‘Lack of Finality’ — Single Mining Pool Commands 53% of Zcash's Hashrate

Recent data shows a single mining pool controls more than 53% of the hashrate for the cryptocurrency network Zcash. On September 19, 2023, the crypto mining pool Viabtc had 4.2 giga solutions per second (GSol/s) of Zcash’s total 7.84 GSol/s hashrate. Electric Coin Co., which oversees the Zcash project’s codebase, acknowledged the issue Tuesday, citing a “lack of finality.”

Zcash Network Hashrate Faces Dominance: Industry Players and Electric Coin Co Respond

Recently, chatter within crypto circles has centered on the Zcash protocol, especially after observations that Viabtc holds over 51% of the network’s entire hashrate. On September 19, 2023, at 6:49 p.m. Eastern Time, archived records reveal Viabtc’s hashrate dominating with 53.69% of the total, registering at 4.2 GSol/s out of an overall 7.84 GSol/s. Just days prior, the crypto exchange Coinbase released a “Security PSA” titled “Observed risks in Zcash mining pool distribution.”

In the PSA, Coinbase detailed the prevailing issue and mentioned its direct engagement with the Zcash team. To safeguard customer assets from potential issues, Coinbase took measures including shifting its Zcash markets to a “limit-only state.” Alongside this Coinbase stated:

[Coinbase] increased the Zcash confirmation requirement to 110 blocks to reduce risk of double-spending or fraudulent transactions. This increases deposit time from ~40 minutes to ~2.5 hours.

Following the release of the blog post, Electric Coin Co. (ECC) took to social platform X to address the PSA. “ECC is aware of this issue, and we’ve had conversations with Coinbase, Viabtc, Zcash’s security lead, and [Zcash Community Grants],” ECC stated. Emphasizing Zcash’s decentralized nature, the team pointed out that, “Zcash is a decentralized, open-source network with no ‘lead developer,’ no ‘issuer,’ and no org that controls it.”

ECC underscored the crux of the issue: finality. The company explained, “the problem is caused by a lack of finality, which affects all proof-of-work blockchains.” The firm’s proposed solution? “Our Trailing Finality Layer (TFL) proposal is intended to fix that by providing finality for Zcash.” Further, ECC highlighted a shift to proof-of-stake (PoS) as a beneficial move for Zcash, tagging it as one of their “top four priorities.”

ECC added, “If the community chooses to activate the TFL hybrid-PoW-PoS approach, that would enable finality on the Zcash network sooner than an all-in-one shift to proof-of-stake. The next step in our PoS R&D is to build a prototype of TFL to see how it performs.”

What do you think about the state of Zcash’s network hashrate and the offset mining pool distribution? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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