Releasing mining rewards over 50 weeks

Question to the participants in this thread: what is your opinion of P2Pool? Because that decentralised PPLNS mining pool operates almost exactly like how this proposed change would function. I’m curious if anyone has direct experience with P2Pool they could share.


See also my comment on the GitHub issue:

PPNLS works over a period of 8000 blocks (just under 2 weeks), not 201600 blocks (50 weeks). That’s a huge practical difference in the latency between paying the costs of mining, and obtaining the reward. Also, PPNLS is not motivated by trying to disincentivize miners from stopping mining; the latency is just a side effect of technical decisions made for other reasons.


Wow, Zooko, really? She has done nothing but raise valid points and is trying to be heard so Zcash does not commit to another mistake. You might want to look into the mirror and repeat what you just said about behaving.
I have yet to see any evidence or proofs from you that this will have the intended effects you are looking for.

The only person looking unprofessional is you Zooko. We have called you out on the terrible proposal, that has no proof or evidence that support it, and you come on here and attack the one team member that has proof showing it might be a bad idea.

All I can say is thank you Daira for talking to the community and raising concerns about dual PoW, I agree he should apologize to you for saying you have acted unprofessional. It could not be farther from the truth.

Alot of us feel the dual mining was doomed to fail when it was first talked about as an idea months ago, not sure how we got to here with it being proposed.


I don’t wish to get involved in a debate, but have to say that I don’t see the argument of why delayed rewards is good for miners. You’re saying if the coin goes up in value they get potentially larger value for less hash power/difficulty; but if they get all the reward at once then they can also choose to hodl and see if the coin goes up. So it seems their situation would become the same or worse, cause they would be doing something they can already do now, but be stripped of the choice to do otherwise.


@zooko Mike T from Verus Coin (a ZEC fork) has already done this for sapilng and sprout. He has responded on your twitter here:

plenty of code available in the repo to help you achieve your goals. Thanks for sapling from the komodo community!!

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I’ve only had a brief read of the thread. When the Verus Coin launched in mid 2018, a ZEC fork from Komodo codebase, it introduced a new hashing algorithm called VerusHash - it was only mineable by CPU at the time of release, then a community member made a GPU version claiming a 1BTC bounty offered by Komodo lead-dev jl777.

The first week of Verus launched with incremental increases in the mining reward up until 384 VRSC. These first week rewards were unlocked.

Then there was a period of 4 months of locked mining rewards as well as the original unlocked 1st week rewards could be used for staking in a 50%PoW & 50%PoS consensus.

During the first era of locked rewards, block reward was 384, with it halving after one month to 192. Then again halving again a month later to 96, and again one month later to 48 - all these times miners had locked rewards.

The stakers were also receiving their staking rewards locked at these block reward levels.

It wasn’t until the most recent halving where BR was only 24 that rewards were mined and not time locked.

The Verus Coin community is enthusiastic from this release method. It was like old school mining communities would have been at bitcoin launch etc.

Just some anecdotal info to go along with the purely economical reasoning I skimmed.

Thanks once again

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  1. First, we do reading, research, and informal interviews with a wide range of community members, advisors, scientists, members of the Zcash Foundation, users, potential users, investors, etc.

I have my doubts any real research has been done so far, neither the legal one, nor one that researches possible outcomes and impact such time lock and blossom harmony in general & network security will have. In case i’am wrong, take this as my 3rd attempt to get some info/link/document about allready done researches on that field.

… and the people against having a variety of different concerns or issues, most of which seemed answerable.

If they are answerable, why didn’t i get a single answer to a whole couple of questions? I will make a list of concerns and questions at the end of the post again, maybe on my 3rd attempt i have a chance to get them answered.

A substantial fraction of the people I’ve talked to about it have just been uninterested in mining. I think mining is important! But it is also interesting to note that a large fraction of people actively involved in Zcash don’t care about mining and instead want to talk about other aspects of Zcash.

Actually this seems to be the only part i personally absolutly agree with and that makes absolutly sense. But as you have choosen to continue with POW mining, even introducing a dual POW mining design you should contact people that have knowledge with it, not people that even don’t know how it’s done.

  1. We discuss (in public) technical details, including how these things interact with each other and with other parts of the system. That’s what’s going on right now on github.

