Zilliqa, the scalable, high-performance blockchain for hosting decentralized applications, announced today that public mining for testnet ZILs on testnet v3 is now available. Last Friday, the Zilliqa team announced the launch of testnet v3, Mao Shan Wang. Mao Shan Wang is a fully-fledged public testnet with the same features as the upcoming mainnet, and includes public mining.
The testnet ZILs produced from mining on testnet are for testing purposes only, and will not be tradable or usable on mainnet.
Purpose of Public Testnet Mining
Mining on Zilliqa requires a different set up than mining on Bitcoin or Ethereum, due to Zilliqa’s specific design involving PoW, sharding, and pBFT. Therefore, Zilliqa is opening up public mining on testnet v3 to ensure that miners have sufficient time and opportunity to test and acclimatize to the Zilliqa mining process. This testing is also important to help identify improvements needed for the eventual stability and security of the mainnet.
- Miners will only need to run the Proof of Work process for the first 5 minutes of every ~1.2-hour cycle, which results in a lower electricity cost. (PoW timing window may change for mainnet)
- It is possible to dual-mine Zilliqa and Ethereum, as PoW on Zilliqa is only for 5 minutes of every ~1.2hrs.
- The pBFT consensus process of validating transactions is CPU-intense, and cannot currently be accelerated by GPUs. This means that existing ASICs are not suitable for mining Zilliqa.
- Miners are rewarded based on their contribution of valid signatures per DS epoch (~1.2hrs), so mining rewards are far more distributed compared to existing winner-takes-all models.
- Miners with a higher hashrate may be selected into the DS committee. DS nodes will get to stay in the network without running PoW longer, as only 1 out of 300 DS nodes every DS epoch (~1.2hrs) will be removed from the network and have to re-join with PoW. (This ratio is subject to changes for mainnet)
The recommended specifications to run a node on the public testnet are:
- x64 Linux operating system such as Ubuntu 16.04.5
- Intel i5 processor or later
- 8GB DRR3 RAM or higher
- Any GPU cards with at least 20 Mh/s (e.g 1 x GTX 1060 with 3GB vRAM) (Optional)
- NAT environment with UPnP feature supported on user router
Note that in the initial stage of the public testnet v3, the Zilliqa team will be resetting the testnet at least once a week to include fixes to bugs and issues detected during testing and reported by the community. It is expected that resets will become less frequent as the testnet stabilizes.
Tools for Testing
Zilliqa engineers worked together with the community to offer miners several options for block explorers and wallets — these tools will help miners visualize the mining process and track the creation of final transaction blocks. If wanting or needing testnet ZILs for testing purposes, users can request them through the Zilliqa community testnet faucet.
The Zilliqa team is also calling upon applications for its ecosystem grant program to build a Mining OS. The team would like to support community developers in developing a Linux-based operating system for mining, similar to ethOS distro, to make mining on Zilliqa easier.
Detailed instructions on testnet mining are now available on GitHub.