The Zcash Equihash Analysis

Nathan Wilcox and Maureen Walsh | Nov 18, 2016

As we announced back in August, we commissioned two security audits of the Zcash codebase and an analysis of our proof-of-work algorithm. We published the two security audits shortly before Zcash’s launch. Today, we are pleased to share the analysis from Solar Designer of the Zcash Equihash proof-of-work scheme.

Solar Designer’s Report

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Solar’s summary:

“I was tasked with analyzing Zcash’s choice and use of the Equihash proof-of-work scheme, including its potential for future optimizations on both commodity and custom hardware. Also in-scope were the choice of and potential changes to Equihash parameters that Zcash uses.

“A conclusion is that while Equihash is not among the most ASIC-resistant known PoW schemes, its choice by Zcash may pose a reasonable tradeoff considering Zcash’s multiple goals and depending on which properties of the PoW turn out to be actually most important to users of Zcash. Another conclusion is that Zcash’s current n=200, k=9 Equihash parameters are suboptimal and may need to be changed.”

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Notice: Network Upgrade Overwinter will activate at block 347500, to be mined 2018-06-25 12:00 UTC-04:00 assuming 150 seconds/block