I personally have no doubt that on pure technical details Zcash has a very good team able to solve them. But i get lately the feeling that this very good technical team doesn’t see/forsee how given changes impact other fields outside the technical level.
I would go even further and say that there is an absolutly lack of proper research about possible impacts of given decisions. From a project like ZEC with such extreme good funding someone should await that some of these funds are spent on proper upfront research done by unbiased experts. Not only such researches would show eventually upcoming problems, flaws, impacts but it would as well give more confidence into ZEC that it has a good management and approach.

  1. The final decision … He approved the time-locking of mining-rewards before he left for a long winter vacation. In his absence, I’m the one responsible for making the final call on this, which I’m going to do this coming Monday—the 7th—so that we can move on with the specification-writing step and get the Blossom train back on schedule.

Ok, seems it’s approved and will happen, without any proper research and in my opinion rushing it so it can fit the blossom harmony upgrade in time.

  1. The result of that decision determines what software the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company will write and support. The schedule for the Company to write and ship new software versions with accompanying testing and vetting is shown here: The Zcash Network Upgrade Pipeline - Electric Coin Company

Wouldn’t it make more sense first to make a proper research including determining possible software and based on the results go ahead? I might be wrong, but in my opinion this would have saved a lot of headaches and working hours.

For Miners

and the difficulty adjustment algorithm changes the difficulty to reflect this, then the time-locking of rewards means that if you are more willing and able to commit to mining for an extended period than the most common type of miner, then you’ll probably make more revenue than if we didn’t have the time-locking of rewards.

I can’t see the logic behind this and i doubt i miss something. I will write a bit more why this doesn’t make any sense for the real loyal continous miner at all.

a.) What prevents at low difficulty again to have switching miners tempoary on the network? Or having nicehash mining at low difficulty on algo-B and as soon as difficulty raises they hop/switch away to a more profitable coin leaving again the loyal continous ZEC time lock miner alone on high difficulty. Nicehash for example mostly would have even the financial background to pay out this switching hashpower immediatly.
Did someone think about this scenario yet?

b.) The time locking actually doesn’t do anything against difficulty/coin switching mining. All it does is delaying the payout which is again a minor effect for the hoppers that will mine ZEC only on low difficulty anyway, hence the impact for them would be less as well. Just logical if, let’s say they mine ZEC only 3 hours a day the impact for them would be only about 1/8 of their income being delayed while for the real loyal ZEC algo-B miner it would be a 100% effect, leae alone he has to deal with the high difficulty spikes generated by the hoppers.

c.) In theory the solution preventing this to happen would be a penalty for these that aren’t continously connected to the network or something in that direction. Time locking rewards doesn’t preventing generating mining rewards only on low difficutly times. Actually it could make it even easier as there mostly (speculation) less loyal miners anyway due the time lock reward. This said, my conclusion is that the loyal miner will suffer a bigger penalty with his time locked rewards than the switcher that mines ONLY at low difficulty times.

Some people may also be failing to appreciate the additive effect of continuing to mine week after week. If you mine Zcash continuously, then after you’ve “ramped up” over the course of a year, your reward during any given week would end up being just as high (actually higher as described above) than if there were no time-locking of rewards, with the additional benefit that you are guaranteed a “trailing reward” no matter what happens after that point.

Seriously? Without interest and having inflation i doubt this can hold true. How about Zcash pays all it’s employess that way if it’s that good. In ZEC of course.
Seriously, this argument is pure speculation and based on just nothing. IF we take the last 12 month ZEC to BTC conversation we see that ZEC is less than 1/3 what it was exactly 12 months ago.
January 7th 2018, 0.0545 BTC (1 year ago)
January 6th 2019, 0.0150 BTC (today)

Now the counter argument here is of course you hold the same ZEC after 12 months. True, in 12 months i have the same ZEC BUT at the cost of inflation, price volatility, lost freedom of using ZEC as i would like to use. I lose even the possibility to use it as an instrument for payment for 12 months. I see way more cons than pros here, all at the price and freedom of the miner/worker.

For example, imagine in the future, if you’ve been mining Zcash for a while, and the price of the coin is going up — yay! But then the difficulty factor skyrockets so that your mining reward drops. Well, with the time-locked-rewards, even if the difficulty skyrockets and makes your hashpower almost useless you’ll continue to reap the benefits of the trailing coin rewards for up to a year, which could be great for you if the coin price is going up over that time.

