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Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2016 21:53:05 +0100
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: [openwall-announce] An analysis of Zcash's use of the Equihash proof-of-work scheme


I've just published a new article titled "An analysis of Zcash's use of
the Equihash proof-of-work scheme" on the Openwall website:

As Wikipedia explains, "Zcash is a decentralized and open-source
cryptocurrency that offers privacy and selective transparency of
transactions.  Zcash payments are published on a public blockchain, but
the sender, recipient, and amount of a transaction remain private."

This article presents results of analysis performed on request from and
funded by the Zcash company.

Although Equihash itself is defined in its designers' paper, Zcash's use
of it (most notably, the parameter values) and Zcash community's
optimizations of Equihash solvers and Zcash miners are a moving target.
Thus, unlike other Openwall articles, this is a time-sensitive report,
which might get obsoleted soon (but will likely retain its historical
value).  Here's Zcash company's blog post announcing my work on this:

As it correctly says, I am also one of three judges for the Zcash Open
Source Miner Challenge, where we have received multiple Equihash solver
submissions (some of which are also Zcash miners), and will decide on
the winners soon.  The Challenge, which is also supported by Zcash
company, has already substantially improved the general public's
understanding on possible Equihash optimizations, thereby limiting the
advantage that (users of) private Zcash miners might have.


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