The process of learning about Zcash went through the following arc for me:
1. ZCash could be the new Bitcoin, I want to get some.
2. Ok I signed up to an exchange and they are HOW MUCH?
3. Right maybe I could mine them?? I haven't mined bitcoin.
4. God I can't mine on a Mac for some reason and even if I crack the tricky instructions my slow CPU won't make anything.
5. What is a mining pool? God thats even more programming. I'm too shit for this.
But its possible. I'm a beginner and got through it in 5 hours of mistakes and earned my first bit of ZEC and it can be done in much less than that, even for beginners.
There are 3 key steps:
1. (30 mins) Environment setup
https://minezcash.com/how-to-mine-zcash-part1/ - Follow this guide exactly and don't give up. The set up of the Ubuntu on the Virtualbox took multiple attempts but eventually I configured it properly. I had to use 20GB of memory for it to work for me instead of the recommended 10. Not sure why.
2. (15 mins ) Getting an address and mining on your own PC. Follow the Github instructions https://github.com/zcash/zcash/wiki/1.0-User-Guide. This only took me 15 minutes but needs to be followed carefully depending on which PC setup you have.
3. (30 mins) Mining Pools.
Ok so you have set up your miner but realise that your chances of earning any ZEC are low if you go it alone. A good reference for the potential profitability of each coin type is here Coinwarz.com.
- The most activity on the zcash forums was with zcash.flypool.com and it generally seemed to be reputable so I decided to try join their pool.
- I found this video to be useful in getting going. You first need to clone their github link and choose the correct server. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztCw8X-6Kug
And that is it. The forum is an excellent resource as is the usual google searches. I'd say this consisted of about 20-30 'what just happened' moments but learning to tolerate these more as time goes on.