, in which the block reward rises gradually from 0 to 12.5 ZEC until it reaches the 20,000th block. This means that on day one, there will be presumably only about 104 ZEC distributed in the global Zcash network.
Consequently, there’s only low supply to trade over the next few weeks so prices will be highly volatile. You can find more detailed information in the official blog post.
Your Zcash mining payouts
You are now able to provide your Zcash address in the Genesis Mining user-dashboard to receive payouts. Please make sure to use “t-addr” (transparent Zcash address), not the “z-addr” (zero-knowledge addresses). If you can’t or don’t want to provide an address in the dashboard yet, we will credit your ZEC balance until you do so. You can check the balance in the “orders” section in your dashboard.
The minimum amount for a ZEC payout is 0.002. If your payout amount is lower than this, coins will be balanced until your balance exceeds this threshold and then paid out in full. Should you use an address of an exchange, please be aware of eventual minimum deposit limits.
We’re trying our best to process the first mining rewards as soon as possible and are optimistic that we’ll already be able to do the first payout of mined ZEC within the next 24 hours. We will follow up with more information shortly.
We have been working hard to improve the efficiency of our Zcash mining algorithm, and we are happy to announce that we are upgrading your hashpower by 30% for the fourth time! After providing three previous upgrades (300%, 200%, 25%); altogether we have upgraded our efficiency for you by almost +1000% with the latest upgrade.
Zcash has had an exciting launch, and we have enjoyed helping all of you start mining from day one. We are continuing to evolve our service to provide you the most efficient mining experience while remaining the most affordable Zcash provider.
Zcash is still in the slow start period, which is free for everyone who got a contract before launch. We will keep you posted on when the transition is occurring with everything you need to know.
We’ve also updated the contract pricing respectively, as this upgrade is free!
Many of you asked for it so we have added our “Genesis Mining Advanced Autotrader” to Zcash mining! This means that you can now mine Zcash and choose to have the mined ZEC (AUTO)-exchanged into BTC or ETH for payout! To choose any of these options, please visit the Mining Allocation page and select Zcash.