First of all this is pure speculation and an ultra huge IF against all current trends. Now why did you spend us the scenario IF the coin price is going down? Would be really worse, not? You shouldn’t have written this one, seriously, it sounds bitconnect like. IF someone is confident that the ZEC price is going up, he will hold without your “forced samaritan timelock help”.

This would reward early adopters who earned their mining rewards during the first year and got paid out during the second year at the expense of late-comers who started earning their mining rewards during the second year.

Again pure speculation IF the price went up and there is 0 evidience this will happen. Again, what about the other scenario with price falling? Would there even be miners carrying the network? Why relay on pure speculaton and artificial enforcement while a good stable ZEC price anyway will benefit and attract ZEC gpu miners?
My prediction leaves only room for 2 possible scenarios what that timelock will cause:

  • either a very weak algo-B network (my bet goes here!).
  • or a secured but very centralized network

For people who are willing and able to commit to mining Zcash, it will actually make mining more profitable and more predictable.

Wow, more predictable? Seriously? How is a reward i get in 12 months more predictable than a reward i get the same day? Leave alone i even don’t might get the reward due a vanishing mining pool, changed/lost/stollen wallet adress. While the more profitable part is at least speculation the more predictable part is just nonsens, i’am sorry to use such word in my replay, but you leave me no choice here.

But the way it does this is by pushing out those miners who are not willing or not able to commit to long-term mining. And I think this is good for the users and holders.

That’s what you think will happen. I allready explained that you won’t get rid that way of the short time low difficulty miners. You mostly will push out a lot of miners, but not these that come anyway only at lowest difficulty, let’s call them the parasite miners. These will still come as they come and go on the Asic ZEC algo as well. It would be good if you achieve this, but you don’t achieve it with the blossom harmony specifications so far.
IF this is the real intention, implent it as well for the asics, than the users and holders should be (following your argumentation) even more happy, not? What impact does it anyway have on a mostly very weak algo-B if the main algo stays unchanged and continous the same way?

If somebody can’t afford the costs to commit to mining Zcash steadily over time, then it’s not that great for the Zcash users and holders to have that person as a miner, compared to if we can instead give that reward to a longer-term, more dedicated, more reliable miner.

I agree to this principe, however, the only current way to achieve this and get closer to this principe is a POS design, easy and simple as that. As you have choosen to stay with POW, even going dual POW you try to fix something by now flawed that can’t be fixed in POW.
And again, even i understand where you are coming from and i absolutly sympathize with the prince, it doesn’t sound honest as long as the asics continue to get the rewards immediatly.

(And as for whether it is a good idea for the miner, well… on the github thread someone mentioned “how could someone pay their rent during the first year”. Well, it’s not my business to tell other people how to live their life, but people really shouldn’t be depending on cryptocurrency mining of any kind to pay their rent

But it’s your business to convince people that with time locking they will get a more predictiable, more profitable, more fair, more best everything mining approach?
And actually it should be your business to take at very least into account if miners, even real big miners, can pay meanwhile for electricity or you might find yourself with a very weak algo-B network left at the end.

I have allready mentioned many times bevor that this blossom harmony ugprade is flawed from start and such comments that it’s not your business how the miners will pay meanwhile for electricity (leave alone all my other concerns about mining than), is just evidience that this upgrade is done without any basic research on any field concerning network, legal, security, whatever.

—with or without time-locking—because of price volatility. Time-locking can make it safer for someone to depend on cryptocurrency mining to pay their rent by smoothing out the volatility in difficulty factor, but it can’t smooth out the volatility in price, therefore you shouldn’t do it unless you will continue to be able to pay your rent even if your mining project completely fails you.)

I have to repeat myself, i can’t see how this approach will smooth out the volatility in difficulty. There is even a big chance, due a weaker network, that the difficutly volatility will be even bigger. The problem with your “vision” is that you don’t take into account all the facets of miners, which a proper research paper would mostly have shown you allready. For now with what we know, it’s fiction that time locking will prevent profit switching and decrease difficulty volatility.

