Zcash’s network hash rate has mysteriously spiked by over 40 percent since Dec. 10th. It is unknown what is causing the spike, but it could indicate a growing ASIC presence on Zcash, or, more likely, that a large mining conglomerate is returning to the fray.
According to information from BitInfoCharts, from Dec. 10th to 18th, Zcash difficulty has jumped from 2.1GH/s to 3 GH/s, a 42 percent increase. Mining difficulty has adjusted accordingly, causing some concern among Equihash miners.
The event is curious, considering that mining Zcash on the Equihash algorithm is likely one of the least profitable coins to mine, according to comparisons from WhatToMine. Zcash is only 80 percent as profitable as the optimal choice, Horizen (ZEN), as of writing.
It’s unknown what is causing the rapid increase in network hash rate. It could be the proliferation of a more advanced ASIC, or, more likely, an industrial miner returning to Zcash mining.
With Zcash comprising roughly 92 percent of all Equihash mining, a large miner entering any other coin would rapidly increase mining difficulty and result in diminished profits. When mining Zcash however, even a supermassive miner can enter the network without entirely disrupting the difficulty level.
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