Zcash originally started back in 2013 as a project known as Zerocoin and was aimed to address the biggest issue with Bitcoin: its lack of privacy. The inventors believed Zerocoin could become a fundamental upgrade to Bitcoin’s code, by integrating itself into the coin and by solving privacy flaws in Bitcoin’s implementation. Instead, in a collaboration with Zooko, Zerocoin was turned into Zcash as you know it today.
Now Zcash aims at using cryptography to provide amplified privacy for its users compared to other coins and it has two kinds of address: a z-addr is a fully private address which uses the Zero-Knowledge Proving System to shield a transaction, designed to make it the leading privacy-based crypto in the market. And a t-addr (aka "transparent address") is similar to any other coin address.
Zcash is based on the algorithm known as Equihash, which was developed by Alex Biryukov and Dmitry Khovratovich at the University of Luxembourg. The Equihash algorithm is an asymmetric memory-orientated Proof of Work system. The Zcash algorithm, Equihash, is also memory-orientated so that it is ‘memory-hard’. As a result, the amount of proof of work mining that can be done using the Equihash algorithm is primarily determined by how much memory i.e. RAM that an individual possesses.
Zcash mining requires at least 3 GB of GPU RAM, or it won’t be able to properly mine Zcash. Besides that, it's also important to keep in mind that since Zcash is AISC-supported, you have to have a mining RIG with a number of powerful GPUs to make some profit, otherwise, it wouldn't worth the effort. For more details, see our quick step-by-step guide on how to mine Zcash on Nanopool.
- Zcash official website - z.cash
- Zcash on GitHub - github.com/zcash/zcash
- Zcash blockchain explorer - explorer.zcha.in
- GPU hashrate list - miningchamp.com