Today we are going to talk about Zcash, if you don’t know how to mine Zcash (ZEC), we have a detailed guide for you.
The good news is that starting to mine Zcash is very simple. You don’t need to download the full Zcash blockchain or manage messy command lines with manual instructions; you can mine directly to an exchange or hardware wallet like Trezor or Ledger Nano S. Of course, you need to make sure your coins will be accepted before sending them anywhere.
We prepared a detailed walkthrough about the setup and use of the very popular NVIDIA EWBF Miner. If you have AMD cards, ethereum mining is usually the most cost-effective option.
However, if you have NVIDIA cards or if you plan to buy new cards and can’t find any AMD cards at a good price, Zcash mining on NVIDIA GPUs is still very cost-effective with EWBF Miner, which is fully optimized to get the maximum performance out of NVIDIA’S Cuda cores.
Why should you mine Zcash?
- Because Zcash can be easily exchanged for Bitcoins. Many influential people are very optimistic about the future prospects of Bitcoin.
- Bitcoin can be easily exchanged for cash, so mining ZEC can be a good way to indirectly replenish your bank account or earn cash. ZEC can also be sold directly on some major exchanges.
- Mining ZEC can be a cheap entry ticket to the cryptocurrency market, it is perfect for traders because of its high volatility. If you are a good trader, you can make some nice profits.
- Since ZEC hit the market, it has been one of the most expensive altcoins on the market.
- Building a large ZEC position through mining now can allow you to take advantage of price appreciation in the future with less risk than you would have to take on.
Mining and owning cryptocurrencies is similar to the old understanding of trading, buying for low and selling for high, except for the fact that most buyers don’t know how to do technical analysis, so they buy and sell when they should not. They buy high when prices soar and sell low during what could be normal price corrections in continuing uptrends.
Buying the right hardware and starting to mine allows you to own an income-producing asset, and furthermore, if you decide to sell the hardware in the future, you may be able to sell it for a good price.
Making money on your equipment and selling it when you reach your goal can allow you to recoup the purchase cost and make some extra profit.
What are the differences between Zcash and Bitcoin?
Zcash uses a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin, making it incompatible with the special hashing hardware (ASICs) developed for Bitcoin mining.
The Zcash algorithm is known as Equihash. It is a hard-memory algorithm; it is designed to resist the development of Zcash mining ASICs. Instead, Equihash is deliberately better suited for GPU mining.
Zcash has a built-in privacy protocol called zk-SNARKS, which is designed to make it the leading privacy cryptocurrency on the market (competing with other privacy coins such as Dash and Monero).
Zcash has a block time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10-minute blocks, and yields a block reward of 10 coins per block solved.
Zcash hashrate, difficulty and price
The network’s total hashrate has been rising rapidly since its launch during the fourth quarter of 2016. So if the amount of hardware dedicated to Zcash mining is increasing, why aren’t blocks being mined faster and faster to decrease the average block time from 2.5 minutes? What’s the answer?
Difficulty. By automatically adjusting the computational difficulty of solving a block, the Zcash blockchain can maintain 2.5-minute intervals. You will notice that the difficulty closely follows the hashrate. The next obvious question is why hashrate and difficulty have been increasing. There’s a simple economic answer: price!
The hashrate has followed the price explosion, which really took off in May and June 2017. It has reached $400 from under $50 in just a few months.
How profitable is ZEC mining?
Now that we have a clearer understanding of the Zcash blockchain and other important concepts such as difficulty, it’s time for some economic calculations.
First, head over to whattomine.com, which provides up-to-date figures on current prices, blockchain times, and hashrate (measured in megahashes per second: MH/s).
Enter your card and click on the model number (the red square below), and the hash and profitability information will be displayed (click on Equihash to perform the calculation). These figures will change depending on when you run this analysis for sure, but you will have a clearer understanding if you are willing to start mining Zcash.
How to choose your GPU hardware?
Trying various GPU selections in the calculator will allow you to figure out which is the best combination in terms of price, power consumption, or performance (expressed as Mh/s per currency unit). Note that AMD cards outperform NVIDIA cards for ethereum mining purposes in EthashAlgo, but AMD does not outperform NVIDIA when it comes to the Equihash algorithm with the EWBF Miner.
The card must have at least 1GB RAM, or it will not be able to mine Zcash properly. EWBF supports GPUs with at least 1GB RAM, compared to ethereum’s 3GB requirement. However, many older cards may not be efficient enough to make a profit, so make sure to check the equipment you are planning to buy on whattomine.com to at least have an idea.
