Ethereum Targets Sept. 19 for GPU-Based Mining Switch

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The developers behind Ethereum remain confident the cryptocurrency will phase out GPU-based mining soon. But it won’t occur next month as originally thought. 

Instead, the Ethereum community is targeting(Opens in a new window) the week of Sept. 19 as a “potential” date to kick off The Merge, or when the cryptocurrency transitions from its traditional mining model to a “Proof of Stake” algorithm. Tim Beiko, an engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, mentioned the proposed timeline last week during a meeting(Opens in a new window) with developers.  

However, the Ethereum community is cautioning that the date is merely meant for planning purposes, and assumes the process can occur without a major hitch. “It’s not do-or-die, it’s a coordination point to help everyone plan. A lot of node operators have a lot of work to do between now and then, and targets help to focus minds,” wrote(Opens in a new window) Ben Edgington, one of the developers behind The Merge. 

Still, the development is good news for graphics card supplies. Ethereum mining has been blamed as a major reason for the great GPU shortage that started in late 2020 and persisted until earlier this year when demand finally waned. Since then, many Ethereum miners have bailed or temporarily stopped due to the cryptocurrency’s value crashing in recent months and the Proof of Stake transition on the horizon. 

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Phasing out GPU-based mining also promises to drastically reduce power consumption for the cryptocurrency. The problem is that the Ethereum Foundation has been trying to migrate from a mining-based model to a Proof of Stake for years, but the developers have repeatedly delayed the transition. Back in May, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also said it’s possible The Merge could be pushed to October or later in the year if errors pop up, so don’t be surprised if Sept. 19 passes without a full transition.

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