If you’re struggling to buy a graphics card, relief may be on the horizon as cryptocurrency Ethereum is preparing to phase out GPU-intensive mining in the coming months.
The news was contained in a blog post(Opens in a new window) from the Ethereum Foundation. For years now, the nonprofit has been working to move Ethereum away from traditional mining to what’s called a “Proof-of-Stake” protocol, which promises to streamline the cryptocurrency.
On Tuesday, the foundation provided an update. “Ethereum will be completing the transition to Proof-of-Stake in the upcoming months, which brings a myriad of improvements that have been theorized for years,” the group wrote.
Ethereum mining has been among the factors blamed for the ongoing GPU shortage. To generate the cryptocurrency, miners have been buying up desktop graphics cards, taking away supplies from consumers. In the meantime, the value of Ethereum has shot up from $700 in December to almost $3,000 now, adding more incentive for people to get into mining.
The situation is so bad that Nvidia is even installing Ethereum mining-restriction software on its graphics card to discourage miners from hoarding them. However, the cryptocurrency’s coming migration to Proof-of-Stake(Opens in a new window) is expected to kill off the need for powerful GPUs to maintain the Ethereum blockchain. Instead, hardware requirements should dramatically fall, enabling a regular PC to help validate the blockchain.
The blog post from the Ethereum Foundation goes on to say Proof-of-Stake could end up cutting down the cryptocurrency’s electricity usage by 99.95%. The foundation didn’t offer a specific date for when the transition will be completed, but it did say this:
“While Ethereum continues to use PoW (Proof-of-Work) for now, that won’t be the case for much longer. In the past few weeks, we have seen(Opens in a new window) the emergence of the first testnets for The Merge, the name given to the moment Ethereum switches to from PoW to PoS. Several teams of engineers are working overtime to ensure that The Merge arrives as soon as possible, and without compromising on safety.”
In the meantime, Ethereum miners can continue to generate the cryptocurrency using their GPUs. But once Proof-of-Stake kicks in, many PC users are hoping miners will quit the market and begin reselling their graphics cards on third-party marketplaces. Others say(Opens in a new window) don’t get your hopes up—the mining community might simply migrate to another cryptocurrency.
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Source By https://www.pcmag.com/news/hope-for-prospective-gpu-buyers-ethereum-prepares-to-phase-out-mining