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In a move to remain committed to its Community Paper (whitepaper) regarding ASIC resistance and decentralized commodity GPU mining, BitcoinZ (BTCZ) has upgraded its blockchain network to a memory-harder Equihash algorithm variant, Zhash. The upgrade raises the hardware memory requirements of currently available ASIC mining units to approximately 2GB, up from about 500MB.
BitcoinZ was the first Equihash coin to announce on June, 3rd 2018 that based upon collaborative research with other coin developers, they would move to Zhash to fight off ASIC miners joining their network. One BitcoinZ developer said, “We remain committed to keeping ASIC mining devices off our network as it encourages the everyday person with a PC and a graphics card to mine and earn a few coins. This also fuels decentralization and helps secure the BitcoinZ network”. The team also reports they could have used a different variation of Equihash that requires more memory than Zhash, however, it would leave graphics cards with 3GB of RAM and lower out in the cold and not able to mine BitcoinZ.
Before the June 3rd announcement, the BitcoinZ team had been testing the new Zhash algorithm to ensure backwards-compatibility with their existing blockchain and current circulation supply. Aside from testing the core network, there were extensive efforts in making updates available to exchanges, pools, miners and third-party wallet systems. “Once we felt confident the systems would work together, we chose a block number of 160,000 to trigger the change to Zhash, which we calculated would occur on or about June 16th 2018”, said Abel, a member of the BitcoinZ development team.
The upgrade and coordination efforts were a great success and the community has grown as a result of the team’s commitment to continuing the fight against centralization and ASIC mining powerhouses. The BitcoinZ community can rest easy that ASIC mining manufacturers may find it cost-prohibitive to upgrade their memory hardware and develop a miner for Zhash.
At least for now, going with Zhash solved both the fight against ASIC miners and kept lower-memory graphics cards able to enjoy in the BitcoinZ mission of a coin for all.