Horizen (ZEN) Statement on Mining Algorithm
The Horizen team carefully evaluated the pros and cons of changing from the existing Equihash Proof of Work mining algorithm. This was caused by two events that happened close together in time. One was the double spend attack that was made against an exchange partner, and the other was the appearance of Equihash ASIC miners for sale to the public.
The major concern of the team, as well as much of the Horizen community, was maintaining the security of the project.
In order to prevent future attacks that could be accomplished by gaining more than 51% of the mining hashrate, the Horizen development team immediately began working on a change to the consensus algorithm to limit the likelihood of a hidden blockchain fork becoming public and perpetrating a double spend.
Watch Rolf Versluis, Co-founder and Executive Advisor of Horizen, explaining our decision on Horizen mining algorithm
Horizen is a project that is sensitive to the concerns and desires of the community and worked to determine if there was a clear desire to change the mining algorithm. It was difficult to determine, but what was clear was that people did not want further 51% attacks. Because of the possibility that a single company that builds or buys many Equihash ASIC miners could operate them and control the majority of the hashrate on the network, the team also evaluated changing the Equihash mining algorithm to something different. The team provided updates to the community while this was going on in blog posts, in bi-weekly video updates, and in various forms of social media.
Horizen is going to maintain the existing Equihash mining algorithm.
There will not be a change to the algorithm unless there is a security issue that necessitates a change. Longer term, this issue can be revisited by the community after we have our Governance model in place. This will allow a full representative vote by the Horizen Community.
The primary reason for not making a change is that the Horizen network continues to get more secure now that ASIC’s have started mining, even though Horizen is not the Equihash category leader.
There are secondary reasons for prioritizing Horizen improvements over algorithm change, and that if an algorithm change were made, there would be a time period of vulnerability while miners switched over.
Furthermore, we are partnered with many exchanges and integrations; Hard forks would force a chain of changes that affect our existing integrations tremendously. At this time, we believe a change of such magnitude would not be necessary.
The team has seen activity of the people who are buying ASIC miners – they appear to be mining Horizen directly, and not pointing their hashrate at Nicehash. This can be shown by watching the statistics at https://www.crypto51.app/ which currently show that it is not possible to perform a 51% attack on Horizen by renting Nicehash hashpower – only about 50% of the hashpower required to perform an attack is available for rent.
Furthermore, Horizen does more than differentiate the project on mining algorithm. We have many ways of differentiation, including:
- 50 person multidisciplinary team with a track record of accomplishments
- A multi-tiered node system: Secure and Supernodes
- Active sidechain development for Governance and distributed node tracking and payment
- Strong development and operations
- Significant development improvements on the roadmap for 2018 and 2019
Yes, there are counterarguments. There is 8x the amount of Equihash hashpower on Zcash as on Horizen right now, and if a single mining farm that has Equihash ASIC’s decided to attack Horizen there would be an issue. This is a short term problem as the 51% attack prevention update will make that attack vector significantly more difficult.
There is also the argument that promoting GPU mining distributes ZEN to more people around the world. Fully 30% of new Horizen is distribute by Treasury and Secure/Super Node payments, which creates a much wider distribution pool than other cryptocurrencies.
The Horizen team determined that the overall security of the Horizen project was best served by continuing with the existing Equihash mining algorithm. This decision was made after careful observation, evaluation, and discussion with people in the community as well as the Horizen team members.
Thanks to everyone for contributing to the discussion and decision!
August 29, 2018 @ 3:06 pm
Well i guess its over for me. It is very sad but okay. Im a supporter of the project and I really do care about this statement.
Joe St. Louis
August 30, 2018 @ 10:25 am
This is unfortunate. As soon as the price of Zen recovers, I’m out. I’ll reinvest my secure node funds into something else. Best of luck.
August 30, 2018 @ 12:53 pm
I was disappointed as well. I’ve been following ZEN for well over a year and thought that the community aspect of the project was fantastic. Today, I host 3 secure nodes and HODL quite a few ZEN coins for future gains (hopefully). However, I will be moving on to other promising projects (like Ravencoin and Loki with their System Node ecosystem) once the market recovers. It’s a shame, but I’m sure the “Horizen” team has additional reasons for not migrating to an ASIC-resistant option.