Pro tip: Take a look at the following GPUs: NVIDIA’s GTX 1060-6GB/1070/1080 series; AMD’s RX 470/480, RX 570/580, R9 Series or HD 7990/7950 (if you can buy used GPUs, try to get them from a gamer rather than a miner, with warranty if possible). Then, do your own calculations to evaluate GPUs based on their hashrates, power requirements, availability, and price. Of course, there is new equipment presented by different brands every once and a while, so make sure you are following the trend.
How to mine Zcash (ZEC) on your Windows PC?
Let’s assume you are running Windows and have a GPU powerful enough. You need to follow some procedures that we have listed below.
Install the drivers for your graphics card
AMD GPUs: Go to amd.com to download your GPU drivers. Select Support & Drivers, enter your GPU information and click Show Results.
You can click the Download Current Driver button or select Download Older Drivers and Software on the right side. This will allow you to choose an older version:
- R9 and older: use 15.12
- RX 400 Series: use 16.9.2 or 16.10.3
- RX 500 Series: since these cards are newer, it is best to use the current driver for the time being.
NVIDIA GPUs: To get the latest Nvidia GeForce drivers, go to this link. Enter your card information and click Start Search. Download the current version of the results.
Install your GPU drivers as you normally would and restart your computer. Make sure that your GPU has been recognized correctly. If you go to Device Manager (search in the Windows search bar) and do not see any warning, it should be fine.
Some miners have had success installing all GPUs at once, then installing the drivers. Others prefer to install only one card, install the drivers, shut down the system, then install the remaining GPUs.
If you encounter a problem with one method, remove the drivers and try the other method. If you need to remove the drivers, use the DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) program from Guru3d.com to remove everything cleanly and then start from the beginning.
Obtain a Zcash wallet address
In order to have a place to send the coins you mine, you will need a Zcash wallet address. Go to Z.cash, the official Zcash website, and download the Zcash client. You can also use a hardware wallet such as Trezor, Ledger Nano S or Jaxx.
Download the EWBF Zcash Miner
The next step is to download the EWBF Miner. Only download miners from the official BitcoinTalk threads. If you scroll down, you will see a couple of different download options.
Find the most recent version of the miner and download the zip file. Once it’s downloaded, unzip it to your desktop. Note that when you download standalone miner files, Windows may show you a warning. If you have used the official EWBF download links, you can ignore the warning.
You need to do some Windows settings before mining
First of all, you don’t want your computer to go into sleep mode, as it will interrupt your mining. Go to your power settings and set Shutdown/Never enter sleep mode.
Next, modify the system paging file and manually set it to 16384 MB (16GB). Right-click on “This PC” from File Explorer and choose “Properties”. Click “Advanced System Settings”. On the Advanced tab, click “Settings.”
Click the Advanced tab and click “Change” under Virtual Memory. Uncheck the “Automatically manage paging file” option. Click the Custom Size radio button and enter 16384 for the Initial Size and Maximum Size. Then click OK, Apply, and OK.
To minimize interruptions to your mining and configuration, you can also disable Windows updates. Because there are frequent updates that will reboot your system and stop the mining process.
Finally, if you are running Windows Defender or some other antivirus program, add the miner as an exception.
Join a mining pool and set up the bat-file
The next step is to join a mining pool. To profit from mining on your own you would need a warehouse full of GPUs.
Your first step will be to choose a Zcash mining pool. There are many to choose from, but we recommend Flypool. The home page or help section of a mining pool will likely contain instructions on how to employ EWBF on their page.
At zcash.flypool.org, you will see a section called Windows – NVIDIA. The EWBF Miner is in this first section. You will need to copy the sample mining script, as shown below:
Let’s paste this line into the bat file named “flypool” inside the EWBF Miner folder we extracted earlier. The bat file is a batch file that provides the commands to run the mining application.
Right-click on the bat file named “flypool” and click Edit. The file will open in Notepad. Paste what you copied from the flypool website. You can change your server from “us1” to “eu1” or vice versa. Remove “-cuda_devices” at the end. Because if you want to designate mining to only certain devices (for example, if you want to play with one GPU and mine with the other two). If you want to mine with all devices, you can remove the -cuda_devices designation.
Next, copy your Zcash wallet address. Inside the bat file place your own Zcash address (in the example above, replace the address starting with “t” and ending with “DX”). After replacing the address, you can also change the name of the worker. In this case, it is .rig1, but you can call it .miningRig1 for example.
Now save your file as a batch file with the extension .bat:
Choose File> Save As and type “.bat” after the name. In the Save as type box, be sure to select All files, and then click Save.
Congratulations! Now you have a batch file ready to mine. Create a shortcut for the new bat file and send it to your desktop. You can then delete the text version of the file.
Double-click on your bat file to start the miner. To monitor your earnings, go back to zcash.flypool.org and paste your wallet address into the Address window at the top. Then click Check Status.