Wouldn’t it be great if cryptocurrency mining had absolutely no effect on the lack of PC graphics cards? The answer will depend on who you ask that question to, and the real situation is far more nuanced than it suggests.
However, if you think that mining should be done exclusively on ASIC hardware, here’s the good news – Ethereum has switched the switch on its Kintsugi testnet this week.
What exactly does that mean?
Let’s start with the basics, which is that Ethereum is a blockchain that is effectively dug up using a GPU, the same ones that might otherwise be in your gaming computer. Honestly, mining alone is not the reason for the shortage, but it at least somewhat worsens the situation.
For many months now, Ethereum has been slowing down and delaying the transition from the Proof of Work (PoV) model to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) model, which promises to massively reduce energy consumption by 99.95 percent.
When change occurs, miners will no longer receive rewards for solving complex mathematical equations with their GPU hardware. Instead, the network will verify transactions(called blocks) based on a person’s existing stake in Ethereum.
At that point, it wouldn’t make much sense to buy an Ethereum mining GPU.
In addition, there could be a big sale of GPUs that were used for cryptocurrency mining until then. We’ve simplified things a bit, but that’s the essence of the transition to Ethereum 2.0.
The Kintsugi test network that is now open to the public is basically a test drive or warm-up circuit. Nothing done on the testnet affects the actual blockchain, but it allows the community to test the upcoming transition before it actually happens.
“While client development and UKS continue to improve, we encourage the community to start using Kintsugi to get to know Ethereum in a post-merger context …
We recommend that most projects start testing and prototyping on Kintsugi to discover potential issues soon .
This way, changes can be made more easily into future client versions and specifications, ”
Ethereum developer Tim Beiko said in a blog post.
If all goes well, Ethereum will move to Ethereum 2.0 in the first half of next year. Realistically, there will probably be another delay, although the transfer by the end of 2022 is certainly a realistic possibility.
Those of you who hope that the lack of GPUs will stop when that happens, take a deep breath and prepare for another long year. It is not known exactly what impact mining has on the situation.
In addition, there are still other blockchains that are friendly to GPU hardware, and it is possible that miners will focus their efforts on those cryptocurrencies when the transition occurs. Basically, there is only a lot of uncertainty.
In addition, PC gamers will accept any relief they may receive, large or small.