ZCash is an anonymous cryptocurrency that uses zk-snarks to ensure that all the information regarding user transactions is safely encrypted, while still verifiable by miners that can ensure no double-spending has taken place using zero knowledge proofs.
ZCash uses Equihash as an hashing algorithm, which is an asymmetric memory-hard PoW algorithm based on the generalized birthday problem. It relies on high RAM requirements to bottleneck the generation of proofs and making ASIC development unfeasible, much like Ethereum.
Not everyone has access to a computer, however, and not everyone has the time, knowledge or patience to start mining Zcash on their own, especially since there is no Graphic User Interface (GUI) Miner available yet. If you want to mine on your own computer, but need a little push to do so, you're in the right place. But if you're looking to get profits from Zcash mining with no effort at all.
Today we are going to show you how to mine Zcash with your CPU and GPU on Windows. We are going to use two miners (Software) for each type of hardware: Nicehash miner for CPU and the claymore miner for GPU.
If you want to mine with your CPU on Linux using the official Zcash software, follow this guide.
Part 1: Choosing a wallet and a mining pool
In order to mine using this guide, there are two things that you'll need. The first is a wallet to store your funds. There are currently multiple GUI wallets available and you can compare them here. You can also use this guide to learn how to install one of them on Linux. It is also possible to use an exchange as a wallet but we do not recommend it.
You will also need a mining pool to direct your hashing power to. You can compare features and reviews on multiple Zcash pools here. We are going to choose nicehash pool for this guide, but it will work with any poo
Now that you have both your wallet and pool at the ready, it's time to get digging.
For the CPU part of this guide, we are going to use Nicehash miner. While this miner works for both CPU and GPU, we are going to get the best performance if we use different miners for CPU and GPU. This is because the Claymore miner is faster but only works for CPU.
Step 1: Click here to download the Nicehash miner. Scroll down for the latest releases. Then extract the files within the .zip
In order to use this miner, you must specify how many cores you have for maximum performance. You can check your CPU core count by opening the Task Manager and going to the performance section.
The NiceHash miner comes with 2 versions. One is to get paid in Bitcoin (nheqminer) and other one to get paid directly in zcash (nheqminer_zcash).
Step 2: Open the "nheqminer_zcash" file. In order to start mining with your CPU type or paste the following command with the required modifications:
nheqminer_zcash.exe -l eu -u ZEC-ADDRESS -t 8
Replace "eu" for your mining pool address found on the pool "Get Started" page, "ZEC-ADDRESS" for your zcash wallet address (transparent address) and lastly replace "-t 8" for the number of threads you want to use. (If you're using the Nicehash pool, you can use -l to specify your location like "eu" for Europe)