The fact is that The Merge is clearly sidelining miners, even though these people have been a big part of Ethereum’s success. Some are already talking about a switch to cloud computing or artificial intelligence. Others are considering becoming validators on the new Ethereum 2.0 blockchain.
Using mining hardware for cloud computing
Mining requires powerful, expensive computer hardware, especially for major cryptos such as ETH or BTC. In particular, the miner needs supercomputers equipped with multiple GPU cards, a powerful motherboard or an efficient cooling system. Multiply this equipment by tens or hundreds in mining companies. What to do with all that hardware after Ethereum moves to PoS?
For example, HIVE Blockchain, the Canadian crypto mining giant, has started mining other GPU minable coins in anticipation of the Merge. Theoretically, the company would Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE), etc. and this even though the market cap of these cryptocurrencies does not reach 5% of Ethereum’s $194 billion. The company also says its GPU cards can be used for cloud computing and AI applications, as well as engineering applications, including scientific modeling of fluid dynamics.
Miners: towards a retraining in artificial intelligence
Like HIVE Blockchain, Hut 8 Mining wants to retrain in the field of artificial intelligence. The company says it plans to reuse its machines to provide artificial intelligence, machine learning or VFX (visual effects) services to customers on demand. Other miners for whom mining alternative cryptos is no longer profitable are considering reselling their hardware. With a surge in GPU resale, this could indicate likely market saturation.
Sami Kassab, an analyst at the crypto intelligence platform, shares his impressions of the post-merger situation for miners. She says, “Miners looking to invest additional time and capital can upgrade to high-performance data centers or node operators/providers for Web3 computing protocols, two fast-growing markets.”
Become a validator on Ethereum 2.0 or switch to Ethereum Classic?
Since miners have ETH tokens, they can consider becoming a validator for the Ethereum 2.0 PoS process. As defined on Ethereum.org, a validator is a node in a proof-of-stake system. It is responsible for storing data, processing transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain. To become a validating node, a user must wager a minimum of 32 ETH.
Another alternative, switch to Ethereum Classic (ETC) mining that uses a consensus mechanism Proof of Work (PoW) to validate transactions. So, ETC is another conversion option for Ethereum miners after the merger. This has also sparked renewed interest in Ethereum Classic, which climbed 28% after the announcement of the hard fork Bellatrix of Ethereum.
Theoretically, Ethereum miners will be out of work after the merger, but luckily there are some interesting retraining opportunities. They can simply forgo mining or make their hardware work with other technologies such as AI. There is also the option to transfer all mining activities to Ethereum Classic and other alternative cryptos. Unless he wants to become an Ethereum 2.0 validator.
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