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Time to Move On From ZCash? – Bitmain Announced the New Antminer Z9 – Review


Lately, Bitmain has been on a streak of making ASICs for ASIC-resistant coins. Ethereum has fell victim first and now it’s time for ZCash and other Equihash-based coins to become ASIC-only. Just like Ethash, Equihash is very memory-intensive and apparently the new ASIC has a lot in common with the Ethereum one.

According to their official page, Bitmain now sells the Antminer Z9 Mini – an Equihash miner that outperforms existing GPUs about 20-30 times while having the same power draw.

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Priced at $2,000 USD, the miner should be shipped 20th June 2018. As for now, there is a limit of one unit per customer. The miner is quite small, it consumes 300W and outputs 10.000 sol/s. According to Bitmain, “These are the conservative estimates. We expect the miners to deliver higher performance and efficiency when they are ready to ship.”

They accept BCH (Bitcoin Cash), BTC (Bitcoin) and LTC (Litecoin) as payment. Besides ZCash, The new Z9 Mini can mine ZenCash, Hush, Zclassic, BitcoingGold and Komodo, among others.

Important Questions

– Will there be a hard fork for ZCash?

The community hasn’t received this news with a lot of enthusiasm, to say the least. In fact, there are initiatives to perform a PoW change. If you are a coder, you might be interested in the GitHub thread.

Many people from the mining community have lost their faith in ZCash after the main developer said that he is not certain whether ZCash should do anything about the new ASIC. They felt betrayed and I see why. While the hard fork might not happen, I see a lot of people moving on from ZCash in the near future.

– Will this ASIC kill GPU mining?

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Besides the same talks on whether ASICs are bad for centralization, people on the forums and reddit are trying to realize whether Bitmain has been already mining ZCash before they have released the miner.

While as always there is no concrete proof, I do find some points quite interesting. For instance, if there is a Z9 mini, there should also be a Z9 maxi. Is Bitmain already manufacturing it?

Most people agree that Bitmain is possibly mining Zcash since a while now because apparently they have been doing that before. MineZCash has made some valid points, in my opinion, regarding this topic.

Basically, if Bitmain has been already mining Zcash before the public release of the ASIC, there is a chance that the global hashrate increase won’t be as noticeable. Otherwise, time will show.

In Conclusion

Apparently, it is time to consider moving on from zCash to other GPU-minable coins. Unless its devs will hard fork like Monero. Is it a good idea to buy those new miners? I am not sure since lately, ASIC mining profitability is even more unpredictable than ever. Plus, would you want to support this company? It’s up to you.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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