Suppose there are two potential miners, and one has to—or chooses to—immediately sell all of the Zcash coins they make from mining, but the other is willing and able to retain some of the Zcash coins. Then the latter is a holder in addition to being a miner! They are a more dedicated and incentive-aligned member of the Zcash community. The one who is both a holder/user and a miner has the right incentives to protect the entire network and all other users from attacks, disruption, or bad service. The first kind of miner—the one who can’t or doesn’t care to hold on to any of his Zcash coins—would switch to mining a different coin if that became more profitable, or might even rent out their mining power to, which is more or less making their mining power available to random people to rent for [](http://rollback attacks). The second kind of miner won’t do any of those things, because they are—in addition to being miners—also long-term believers and supporters of the Zcash mission and the Zcash community. For the good of the community, I want to shift more of the reward in the direction of those kinds of miners.

The problem here is that you split them up just into 2 groups, maybe this is the point where the whole wrong later assumptions arise. There are more groups of miners than just these 2. You totally leave out of context for example low difficulty/parasite miners, low electricity miners, mining facilities, profit switching mining pools and some whole other groups.
First, in my opinion you underestimate the impact of profit switching pools and/or services, especially on lower hashrate networks. Than you make no difference within the miners by operating costs.
Just to make you an easy to understand example:
Potential loyal german miner with about 35 cents per kw/h and potential unloyal profit searching chinese miner with 2 cents per kw/h. The german miner, even if loyal, will get out literally nothing in supporting the network no matter his mining investment is much higher than the investment and operating cost of the 2 cents miner. As there is nearly no operating cost for the 2 cent miner he can more easyly afford switching whenever he likes as he has to cover only about 1/18th of the german miners operating costs. While the german miner, even if loyal, is forced to switching to cover his costs.
With this simple example i just want to try to example that your example is far from reality mining complexity only including loyality without taking into account electricity costs and other factors.

Summary: Win/Win!
Summary: Wish/Wish! fits better, couldn’t resist on this one :grinning:

Other thoughts, questions and conclusions:

  • general question about block rewards: I’am not aware that the current asic block reward will be reduced with harmony blossom, or? If i’am right here there would be a higher introduction of ZEC daily, no matter algo-b is time delayed. Means, even if the algo-B mining rewards are time locked there would be still a daily higher insuance of ZEC daily, not? What i’am missing?

  • IF the intention is to have loyal miners only, fine, do the same with asics. From several graphs i see that there is a 5-10% block mining at zero difficulty cost happening all the time. Why are asics excluding from time locking? I mean they should be able to profit as well from the great invention of time locking, not?

  • weak network: All indicators so far point to a weak algo-B network. The arguments used aren’t convincing that this approach will lead to a good secure hashrate network. Doesn’t this arise immediatly security red flags that even the possibility this will be a weak hashrate algo-B? How will the algo-B secured against various attacks IF indeed it will be a not widely accepted mining algo for ZEC with minor hashrate? Any plan or research done?

  • I’am still not convinced with the legal status of such implentation. It’s a forced implentation by Zcash, but as it seems will be handled by the mining pools. Following common logic this should change some legal terms/requirements as well.
    Let’s take 1/4 mining rewards of the current ones. About $100,000 per day, makes $36.5M debt for the first year that is owed to miners and/or mining pools at current ZEC price. I have a hard time believing that such debts are subject to some kind of regulation or requirements. Same goes for the whole process and ZEC itself as it’s own. By now we have ZEC that can be spent and an instrument of payment. But locking them and being unable to spent them, no matter i’am owed them allready automaticly could/should change the status as of ZEC as well in my opinion. I’am an amateur on this exact field, even more i’am outside the US while zcash is a US company. But again, I’am owed something of value that should be a payment coin but a sudden i have more a future of that coin which 50 weeks later may have made me a profit or a loss meanwhile.
    Last but not least, who is responsible i (and nobody else) indeed gets the rewards which are owed to me in 50 weeks? What’s the legal status for a mining pool in the US, China, EU for example if they have to delay reward payments. Is it problematic that the debts are internationally?
    I’am again asking for legal consultation about these and mostly more questions that could be problematic. This should have been done allready bevor any further steps have been taken towards time locking in my opinion.

