There was another pretty interesting announcement last week that may have slipped under the radar for some of you: GAW introduced HashPool, a new mining pool for Hashlet Prime -- and eventually for Zen Hashlets as well. The pool basically works the same as ZenPool, only instead of paying out in BTC it pays out in... HashPoints.
Remember a couple weeks back when the value of HashPoints was redefined from 100 Satoshi to $0.01? Well, that makes it possible to do what GAW is doing today, in that you can choose to mine the HashPoint Pool (or HashPool, depending on where you're looking at the name) and get paid in HashPoints instead of BTC. That in and of itself isn't particularly interesting, but the second aspect of the announcement holds more weight: if you mine on the HashPoint Pool, you will not have to pay maintenance fees!
That might sound a bit too good to be true, and perhaps it is, so let me explain this in more detail. Right now, while HashPoints are defined has having a value of one cent each, the only place you can currently use HashPoints... is nowhere, though presumably in the near future you'll be able to use them on the Hash Market. So, by mining at the HashPoint Pool, you are essentially agreeing to keep all of your "earnings" with GAW, currently in the form of HashPoints (in the hope of these being worth something more tangible in the future).
If you believe GAW will do "amazing things (TM)" with HashPoints in the near future, HashPoint Pool is absolutely awesome. Let me give you some numbers to explain why. Let's say you previously had an auto-buy of Zen Hashlet set up, so you get a 5% discount over the regular price. Based on my results yesterday, ZenPool paid out around 0.000378 BTC per MH (around $0.134 per MH), and then you have to pay a maintenance fee of $0.08 per MH, bringing your income down to $0.054 per MH. That's ROI of about 315 days if you're wondering, including the 5% discount.
Compare that with HashPoints: yesterday I received a payout of around 16 HashPoints per MH, with no maintenance. So in other words, the rate is theoretically three times higher (give or take) than being paid in BTC and using that to buy Hashlets. (Again, you'd be buying them at some time in the future when they're enabled on the Hash Market.)
Okay, let's step back for a minute and point out the other elephant in the corner: with the Hash Market now fully functional (as far as I can tell), no one in their right mind would pay $17.95 for a Zen Hashlet, or even $17.05. The current going rate is around $13.65, so with HashPoints you're looking at being able to buy one Zen Hashlet every 85 days. That's not "ROI" however, as in 85 days there's no guarantee you can sell the Zen Hashlet for your original purchase price. You also can't mine on the HashPoints Pool with a Zen Hashlet ("yet"), so until that happens I wouldn't necessarily recommend funneling your HashPoints into Zen Hashlets.
Hashlet Prime on the other hand is fully working with HashPoints Pool, and the Hash Market has those available in reasonable quantities for around $37 (give or take), plus you can still use the Double Dipping boost. In that case, ROI is in roughly 195 days at the current rates, but perhaps more importantly you can accrue Hashlet Primes for the future, which will likely hold more value as HashBase comes online. I guess we'll see....
To summarize: first we need to be able to use HashPoints for something -- anything! -- and second we need to be able to switch Zen Hashlets to the HashPoint pool.
Also, there's one final interesting tidbit: all new accounts at Zen Miner will receive a free Genesis Hashlet just for signing up. If you need an invite, drop me an email and I'll send you a code. (And if you decide to buy more hardware, I guess I get a commission, so please ask me for a code if you're interested in trying out mining!)