Nearly two months ago, Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, tweeted, "Happy merge all." In this tweet, Buterin sought to recognize the team's efforts that made the Merge happen.
The Merge is the second in a series of steps to upgrade the Ethereum blockchain. It is a shift of Ethereum from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). The goal is to make Ethereum more scalable, secure, and sustainable. The shift to PoS seeks to ensure that Ethereum's energy consumption is significantly reduced.
The shift got some Ether miners confused on the way forward. A good number of miners are holding on, waiting for the ‘next big thing” or eager to explore the alternatives.
But is pivoting from ETH mining the only solution post-Merge? Or are there other plausible options for Ethereum miners?
Before the Merge, the Ethereum blockchain used the proof-of-work mechanism. Under PoW, people mine for a reward. In essence, miners lend computing power to allow blockchain to verify transactions. For every block mined, users get some Ether. Often, miners organize themselves in ‘Eth mining rigs’ where they pool computing powers and share rewards. Each miner receives a reward proportional to the computing power they contributed.
Remember the price of Ether increasing to the high of $4,800? The profits were reasonable even for small and medium-scale miners.
Why is Ethereum Mining so Popular?
Currently, Ethereum holds 17.2% of the value of all the cryptocurrencies that exist in the world. Its value stands at $158.32 billion out of $920.35 billion, the total value of all the cryptocurrencies combined. Its market share makes it the most valuable altcoin in existence.
Apart from the size that distinguishes Ethereum and other cryptos, it is also different as it uses a different form of blockchain technology.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are different, especially when considering their applications. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that holders can use to conduct transactions the same way they use fiat. It can also be used as a store of value where people keep it as an investment in the hope that it will appreciate.
On the other hand, Ethereum is used by developers as an arena for running decentralized applications and hosting smart contracts. As a result of this new functional utility level, the demand for Ethereum block space is high and continues to grow.
Can You Still Mine Ethereum?
A resounding yes. Mining is a big part of the Ether blockchain ecosystem. We can’t give up on it.
While the Merge seemingly replaced Ether miners with validators, the PoS system is far from the ultimate solution. Agreed, the PoS use less energy than the PoW, but staking, which is meant to replace mining, defeats the purpose of blockchain. The use of sustainable PoW promises better rewards. Ultimately, mining is critical to secure the Ethereum blockchain.
You have an option
The PoS is still in its infancy stages. It may improve energy consumption and revolutionize blockchain security, but attempts to render mining obsolete are unwelcome. Instead of total cessation of Ether mining, miners have something to smile about.
The Pulsar Chain offers a sustainable, secure, and usable PoW ecosystem that will make Ether mining a worthwhile venture. Check out our whitepaper for more information on how that is possible. For any project-related discussions, become a member of our Telegram community.
Disclaimer: Readers should keep in mind that the information contained in this article does not constitute investment advice. The ideas and strategies presented should not be used to make any investment before assessing your financial situation and consulting a financial professional.