The long-awaited “merge” event for the Ethereum blockchain is finally happening, and it’s a great day for all gamers looking for the next-gen Nvidia Lovelace graphics cards (like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090) we’re expecting in the coming weeks.
Ethereum is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, and it was especially troublesome for PC gamers. The cryptocoin is mined using something known as “proof-of-work”, which requires a computer to solve a persistent math problem to generate a token.
That problem gets exponentially more difficult as time goes by by design, and more and more powerful computers are needed to solve the problem. The solution that Ethereum miners came up with was to take the best graphics cards on the market for the past two years and use them in mining operations large and small.
Demand for Nvidia Ampere graphics cards in particular would always be high after they launched in late 2020, but it’s been nearly impossible to find one in stock for the past two years, as scalpers used bots to buy up stocks to trade at high prices. by selling.
Cryptominers, who did this for the Ethereum, were apparently okay with buying these graphics cards at high prices, which only fueled the graphics card shortage. Even the best cheap graphics cards were not spared, as five- and six-year cards disappeared from store shelves to spark a crypto bubble.
All this, meanwhile, has turned math into carbon emissions at a terrifying pace, and crypto mining now consumes as much energy as a small industrialized country in Europe. This has led to the move from Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake, which uses a different system for validating blockchain transactions that doesn’t require years of algorithm burn through.
That’s the so-called merger that happened on September 15, and Ethereum is now outside the Proof-of-Work model. Former Ethereum miners who dumped tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars into GPU mining operations are now looking for other proof-of-work coins to mine instead, including a hard forking of the Ethereum blockchain into a completely different one. cryptocurrency called Ethereum Proof of Work, according to Coindesk (opens in new tab)or ETHW.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin – which mainly uses specialized ASICs to mine that cryptocurrency – will still be humming along as usual and has no plans to move to the new proof-of-stake system.
Analysis: Will the merger save Nvidia’s Lovelace launch?
The timing for the Ethereum merger couldn’t have come at a better time for PC gamers. In less than a week, we expect the announcement of the Nvidia RTX 4090 and possibly also the Nvidia RTX 4080, and these cards will still be ripe targets for crypto miners looking to increase their hashrates.
But other than Ethereum and Bitcoin, there are simply no other coins likely to entice large-scale miners, and the proof has been, as it were, in falling graphics card prices and increased inventories. If proof of work had a real future, these cards would still be bought as they were before.
Now of course things could change, and another NFT or decentralized financing project could blossom like tulips on a Dutch coast and cause the next bubble, but with our current economic environment, inflation and an energy crisis, it’s not likely that this will happen in the near future. will happen in the future. near future. This takes a big buyer off the graphics card market for next-generation graphics cards, so while these cards will sell out immediately, gamers have a much higher chance of getting one this time around.