Cryptocurrency Ethereum: Energy-intensive GPU mining will continue until 2022

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Ethereum has been relying on the energy-guzzling proof-of-work (PoW) model for longer than assumed in the summer. At least until spring 2022, it will be possible to mine the cryptocurrency with hardware power – since Ethereum is the most popular currency for GPU mining, this also has an impact on the graphics card market.

the Ethereum Foundation has the public ETH 2.0 roadmap, which describes the way to switch to Proof of Stake (PoS), adjusted again: As of September 2021 for the so-called merge, i.e. the merging of the mainnet with the test platform (beacon chain), is now noted again in 2022 . This corresponds to the planning from the beginning of 2021, before the Ethereum Foundation changed the data due to political pressure, among other things.

In September 2021, the Ethereum Foundation planned the merge in 2021.
(Bild: Ethereum Foundation [Screenshot: heise online])

With the proof of stake, blocks are no longer confirmed by the computationally intensive finding of suitable hashes. Instead, all PC nodes must deposit a minimum amount of ether in the form of validators (currently 32 ETH in the test network): If you truthfully confirm blocks, you will receive coins as a reward – known as staking. If malicious validators send incorrect results into the network that other participants cannot confirm, the stored ether portion is reduced.

Not necessarily linked to the delay, the Ethereum price is increasing strongly these days. Currently an ether coin fluctuates between 3600 and 3700 euros – an all-time high for the cryptocurrency.

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That 3DCenter do it Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-4345 attentive, with which the Ethereum Foundation wants to get an additional six months to convert its own blockchain to PoS. The proposal is intended to delay the so-called Difficulty Bomb and thus the introduction of the “Ice Age” from December 2021 to May 2022. This Difficulty Bomb increases the mining difficulty drastically within a few weeks in order to make mining unattractive and thus to encourage as many network participants as possible to ETH 2.0. In addition, the aim is to prevent fraudulent forks from occurring immediately after the changeover. At the same time as this bomb burst, the finished ETH 2.0 update must be ready.

Since the PoS introduction at ETH was planned years ago, the Difficulty Bomb has been postponed or postponed three times since 2017. The effects can be seen in the average block times: That The interval between mined blocks increased from a good 13 to 30 seconds and back again.

The Difficulty Bomb went off three times, but was reset each time by EIPs.


In a Core developer Tim Beiko wrote the discussion about the EIP-4345that the test phase for ETH 2.0 is going well, but that all necessary updates will not be available in the next few weeks. If, contrary to expectations, this is still not the case in summer 2022, the Difficulty Bomb would have to be postponed with another EIP.

The current date on October 27, 2021 for the alleged merge only affects the beacon test chain. The Altair update will appear that day, which introduces, among other things, detoxified light clients for ETH 2.0. In the case of the mainnet (ETH 1.0), however, nothing happens that day.


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