Zcash (ZEC) hardfork 'Ycash' launches today

19 Jul, 2019 | Updated: 19 Jul, 2019
by David Robb
Zcash (ZEC) hardfork 'Ycash' launches today

The first 'friendly' hardfork of the Zcash (ZEC) blockchain is due to go live at some point today. Ycash was initially scheduled to launch on July 18, at block height 570,000. 

The founder of Ycash is Howard Loo, one of the key team members of the Zcash project. In a forum post back in April, Loo detailed the key motivations behind his hardfork: "We are launching Ycash to restore a goal—mining on commodity hardware—that appears to have been largely abandoned on the Zcash blockchain. We are also launching Ycash to uphold a promise—that the Zcash Founders Reward would be forever capped at 2.1 million coins—that we fear will come under increasing pressure between now and the expiration of the Founders Reward in October 2020.

Loo claimed that "mining on commodity hardware and maintaining the promised cap" were "essential to a fair distribution of coins". The changes that Ycash will bring to the ZEC privacy coin, which currently has a market cap of $555 million, are a reduction in the Founders Reward rate "from 20% to a perpetual 5%, which will exactly preserve the original 2.1 million coin cap on the Founders Reward....Ycash will direct the remaining Founders Reward in its entirety to a newly formed nonprofit named the Ycash Foundation....Furthermore, either at launch or sometime after launch...Ycash will implement a third change: Ycash will change its Proof of Work algorithm to an algorithm more conducive to mining on commodity hardware".

Ycash has the full backing of Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox, although he will have no involvement in the project. At the time of writing, there are just 53 ZEC blocks left to mine before the Ycash hardfork will go live.

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