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Ethereum's POS merger gets pushed back to June 2022, GPU supplies to remain limited

ETH 2.0 coming soon TM. (Image Source: CoinTelegraph)
ETH 2.0 coming soon TM. (Image Source: CoinTelegraph)
The Ethereum dev team was initially planning to activate the difficulty bomb this December, but client releases are still not ready for the POS merger, so a new Ethereum Improvement Proposal was created to delay things until June 2022. This may have repercussions on the GPU supply, as miners will likely continue to hoard cards until the end of 2022.

Climatic change is a major concern right now and we are seeing a big shift towards electrical cars and renewable sources of green energy. This is also reflected in the transition from proof-of-work (POW) towards proof-of-stake (POS) for certain cryptocoins. While Bitcoin will remain POW, Ethereum is planning to adopt the POS consensus, but the transition is not going too smoothly. The London hard fork initiated back in August was supposed to begin a gradual rise in mining difficulty that would essentially reduce the control GPU miners have over the network and tangentially ease the pressure on the GPU demand. Unfortunately, the NFT craze prompted a huge boom in energy consumption on the mining side, even though the mining rewards are already declining. On top of that, the “difficulty bomb” that was supposed to occur this December, has been pushed to June 2022 or even beyond.

The Ethereum dev team recently forwarded a new Improvement Proposal (EIP 4345) to delay things even further. Prior to this, developer Tim Beiko was noting that “even though the merge testing is going well, it isn’t going to happen until the difficulty bomb is due to go off again (early December, as per EIP-3554). We are not ~1 month away from having client releases ready for the merge, so we need to push the bomb back again.” There seems to be some opposition coming from the miner community, so the EIP-4345 is granting it more time to prepare. However, one should keep in mind that the time bomb will not immediately impact mining difficulty, as it could take several months for block times to increase significantly. Furthermore, the proposal also notes that the difficulty bomb could be pushed back even further if necessary.

Besides deterring miners to continue using GPUs as primary hardware to produce new blocks and greatly reduce the network energy requirements, the time bomb should also improve security, acting as a “defense against attackers that fork Ethereum.” The problem with the delays is miners will continue to hoard GPUs well into 2022, so gamers might find it hard to secure Nvidia's and AMD's next gen GPUs.

 

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1750 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > Ethereum's POS merger gets pushed back to June 2022, GPU supplies to remain limited
Bogdan Solca, 2021-10-27 (Update: 2021-10-28)