In this guide, you will learn how to mine Zcash (ZEC) and discover the tools you need to get started.
What is ZCash?
Zcash is a privacy-protecting cryptocurrency based on the Bitcoin codebase with the same supply limit as BTC. Although Zcash allows private transactions, users can also opt for selective disclosure to prove payment during an audit, making it a user-friendly digital currency for businesses.
Moreover, Zcash has been popular among crypto miners because it can be mined with GPUs or ASIC miners.
What Do You Need to Mine Zcash?
Zcash uses Equihash as the proof-of-work mining algorithm. Miners compete with each other using computing power to solve math problems and add a new block to the chain. They get this computing power from CPUs, GPUs, and ASICs.
However, hardware with higher computing power increases the chances of solving the math problem and receiving a reward. Therefore, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are typically more profitable.
Besides hardware, you will need the following:
- A Zcash wallet to store the coins you earn as a reward for mining. Check out the best Zcash wallets for that.
- A reliable internet connection running 24/7.
- A reputable mining pool. Compare different mining pools to choose the best one for you.
- Cheap reliable electricity to run your mining rig at all times.
- A system to cool down your mining rig. Zcash mining requires plenty of electric power and produces a lot of heat. Therefore, you will need a fan and a ventilation system to cool your rig.
- Your mining rig will be noisy. As a result, you should set it up in a secluded location. Alternatively, you can set up in a soundproof room.
- Mining software if you are using a GPU.
How to Set Up Zcash Mining
After acquiring everything you need, use the steps below to set up your mining rig. Note that these instructions are only relevant if you are using an ASIC miner.
- Connect the hardware to electricity and the internet.
- Join a mining pool. Some of the factors that you should consider when choosing a mining pool are the reward system, the fees that members pay, and the server locations.
- Enter the IP address or hostname of your miner in your browser. Next, type the username and password. The default username and password for Antminers is “root”. To find the IP address and login details of your miner, look for instructions on the manual.
- Click the “Miner Configuration” tab and enter three mining pools. That means that if one pool experiences downtime, the second one will pick up the task. When inputting the details, enter the pool’s URL in the first field, your Zcash wallet address in the worker field, and leave the password field blank.
- Click “Save & Apply” and wait for some minutes for your miner to start mining Zcash. You will know mining has started when you see “Accepted.”
Zcash Mining with a GPU
First, acquire a Zcash mining software compatible with the GPU you are using. For instance, you can get the Claymore Zec Miner for an AMD GPU or Nheqminer for Nvidia GPUs.
In this setup, we will use the Claymore Zec Miner, which has a good reputation among miners. The software significantly boosts the hashing rate of your rig. Additionally, the developer fee for using this software is 2.5 percent.
To set up your rig, follow these steps:
- Download the latest version of Claymore Zec miner software.
- A zip file will download to your computer. Extract the files.
- Open the file labelled “config.txt” in your notepad and make a few changes by typing these commands.
- Replace “eu1-zcash.flypool.org:3333” with the URL of your mining pool.
- Next, replace “t1ZW4wTjMXsFvEGsCxtrzUrkBJhv5aoTRC7” with your Zcash wallet address.
- You can replace “YourWorkerName” if you want. Also, you can replace “X” with your password. However, these two steps are optional.
- Save the config file and run start.bat. The output should look like this:
- Enable the software to start running automatically at startup
Calculating the Estimated Profit
Your Zcash mining profits will depend on several factors. These include:
- The hash power of the hardware and mining pool
- The current Zcash price
- Electricity cost
- Mining pool fees
- The block reward
- Mining difficulty
If you were to calculate the estimated earnings from mining Zcash today, here is what you would get:
The results above assume that you are using Antminer Z15, that your mining pool fees are one percent, and that your electricity cost is US$ 0.1/kWh.
Mining ZEC requires patience and dedication. You will also need to set aside a good amount of money for the initial investment. However, it could pay off in the long run if the coin manages to become the go-to privacy coin in the future.
Discover our top picks of the best Zcash wallets here.