This is a fascinating megathread with many interesting analyses and deep experience. For the knowledgeable miners here, do you ever foresee the case where hardware becomes more and more expensive but also more and more efficient, requiring less energy? Is there a limit where you are, in effect, paying almost exclusively for hardware and less for operating costs? If so, this is the limit where buying hardware may perhaps be a pure proxy for buying coins with the exception that the hardware could generate more coins over time and help pay for itself and earn profit. If so, this is the limit where PoW becomes the same as PoS in economic terms. I wonder if this will ever happen?
Also, in terms of anonymous ways to actually buy Zcash, and mining being one such way of disassociating your on-ramp to Zcash from your identity, do you think something like thorchain or another way to go between chains in a robust manner would alleviate this problem?