The transition of Ethereum to Proof of Stake has been developed for years, but the end is approaching. Most likely, we will see a "merger" in January next 2022. So what does this mean for mining on the GPU? Is this the end and the end of the world is approaching?
Here are some of the things that can happen, and it looks good for miners with a GPU ...
If you have been engaged in mining for some time, you know what LHR (light hashrate) is. This was an attempt by NVIDIA to make the GPU harder to use for mining. However, LHR mainly affects the mining of Ethereum, which means that if ETH can no longer be mined, your GPU will be able to mine another algorithm pretty much at full hash power. There are some other algorithms that are affected (mostly memory-intensive algorithms), but not such as ETH. It is unlikely that NVIDIA will add another version of LHR to the 3000 series, since they are already working on the 4000 series. And even if they do, it will only take a few months for developers to find a workaround to bypass LHR anyway, and over time more people will find other ways. Needless to say, if you recently bought GPUs, you will still be able to mine with them for a long time.
When ETH stops mining, it leaves a space where there is less of a gap between the profitability of other algorithms, which is always good for competitiveness and will probably mean that there is room for rapid growth. We can expect that other algorithms will increase the hashrate and accelerate in their market cycle.
As long as there are coins for mining (and they will always be), miners will mine. This means that as soon as ETH switches to PoS, miners will switch to other algorithms. Although it may seem unprofitable now, this is mainly because all the attention is focused on ETH, but when it leaves, the hashrate jump to other algorithms will increase the level of interest in other coins, which will increase their value.
The higher the hashrate, the higher the price of the coin. The difficulty will be harder, but prices will rise; most PoW blockchains tend to rise in price when mining increases simply because it means more people are using the coin (i.e. switching to fiat to pay expenses, etc., thereby increasing liquidity). The value is very closely related to the use in any economic model, whether it is gold, cash or cryptocurrency. This is due to simple economics - the more something is used by people, the higher its value (which is why Bitcoin is still the number one coin). More hashrate means that more people are engaged in mining, which means that more people use, exchange and send coins, thereby increasing their value. As we know, the higher the hashrate, the more difficult the complexity and, therefore, the less profit-until the price of coins increases. Thus, we will probably see a few months when the profit will be low, but this will be offset by an induced increase in the value of the mined coins.
We all know that increased regulation of the crypto industry is coming, and, as we saw in China, some countries are taking steps against mining. However, this is a very difficult area to actually regulate in practice, and large ASIC farms are likely to be most affected, as they are very visible on the network. Miners with multiple GPUs have nothing to worry about, since they are physically impossible to stop, since they are scattered around the homes of millions of users.
While Proof of Stake does solve some of the issues of Proof of Work (such as environmental impact and scalability), it has the downside of encouraging centralized wealth. The move to PoS is also a very risky one, as it decreases liquidity (especially in the way that Casper is being implemented in Ethereum), and this could backfire in the long term. We have yet to see the real world impact of PoS being implemented, as only a few blockchains use it, and they have not been around for very long, and are not used for direct payments in the way Bitcoin is.
Probably, it is the decentralized algorithm that will be preferred
As coins like ETH become more centralized, there will be a demand for a strong decentralized version, since even now bitcoin mining is somewhat centralized, and now it can only be mined by large ASIC farms. Other algorithms that oppose mining using ASICs are likely to gain popularity, since they embody the original spirit of cryptocurrencies - economic freedom.
Since NiceHash is not a mining pool, it is very easy to change algorithms for mining. NiceHash has more than 30 different algorithms, many of them are suitable for mining on the GPU, and its software can automatically detect and switch to mining the most profitable ones. So, when ETH is gone and you will have nothing to do, the NiceHash miner will find the most profitable coin for you.
After all, anyone who has been involved in cryptography for some time knows about the unstable nature of investments, and this is partly what makes it so attractive. The cryptocurrency industry forces you to be patient. You know about this - profits fall within a month, several months, but as soon as things go down, they always come back up. Ask anyone who bought Bitcoin 2 years ago or 5 years ago, and who had the courage to wait! The cryptocurrency industry will inevitably continue to grow.
What awaits miners in the future, when Ethereum switches to Proof of Stake? What does this mean for GPU mining? The GPU will be able to mine another algorithm pretty much at full hash power. Other algorithms will increase the hashrate and accelerate in their market cycle. As soon as ETH switches to PoS, miners will switch to other algorithms. The difficulties will grow-but prices will also grow with them. Any regulation will give preference to GPU mining over ASIC. Preference will be given to a decentralized algorithm.