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.
Today we are going to show you how to mine Zcash with your CPU and GPU on Windows.
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. 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.
We are going to choose nicehash pool for this guide, but it will work with any pool
Now that you have both your wallet and pool at the ready, it’s time to get digging.
Mining ZCash with your CPU (Windows)
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
Step 2: 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 to get paid in Bitcoin (nheqminer), and another one to get paid directly in zcash (nheqminer_zcash).
Step 3: Open the “nheqminer_zcash” file
Step 4: 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)
Mining ZCash with your GPU (Windows x64)
On the GPU side, we are going to use the Claymore miner. Claymore has a long-standing reputation for optimizing miners and this miner speaks for it. It improves the hashing rate considerably and that is why we are going to take the time to download and use this miner as well. The genoil miner only works for pool mining and with AMD graphic cards. This miner charges a 2.5% developer fee. Every hour the miner mines for the developer during 90 seconds. However, the performance increase is well worth the fee charged. If you don’t agree with the dev feem, don’t use this miner
Catalyst (Crimson) 15.12 is required for best performance and compatibility. You can get very bad results for different drivers version, or miner can fail on startup.
For multi-GPU systems, set Virtual Memory size in Windows at least 16 GB:
“Computer Properties / Advanced System Settings / Performance / Advanced / Virtual Memory“.
Step 2: Choose a version and download it. The latest version is at the bottom right.
Step 3: Extract the files within the .zip
Step 4: Open the “Claymore’s ZCash AMD GPU Miner v6.0 Beta” folder
Step 5: Open the “config.txt” file with your notepad and enter the following configuration:
ZecMiner64.exe -zpool stratum.zcash.nicehash.com:3357 -allpools 1 -zwal t1RjQjDbPQ9Syp97DHFyzvgZhcjgLTMwhaq.YourWorkerName -zpsw x
Replace “stratum.zcash.nicehash.com:3357” with your pool’s server. and replace “t1RjQjDbPQ9Syp97DHFyzvgZhcjgLTMwhaq” with your zcash wallet address. Optionally, replace “YourWorkerName“. If you want, you can also replace “x” with your password.
You can check out the full list of commands here.
If you followed all the steps, you should see something like this:
Now that you’ve got your hands dirty, just sit back and watch your zcash roll in! Be aware that you are mining to a transparent address (it starts with t). You can follow this guide to learn how to create a private and transparent wallet.