Joel Dudgeon and Michael Meysarosh, thanks for your comments.
Online gaming is competitive, and cycling can be extremely competitive. The beta is free currently, however, once we move to paid subscriptions, this zpower issue will become more pronounced. Software developers know well that entire gaming communities have abandoned certain titles due to unchecked online cheats, and I’m confident that Zwift has been educated on this matter.
We can thank, in part, adopters of power meters and wattage trainers for setting the stage for online software such as Zwift, Trainer Road, and CVT. These folks have invested in accuracy. The onus of making the case for accurate online racing environments is not their responsibility. Accuracy is the default goal.
Power users will move to whichever platform best accommodates their expectations. Trainer Road has online racing in development, and CVT already supports it, with a new software version in beta at the moment.
Another point worth making is that power equipment decreases in value quickly. It is new technology, and quickly changes. Ebay and your local craigs list are your friends if you cannot afford brand new, or care to just spend less.
At the end of the day, my view is that there will be no other option but to have separate leader boards. Zwift will have an enormous customer base. They can keep that base by caring for the expectations of their power users.