Zcoin is implementing a new mining algorithm with the aim of moving mining hash power away from large-scale ASIC operators on their Zerocoin protocol.
The project will switch to a Merkle tree proof of work (MTP) system, with the aim to move mining back into the hands of smaller crypto enthusiasts.
5 more days to Zcoin's $XZC hard fork date (10 Dec 2018 1200 GMT)! Make sure you're updated to our latest release 13.7.4 just released today with performance improvements and bug fixes. For any questions you might have on the hard fork, read our guide! https://t.co/ZDM1gboFnI
— Zcoin (@zcoinofficial) December 5, 2018
Zcoin is a privacy-focused project that uses the Zerocoin protocol. This protocol works by using zero-knowledge proofs to enable scalable privacy for the Zcoin blockchain. Other privacy implementations like Zcash use ring signatures for their zero-knowledge proofs. This technique works well, but ring signatures can pose scalability challenges due to the vast amount of data that needs to be included in the blockchain from each transaction.
According to Zcoin’s website, ring signatures also have other disadvantages, such as slow payment verification (without a merchant having to run a full node).
More memory intensive
The MTP system is, however, more memory intensive. It increases the difficulty of developing specialised mining hardware for a memory-intensive mining algorithm. But the change should help bring greater decentralisation to the chain by making it harder for miners to collude and perform a 51% attack.
As reported by Coin Rivet, we have seen recent examples of 51% attacks on the Vertcoin chain.
As part of the upgrade, the project promises huge performance improvements with increased syncing speed and the implementation of their sigma wallet.
Zcoin is also developing a next-gen privacy protocol, with a new research paper due to be published in mid-December.
The blockchain hard fork for MTP is scheduled to happen for Zcoin on December 10th. After this time, blocks mined with the old Lyra2z algorithm will be rejected by the chain.