We don't often delve into updates to specific cryptocurrency algorithms here on PC Gamer, but this could have a material impact on our modest hobby. While the relationship between Ethereum, the most popular cryptography for GPU mining, and PC gaming has been, at best, rocky, everything could be about to change.
Ethereum wants to switch to a participatory test model in a few months, the Ethereum Foundation said, and this entails some important changes in the fundamental workings of cryptocurrency.
Today, Ethereum uses working tests to change transactions and generate new Ether, which is the currency used on the Ethereum network. The test of work requires a lot of computing power to work, just as Bitcoin does, but while Bitcoin works largely with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), Ethereum works almost exclusively using graphics cards.
The participation test will reduce the requirement for GPUs. Instead, the same network will verify transactions or blogs, depending on your participation in Ethereum. The system remains secure because the wealth of Ether in the world has already been distributed among millions of people.
As a result, the gaming test would reduce the requirement for GPU mining, which means less card demand and less power extracted from the limited resource that is planet Earth.
"Ethereum will complete the transition to the betting test in the coming months," Says Carl Beekhuizen, of the Ethereum Foundation in a blog post, "which brings a myriad of theorized improvements over the years. But now that the Beacon chain has been running for a few months, we can delve deeper into the numbers. One area that makes us excited to explore involves new energy use estimates as we complete the process of spending a country’s energy value by consensus.
Tag chain is the system by which the Ethereum network will manage a participation test network. It differs from the mainnet blockchain used today for work testing. However, both aim to produce a secure network to verify transactions with Ether.
Ethereum has been looking for a proof-of-concept concept for years. I remember talking about it during the last big GPU shortage of 2017/2018, but so far nothing has come out that really changed the game to alter the way Ether is extracted. Therefore, Ethereum has remained a power sheet of throaty proportions. Their energy demand has been compared to countries and only increases as the price goes up, which makes you realize all of your individual efforts to recycle and bike to work. nothing in front of millions of people trying to earn a living.
Really depressing things.
The battery test, if successful, would reduce Ethereum's power consumption by up to 99.95%, according to the foundation.
But what about all the miners when a participation test inevitably passes?
Any of the miners can pack, sell their GPUs to quickly win second hand and get on with their lives. Or move on to one of the many, many alternative cryptocurrencies that are still happily lost.
There will probably always be cryptocurrencies that use the tried and tested approach of work to get out of the way, which means we will never be completely free of the hardware and energy requirements of cryptocurrency.
But these altcoins have yet to prove cost-effective to see the graphics card dry up, and in that there is some hope for affordable GPUs in the coming years, even if the gaming test may not be the magic solution. I'm praying.