August 29, 2018 @ 4:24 pm
A very well worded statement. I will admit it makes sense to stay the course on the mining algo and use resources for projects that will have more impact and differentiate the project longer term.
August 29, 2018 @ 4:58 pm
My quote was taken as a community voice from zen competition. I was proud to be a zen believer. Not anymore. So non logic decision. If you really have 51% preventing algo, then you don`t care about your hashpower, rental services, asics and all your blablabla. But maybe you don`t have this algo and then Horible Zen just selling us a new pill of bullshit?
You fucking your early supporters. You going centralized way. Zen looks like they don`t have a strong blockchain devs(or at least one) that can skip zcash link and can`t do anything without zcash devs. You so scared to make fork to a new algo, because of exchanges. Why Monero don`t scary? Why stupid Bitcoin gold with no real devs can do this? They also got a lot of exchanges.
You just lazy or bought by Bitmain or someone else.
No more trust and believe in zen… mean HoribleZen. Wish to hold btc, instead of zencrash.
August 29, 2018 @ 5:16 pm
Use resources for projects that will have more impact…. haha. They just introduced the most lucrative feature in Crypto, Super Nodes… and yet the prices went down. The extra selling pressure could be linked to AISC’s cashing out.
August 29, 2018 @ 5:37 pm
My worry is the price has a direct link with ASIC’s and in turn the future funding of the project. The price days prior to Super Node launch & following could be a good indicator of the impact of ASIC’s on the network. The most attractive returns in crypto and the buyers can’t dominate the sellers. Each time Zen gets stronger the prices still slide.
GPU miners are the projects core miners and don’t look to move around chasing profits. Yes, we’re all economic miners but on a ‘sellers’ scale of 10, you could say GPU miners are 3/10, ASIC miners 7/10 and the worrying group ASIC farms 10/10. The reverse of that scale, implies people who support the project, hold coins and introduced friends.
We’re at peak supply, introducing the highest level of economic miners into the ecosystem could squeeze out all miners who support the project. An ASIC miner is more incentivised to reduce risk by selling as they have no warranty. You could argue the same for a super node operator.
If Zen mining becomes only economical for an ASIC farm, that could lead them to dominate the node ecosystem, fuelled by new minted coins each day. Diluting the pots until its only made up of big investors and big mining operations.
August 29, 2018 @ 5:39 pm
This is a sad day that they came up with this decision, was a really good project that always make way to figure something out and work something out, now they just bend over to asic so we can get fucked over and over. My vision to zen was to be mined by all people and with the governance everything can replace $, with this decision i dont think the whole world will choose to buy asic instead of just using their own computer to mine. Exchange partners? Monero has more and they forked. Unti 51% that you guys are supposed to be working on will protect the chain when we fork, algo could have been progPOW so all of the tech can co-exist and mine for a better goal. This is just nuts, a time and investment wasted on something i thought was really gonna be on the top. Ethereum went to pro-asic and look at them now looking for a new algo. Ethereum went down the drain as soon as asic got released. Hopefully zen wont. I want to see you guys succeed, but sad to say we early supporters are out of the loop. Good luck team and God bless horizen.
August 29, 2018 @ 5:41 pm
“The primary reason for not making a change is that the Horizen network continues to get more secure now that ASIC’s (sic) have started mining”
What do you mean ? How is the network more secure now as opposed to say, January 2018? Genuine question, you did little on explaning that here
August 30, 2018 @ 12:20 am
As Asic becomes available to the masses, the ratio is better compared to NiceHash. Say, the reason why NiceHash can provide so much power, is now being sold to ordinary citizens.
This minimizes the 51% risk enormously.
I think the way of Horizen is good.
August 30, 2018 @ 3:36 am
Well, ordinary citizens can now buy ASICs and use them with Nicehash. And malitious people can still buy NH power, now enriched with ASICs.
I could understand that for now there may not be as many Equihaash-able ASICs with NH or similar services. But it’s highly likely the situation will change.
So I suppose the security situation may be a bit better, for now. But the formulation in the blog is misleading in the way that it suggests ASICs enhance security intrinsicly. While in reality the better security is a circumstantial consequence of the .. “hashpower market” status.
August 29, 2018 @ 6:18 pm
There is more hash rate now, with Asics, that is what they mean.
