GMO, the Japan-based tech firm expands their nascent cryptocurrency mining operation further as they release of software client designed to mine zcash and other Equihash-based cryptocurrencies using general-purpose GPU chips. The software coined as Cryptoknocker is being developed specifically for mining rigs composed of Nvidia graphics cards (GeForce 8 or later).
According to the GMO announcement, the software is free to use. However, the company will charge two percent of the coins users mine while running the client. GMO explains that the fee is offset by a two percent efficiency improvement over other Equihash mining clients.
Equihash is used by a variety of cryptocurrencies, though the privacy-centric zcash is the most common one. Similar to other mining algorithms it was developed to be ASIC-resistant so that it could be mined without specialized hardware only available from a small group of manufacturers.
In saying that, Bitmain, a Chinese mining giant recently announced a zcash ASIC, which indicated that the era of mining ZEC with general-purpose hardware will soon come to an end unless zcash hard forks to alter its instance of Equihash. Monero faced a similar plight following the release of a Cryptonight ASIC and decided to activate a hard fork and “brick” those new mining rigs. Although, Zcash, hasn’t made a move to make maintaining ASIC resistance a developmental priority.
The Tokyo-based company has been delving into cryptocurrency mining for a while now. Earlier this year, released their first line of Bitcoin ASIC miners wholly-developed by a Japanese company. At the time, the CEO of the firm stated their intent to shake off Bitmain’s monopoly.
Alongside the production of mining rigs and software GMO operates an in-house bitcoin mining operation. The firm’s latest monthly report suggested that GMO mined 510 BTC and 25 BCH in August with a hashrate of 459PH/s, primarily using miners produced by other manufacturers. Reportedly, the company looks forward to increasing the hashrate by 70 percent before the end of the year. GMO said:
“We will continue to introduce the mining machine from other manufacturers to the in-house mining. Our plan is to see our hash rate surpass 800 PH/s by the end of December.”