  • Centralization in generally: With all the next steps is centralization or decentralization an issue at all? I mean by now nothing points anymore to it as a valid high priority target to have as much as possible decentralization

  • About the dev reward: I doubt this one would be time locked as well, but still asking if the same goes for the dev reward.

  • Transation fees for the time locked reward payouts: Will there be for each released transaction a fee, yes or no? Right now a mining reward is released and i have to pay 1x fee. If the very same mining reward is to be paid out in in 50x each week or 12 x each month does each payout include another transaction fee? I think yes, 50 weekly payouts would as well have 50x transaction fees, no matter these may be low, it would be still 50x times i had to pay it, means the final reward after 50 weeks is lower than the actual mined reward, not?

  • Attack question: In an explaination after the sapling upgrade it was mentiond that Zcash can handle an attack on a given miningpool pretty fast, but at the cost that all mining that happend on this mining pool for a given period of time would be null and void. Would this affect time locked payout rewards as well?

  • Compromised Wallet. Let’s say i have mined full power ZEC with time locked rewards. At some point my wallet, for whatever reason gets comprimised and/or i’am forced to change the wallet adress. What will happen with rewards i await for several months mining i’am owed? I think this is even a very important question.
    Currently if my wallet or adress is comprimised i change my payout adress and i’am done, lose is maybe some hours at most some days mining. It’s a different story if we talk about 50 weeks of mining rewards, not? Is there a plan how to handle such issues?

  • Mining pools: How many mining pools have been contacted so far and how much feedback (written) has been collected and researched. I think taking feedback from these upfront is absolutly necessary as well, not?

  • Forks: What happens after forks? What happens if for some reason the chain splits into 2 supported forks? What happens to the time locked funds? Are these allready counted toward the current balance in case of a fork or not? In case they are not another con as i would get left coins from the forking chain due less balance, not?

  • Many more questions but as i doubt anybody will answer these anyway i will wait first to have these answered bevor going ahead.


I miss some important information at verus bevor it makes some sense to take into account whatever from their experience:

  • what’s the market cap of this coin? Can’t find any info anywhere. I mention this because the lower the market cap the lower the dev responsibiity in generally, just in my opinion. I mean if you are responsible for a top coin and a market cap of $330M like Zcash it’s a different story than responsibility for a $2000 total market cap coin.
  • $0 volume currently on 2 minor exchanges nobody heared ever? This sounds more like miners are hoping and betting on a price speculation than being convinced by the time lock settings.
  • Random time locking/reward release? Just read it on bitcointalk. Nice, sounds like a casino coin (just kidding).
  • It’s a hybrid coin POW/POS and this makes more sense actually than like with ZEC on a dual POW design where 1 algo has time locking and 1 (the bigger one) won’t.
  • You noticed that this Verus coin has the highest mining pool centralization i ever saw? 1x chinese mining pool 83%, the 2nd one (again chinese) 13%, makes a total of 96% of hashpower for the top 2 mining pools based in china. Nice, i haven’t seen another coin with so much mining pool centralization yet and i have for sure researched a lot of coins. Top record, lol.
  • How long is the time lock period in average? I mean there is a difference if it’s 50 weeks or 1 week.
  • IF it’s that good with timelocking why didn’t they go straight with POW time locking only?

Just some toughts on that time locking Verus coin example…

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I like the algo-B idea, and I like the idea to make it interesting to ‘the little guys’ rather than large farms. Diverse hash is a very nice thing.

50 week timelock is overdoing it (a lot), the same could be achieved with less - 30 days would probably be enough.

A long timelock would be a huge disincentive & stifle growth - while small its vulnerable to farms with bad intentions, and they’re not going to be happy.

Just my humble opinion.


I also don’t wish for you to get involved in a debate ;-), because you are a world-class cryptographer and there is much important cryptography that you could be doing that would benefit either Zcash users or other people around the world in the coming years/decades. But, yes, you — like many others on this thread — appear to be neglecting the second-order dynamic effects due to mining being a near-perfect competition between all players, with low barriers to entry and exit. My argument in Releasing mining rewards over 50 weeks - #50 by zooko is not that receiving coins that you can’t spend (due to a time-lock) is better for you than receiving coins that you can spend right away. That would be an interesting argument, and there might be something to it! But that was not the argument I was making. My argument is that—due to the second-order effects of mining—miners who are above-average in their willingness and ability to mine long-term will receive more coins with this feature than without it. (Probably just a few weeks of continuous mining will be sufficient to make you above-average, at least at first.)