I like the decision. In fact, setting up gpu miner, vs asic costs is pretty equivalent. Now that Horizen made this choice, Im getting a Z9 to support the project.
August 29, 2018 @ 7:42 pm
Sorry, higher hash rate does not at all mean more security. Listing that as the number # 1 reason , made me believe there’s some non-naive reasoning behind it. Guess I was wrong.
While previously for one to attak the network they would need to amass the power of many gpus, now they need many ASICs. Same problem, with higher numbers
August 29, 2018 @ 6:49 pm
With Ethereum moving to PoS with ZKP tech there is no room for another centrally mined coin. If the base layer isn’t being scaled horizontally and has it has unfair distribution then who cares. I just sold everything.
Also, great centralized decision making after less devices on the network create a higher hash rate. Hope the “multi-tier” (ponzi) sales go well, I won’t be following any more.
August 30, 2018 @ 2:40 am
PoS will solve more problems than it will create.
August 30, 2018 @ 9:42 am
This statement obviously exhibit this significant fact that there have been a long term and undeniable economic connection between the ZenCash Or newly updated name of Horizen with the huge Asic Miners’ companies such as “Bitmain” or “Innosilicon” to let them produce new miners based on the Equihash algorithm to make money and get the attention of person-miners to their devices. I am talking about money and the perspective of such projects.
August 30, 2018 @ 4:34 pm
Thanks for your shitty decision. I am selling all of my Zen and staying away from your project. ROLF cant make a decision that is beyond the realm of owning asic miners. Thanks for shutting on you miners. Your shitcoin is even more worthless than it was.
August 31, 2018 @ 4:09 am
It is very sad that team surrender, not to say worse, to the ASIC lobby. I was a supporter since the beggining and i am also leaving as soon as price rcovers. best of luck to the project.
August 31, 2018 @ 5:50 am
All you people complaining about this decision saying you’re now going to go and sell all your ZEN, stop being stupid and go back and read the post again, specifically read this:
“Longer term, this issue can be revisited by the community after we have our Governance model in place. This will allow a full representative vote by the Horizen Community.”
Once the governance system is up and running, make a proposal to change the Algo and if enough people vote for it, they have to do it!
Just hold on already and stop jumping the gun!
August 31, 2018 @ 5:58 am
Hopefully we still reach that DAO when Zen team decided to forget their grassroots where we all started and that is the GPU miners which where majority of zen followers started from. Most people heard of zen because of GPU mining, it was once the most profitable to mine from home, from regular miners, from gamers even with 1 GPU it was still profitable even on this bear market until asic starts coming out. Now that 51% solution is being tested that would have been the perfecr backbone to stay with GPU and be adopted by everyone but now that its an asic coin do you think ut will be peofitable for 1 GPU gamers?
Joe St. Louis
August 31, 2018 @ 8:15 am
There’s a problem with your statement… In most coin based voting systems, the people with the biggest bags get the most votes. ASIC owners can mine ZEN relatively quickly… who’s going to have more voting power, the ASIC owners or the GPU owners?
August 31, 2018 @ 2:14 pm
It is a betrayal to early ZEN supporters. I am done. I will drop my ZEN and find new projects to invest.
August 31, 2018 @ 6:38 pm
a shit coin as same as zec, i think a 51% attack will occur!
September 1, 2018 @ 4:56 am
A fork from Zclassic that believes master nodes are revolutionary. Look at forks from Dash blahhhh
September 2, 2018 @ 8:17 am
It is a betrayal to early ZEN supporters. I am done. I will drop my ZEN and find new projects to invest.
September 4, 2018 @ 12:32 am
for now getting few miners and workers
but difficult getting much higher than before….
and zen become a currency in few people to control….
not like what they said anti asic…..
after I get more gpus for mining and get less zen than before…
asic miner make many garbage on the earth.
September 12, 2018 @ 3:14 pm
It is a bad decision for our early supporters, can’t you see how ASIC will do the contrary to the decentralization. I had hope on it but not any more.
September 18, 2018 @ 6:51 am
Real disappointment for an early adopter and supporter.
October 7, 2018 @ 1:24 pm
Bad decision. You will lose relevance by the day your Bitmain puppet