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Ethereum, the stupidly popular cryptocurrency is moving from a Proof-of-Work model which needs powerful machines to a Proof-of-Stake method which will cut actual electrical power use dramatically and need less computing power to work with.

Why is this important? Well, there's a reason why NVIDIA have been making steps to reduce the Ethereum hash rate with new GPUs. Miners end up buying them, lots of them and it has been one of the primary causes of the ridiculous demand issues we've seen that end up stopping us all buying a new graphics card. Not only that, but it's pushed up prices of existing cards too.

In the official announcement, Ethereum developer Carl Beekhuizen explained the switch over will happen in "the upcoming months" and Ethereum will end up using "at least ~99.95% less energy post merge". So it's good for the world as a whole because crypto like Ethereum uses a ridiculous amount of energy right now. This will move Ethereum from requiring the power of "a medium-sized country" down to "that of a small town (around 2100 American homes)" and as this newer system scaled up it will help "further decrease the energy consumed per-transaction by leveraging economies of scale".

The important bit for us though? The computing power needed in Proof-of-Stake for users is quite low, so there's no need to buy up big lots of GPUs.

So perhaps by the end of this year, we might finally start to see the reduced demand on GPUs for mining thanks to steps being made like this. I think we can all agree it's needed.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Meta
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14 comments
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Zlopez 24 May
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I would be rather skeptical about this, because consuming less energy doesn't really mean that more GPU less profit. But if most of the GPUs will just lay in the mining rig with minimal load I would say that miners will get rid of them.

EDIT: I didn't realized that PoS is actually the disk mining. In this case we didn't solve much, we just exchanged GPU shortage for HDD/SSD shortage.


Last edited by Zlopez on 24 May 2021 at 11:32 am UTC
Ananace 24 May
Quoting: ZlopezI would be rather skeptical about this, because consuming less energy doesn't really mean that more GPU less profit. But if most of the GPUs will just lay in the mining rig with minimal load I would say that miners will get rid of them.

EDIT: I didn't realized that PoS is actually the disk mining. In this case we didn't solve much, we just exchanged GPU shortage for HDD/SSD shortage.

You're thinking of Proof-of-Storage, not Proof-of-Stake, both acronym down to PoS but are wildly different.
Proof-of-Storage requires harddrive space, Proof-of-Stake instead bases the whole blockchain off of the stake people have in it, basically using the ETH that's already been mined as a proof of stake in the handling of transactions.
Samsai 24 May
Quoting: AnanaceYou're thinking of Proof-of-Storage, not Proof-of-Stake, both acronym down to PoS but are wildly different.
Proof-of-Storage, Proof-of-Stake, Piece-of-Shit... it all kinda blends together in the world of cryptocurrencies.
Ananace 24 May
Quoting: Samsai
Quoting: AnanaceYou're thinking of Proof-of-Storage, not Proof-of-Stake, both acronym down to PoS but are wildly different.
Proof-of-Storage, Proof-of-Stake, Piece-of-Shit... it all kinda blends together in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Well, one causes harddrives to become a scarce resource for the entire population, the other only causes cryptocurrency miners to complain.

I'll take Proof-of-Stake over Proof-of-Storage/Work/etc any day of the week, I quite like having hardware actually be available for purchase.
the market has already gotten better you now can buy a card you just have take a lean on your house do so
Pendragon 24 May
Good news! ..
now let's just hope the CCP doesn't decide to invade Taiwan
Arten 24 May
So, actual rising cost of development for every process nodes will be on the shoulders of the players. End of desktop gaming and hardware diversity is coming.
Samsai 24 May
Quoting: ArtenSo, actual rising cost of development for every process nodes will be on the shoulders of the players. End of desktop gaming and hardware diversity is coming.
Wat?

The cryptocurrency market hasn't been the driving factor behind process nodes ever, mining gains have been a byproduct of the increased compute that can be put to work for actually useful purposes. You may have heard of this little thing called machine learning, which seems to be selling a fair amount of GPUs and lately specialized hardware (so I guess hardware diversity will continue, who knew!). Apparently they can also accomplish stuff other than just burn watt-hours, so that's kinda cool.

Also, smaller nodes are running into a problem of diminishing returns anyway, crypto or no crypto. Laws of physics are tough to break, so future performance gains will come from architecture, both in terms of hardware and software. And both still have a fair amount to give for the purposes of desktop gaming. So I just don't find the doomer vision of desktop gaming dying because Ethereum won't be providing nonsense crypto-puzzles for people to solve very convincing. I'd say it's more likely that desktop gaming will thrive if some gamers can actually get their hands on some damn GPUs.
If you want to talk about a cryptocurrency that's stupidly popular, that would be Dogecoin.

(I mean, these days Venice is pretty much bankrupt, whole city's sinking into the ooze--no way would I buy a coin backed by the Doge .)


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 24 May 2021 at 7:19 pm UTC
Well, this seems like a fundamentally good thing. My opinion, as I've said before, is that cryptocurrency is generally tulips. Its popularity and rapidly rising price is a by-product of central banks aggressively pumping money into the financial system ever since about 2008; financial markets in general, whether stocks or whatever, have been unmoored from the broader economy ever since that began. Basically, unimaginably huge mountain ranges of cash have been desperately looking for something, anything, to speculate on; crypto has been going up (with a bit of obligatory volatility because you can't have pump-and-dump without a bit of dump) just like high end art has been.

But that's no big deal. There's all that money, there's gonna be tulips, whatever they happen to specifically be. And if there's gonna be tulips, it's better if they don't require countries' worth of energy to exist. So, good on Ethereum.
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