New Alpha Release: Equihash and Founders’ Reward

Today, we deployed a new alpha release of the Zcash reference implementation, v0.11.2.z2, to the testnet. The new release includes the following changes [1]:

  1. We’ve added the Equihash proof-of-work for block mining (#27).
  2. We’ve implemented the Founders’ Reward as described in our funding post (#125).
  3. We’ve added a performance measurement system to improve performance in future releases (#748).

Equihash is a Proof-of-Work algorithm devised by Dmitry Khovratovich and Alex Biryukov. It relies on RAM as the bottleneck resource for generating proofs and we believe this makes it ASIC resistant. We’ll post soon with more detail on our motivations, algorithm selection, and implementation. This release uses temporary proof-of-concept parameters and an unoptimized implementation.

This release breaks compatibility with the old testnet. Several of our upcoming releases will also break compatibility because we’ll be adjusting each of these features as we move forward, such as #762 Mining Slow Start, #856 Select Equihash Parameters, and #857 Optimize Equihash Implementation.

To get connected to the new testnet, follow the instructions on the Public Alpha Guide.

[1] For more specific detail, view our PoW Release github milestone.

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