In "slow start" scenario, only big miners can get profit from mining, there is no chance for the most individual miners even they prepare mining before it launches. It's NOT a fair rule.
The slow start has nothing to do with that. Try a pool mining discussion.
I'm inclined to agree with you.
If someone who has an average/above average Laptop computer wanted to mine some Zcash then their best bet would be to start mining while the difficulty is lowest (at the start) to have a chance at winning a few blocks.
Assuming that the difficulty will quickly rise a few days or weeks after launch, possibly making the Laptop no longer able to win a block, that person would really have never had a chance to win anything but a fraction of a "normal" block because of the slow start.
I do understand some of the reasoning behind the slow start; a slow start will in theory discourage the biggest players from dedicating resources for a low block reward, possibly causing them to postpone until the full reward is available.
But I personally do not think this will be the case. Zcash is going to be huge any way you slice it and I don't see any major players postponing anything because of a slow start. Plus if GPU mining becomes the most efficient way of mining, then the difficulty will soar beyond the reach of the average PC or Laptop user in a matter of hours, not days.
They did the slow start based on someone with good experience. The big miners would be sure to get on the first day more than individuals because they know the importance, but now they have no need to get on for the first 10 days, giving everyone else time to figure out how to get a miner going. But I think primarily, if there is a major code/attack problem, it could be fixed before people lost a bunch of coins. The programmers have 10 days instead of 1 day to prevent the loss of 5,000 coins.
True, having the slow start does have a number of advantages in addition to trying to deter large insta-mining. But my and the OP's point is that the average miner with non-specialzed hardware does not necessarily directly benefit from it (in terms of number potential ZEC mined)
I personally think Zcash team is trying to solve a non-existing problem! Slow start would be helpful if very few people know about this project at launch but in fact Zcash has been already hyped. Just take a look at GPU miner thread.
Almost everyone invested in Bitcoin have already been informed about Zcash. That's why mining slow start wouldn't do anything beside adding unnecessary complexity to codebase. More importantly, discouraging honest miners from early start could give malicious parties more chance to dominate network and launch an attack against the blockchain.
If we want to avoid "instamine", a fast difficulty adjustment like what we are testing now would simply do it.
Exactly, as far as I know, some huge mining players in China are ready to mine, just wait for it launches.
Well, we're only small-timers; but we're already mining on the testnet, just to learn all we can. Will keep reading here.
Well, lessons learned. The network was already at insane difficulty only 15 minutes after launch. The average joe had no chance to find a block before the overfull pools and big miners jumped onto the network.
Solomining altcoins is really over and this was probably the last time I tried to start off at the beginning. Slow mining would only be interesting if you not only reduce the block reward but also the target block time. This will allow more blocks with less reward which means a more fair distribution. And over the period of 20k block not only increase the reward but the time between blocks.
By the way if one wants to keep track of where we are in the slow start they can keep an eye on: https://explorer.zcha.in/
And compare where we are to the charts presented here: