The Zcash governance panel conducted a poll with seven questions late last week, and one of the question was if they should work on ASIC resistance. When Bitmain announced a new ASIC miner for Monero, the Monero foundation performed a hard-fork to change the mining algorithm, making the miners useless.
Similarly, when Bitmain announced an ASIC miner for Zcash, the community expected there’d be another fork to block it. However, Zcash’s creator Zooko Wilcox at an event in Chennai made it clear that he personally was not interested in ASIC resistance. When asked to elaborate on it, he said ASIC is inevitable and they’d rather spend their resources on improving Zcash.
In the secret ballot conducted at Zcon0 conference in Montreal last week, only 19 votes were in favour of ASIC resistance. The remaining 45 votes were against. So now, Zcash will not be working towards ASIC resistance like its counterpart, Monero.
ASIC miners are seen as a way of centralisation because it would require miners to shell thousands of dollars for specialised hardware. Also, these devices are not accessible everywhere, especially in countries like Venezuela which is reeling with inflation.
Commenting on the development, Andrew Miller, president of the Zcash Foundation said:
This is a fairly strong signal of disagreement. My interpretation of this is that we’re not going to make any hasty decisions like diverting all of the Zcash Foundation resources to promoting ASIC resistance.
64 officials elected by the community voted on the matter. However, the panel voted in favour off other things such as more thermodynamically efficient consensus algorithms, as well as studies into open-source hardware. Another vote which was voted in favour of was to transfer the Zcash trademark from the Zcash company to the foundation.