In context: Cryptocurrency miners and PC users have been anticipating the Ethereum “merger” all year amid multiple delays. Possibly one of the biggest events in crypto history, it is expected to significantly reduce Ethereum’s carbon emissions and reduce demand in a GPU market that is already primed for the release of new hardware.
Earlier this month, the Ethereum Foundation announced that its momentous “merger” would finally take place in mid-September. Ethereum developers have long planned to transition the cryptocurrency from its current proof-of-work model to proof-of-stake.
According to proof of work, Ethereum’s algorithm has made ordinary PC graphics cards particularly suitable for mining. In recent years, miners have bought GPUs for mining rigs rather than gaming or other workloads, thus inflating prices. Pandemic supply disruptions over the last two years have made matters worse, pushing some cards to double their MSRPs.
Furthermore, these mining platforms require massive investments in energy, collectively adding a carbon footprint equivalent to that of a small country. Proof-of-stake doesn’t require the same amount of power or expensive hardware as proof-of-work, which the developers say will encourage more investment.
So far, the delicate transition process has followed the plans laid out by the developers in April, with a final iteration of the draft on August 10 proving successful. The target date for moving the mainnet to proof of stake is September 15, give or take a few days.
Regardless of what effect the merger may have on the GPU market, prices have already fallen since the crypto crash in May. However, they are not as low as they could be, especially for Nvidia’s 30-series cards. This month’s GPU report shows that while Nvidia’s high-end GPUs like the RTX 3090 and 3080 are significantly below MSRP, consumer cards like the 3060 and especially the 3050 have yet to catch up. desirable price points. Within each series, the mid-range cards tend to be the most popular. However, prices for new AMD GPUs and used GPUs, in general, are low across the board.
Nvidia and AMD are currently trying to liquidate inventory before launching their new lines later this year. The merger could end GPU mining just weeks before the arrival of AMD’s Radeon 7000 GPUs and Nvidia’s RTX 4000 cards, leading to a completely different market than in late 2020 when they first launched. times the 30 and Radeon 6000 series from AMD.