Thank you for your input, ChileBob!

I’m no longer a miner (since my personal local electricity rate makes all hardware infeasible) so I don’t count ROI or dreams GPU mining or rewards from such as one of my motivations to support Zcash.

But I will say one important way that hobby mining benefits the Zcash Ecosystem is the miners have ZEC to spend on goods and services. My concern would be that a time delay approach seems to run counter to a key aspect of driving Adoption; which is having more Zcash in more hands (sooner and more often) to help drive users to request/build services that accept Zcash.


@zooko As an ASIC miner I’ve mined hundreds of ZEC, which I’ve held onto in the hope that my investment would appreciate in value. The opposite has ocurred and I’ve incurred significant losses as a result, and I’m sure there are many others on this forum who are in the same boat.

Large farms and ASIC manufacturers on the other hand have certainly been dumping their mined ZEC for BTC. This is indisputable as observed by the precipitous decline in the ZEC/BTC pair. So my question is why should the time lock be restricted to GPU miners only? It’s neither fair nor likely to achieve the desired outcome, simply because ASIC farms will still be able to dump their mined ZEC without delay.

If this proposal is to be seriously considered at all, then I suggest you expand the scope to include a delay in the release of the ASIC mined coins as well. I mine ZEC for the long-term investment and haven’t sold any to date, so it wouldn’t make any difference to me other than perhaps achieving the desired outcome.


When I worked in a school, with summers off, my paycheck earned in 9 months of work was spread out over a full year. Initially I was upset that I didn’t get the full amount right when I earned it, but after doing it a few years realized I preferred to have ongoing pay through the summer for ongoing expenses (rent, utilities, etc.).
I think time-locking mining payments will have the same effect. Miners might start to match expected pay with things they can purchase with Zcash.

that’s fine and may have worked out as intended.

Just a simple question to make your example more comparable with ZEC.

  • Would it be comfortable if your payout currency would have a high volatility? Means would it matter if there was a chance that your paycheck would have only 1/4 or 1/10 value compared to the value when others got there paycheck and have been able to use their salery immediatly for whatever they have choosen?

  • Have in mind this time lock is only for algo-B, the 2nd algo, it’s not for the algo-A., the 1st algo where mostly much more hashrate is. So compared to your example, how would it be that only you and another guy in your school have timelocked payouts but the rest gets daily paid?

  • in your school summer example it makes some sense as you work 9 months and have 3 months break, mostly unpaid or? In mining you work 24/7 a full year, or at least it should be like that. In your example with this time locked payout you have an equal income for the unpaid 3 month season, this is not the case in mining.

It’s an interest experience how it works out at the school you worked at, but it’s not the same at a highly volatile market. I’am all for holding, but not at all costs. When i see indicators that make me believe there will be a huge price drop, as happened over the whole 2018 several times i would like to be able to do with my allready earned income whatever i want and not seing it vanishing in a hyper inflation without being able to do anything.


Thanks for the input, Shawn! I don’t think that’s correct — since the time-lock coins are unlocked every week, rather than at the end of the year, then the miners do have coins they can spend, whether on paying for mining costs, buying goods and services, etc.

Yes good points
-time-locking inflationary fiat payments ensured my delayed payments were worth less, and even despite that, I still preferred it. Zcash does not ensure future payments are worth less like fiat does.
-whether my co-workers were also doing it affected me little, as it was my income and my expenses that mattered to me.
-true that miners likely go non-stop, but this could allow them the option to unplug (for economic reasons or other) and still receive a consistent income stream.

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Then it seems like I misunderstood the proposal. If the time-lock system is paying out every week where does the 50 week hold come in? Is it just the initial period of 50 weeks, thereafter paid weekly?

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I guess the inflation you have to deal with your fiat payments are around 0.5-3% at most per year, just a guess as this is what i would consider in the normal inflationary fiat range.
If there was a chance the inflationary could be +/- 100%, 200%, 300% or even 500%, how comfortable would you be? For me it would be highly uncomfortable feeling, comparable like enforced gambling in the casino with my paycheck…