Over the past six years, Ethereum has grown to become one of the largest, most important crypto projects in the world. Not only does it offer a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin, but it introduced a variety of upgrades, including the use of smart contracts and NFT capabilities.
Ethereum’s blockchain has used the same proof-of-work (PoW) concept to build its blockchain and mine its cryptocurrency as Bitcoin; however, its planned upgrade, Ethereum 2.0, intends to increase the blockchain’s speed by moving toward a proof-of-stake (PoS) model. The developers working on Ethereum 2.0 are predicting that the network will be able to move from fifteen transactions per second to tens of thousands of transactions. This will position Ethereum as a much more competitive cryptocurrency, perhaps even giving it the boost it needs to fully enter the mainstream.
Both proof-of-work and proof-of-stake blockchains have advantages and disadvantages. PoW models consume massive amounts of energy. For example, Bitcoin is estimated to use approximately 0.55% of all energy produced by the entire planet. Proof-of-stake requires far less energy, though it is more vulnerable to security breaches. In addition, some critics have complained that it favors the wealthiest members of the network since those who stake higher amounts have a higher likelihood of validating a block on the blockchain.
The minds behind Ethereum 2.0 hope to offer the major benefits of PoS while minimizing those problems. If they succeed, they may be able to leverage the blockchain for a variety of practical applications. However, it could also leave the crypto world with unintended consequences. One of those consequences could be the end of GPU mining as it is currently known.
Craig Caruth Jr., the Chief Executive Officer of Asicverse, predicts that Ethereum’s move to a proof-of-stake model will make mining so fruitless that it will effectively come to an end. He recently said, “If you look at and compare the market caps of Ethereum and the second most popular proof-of-work coin, it’s not even close. Those smaller coins will be flooded with new miners and they won’t become profitable.”
When ETH (Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, Ether) mining comes to an end, the options for PoW mining will narrow even further than they already have. Since Bitcoin mining has already become prohibitively expensive to mine, the only options left will be small coins that offer few promises of return. At that time, the days of profitable GPU mining will have come to an end. So, while Ethereum 2.0 opens the door to many new possibilities, there’s a strong chance that it will definitively close the door to GPU mining once and for all.