Ethereum has been eyeing up a Proof-of-Stake concept for years now. Thus, Ethereum has remained a power-sap of gargantuan proportions. Its power demand has been compared to countries, and is only increasing as the price goes ever higher—it makes you realise all your individual efforts recycling and riding a bike to work are nothing in the face of millions of people trying to make a quick buck.
Proof-of-stack, if successful, would cut Ethereum's power use by up to Either miners can pack up shop, sell their GPUs for a quick buck second-hand, and move on with their lives. Or they move to one of the many, many alternative cryptocurrencies out there that are still happily mining away.
There will likely always be cryptocurrencies that use the tried-and-tested proof-of-work approach to get off the ground, which means we'll never quite be free of the cryptocurrency's power and hardware requirements entirely. But these altcoins still have to prove themselves profitable to see the graphics card river run dry, and in that there's some hope for affordable GPUs sometime in the next few years, even if proof-of-stake may not quite the magic fix-all we're praying for.
Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry.
When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping. Audio player loading…. Jacob Ridley. See comments. Rather than notes or credit card transactions, cryptocurrency payments are effectively entries into an online database called a public ledger, where all transactions are recorded. This public ledger is the Blockchain, which is a chained-together record of all Crypto transactions. There are two ways to obtain a unit of cryptocurrency — either you can receive it as payment from someone else and keep it in your digital wallet until it's ready to be sold elsewhere , or you can mine fresh units of cryptocurrencies.
Crypto-mining is the energy-intensive part of the cryptocurrency process that has been the target of much criticism over the past few years. To mine Crypto, you need to solve a long, complex mathematical problem that requires significant computing power to answer — the first computer to answer it then receives a new block of Ether, BitCoin, or other cryptocurrencies.
Proof-of-Work makes mining for cryptocurrency quite difficult and expensive. Ethereum, the blockchain network the Ether ETH currency is tied to, is trying to replace Proof-of-Work with a more environmentally friendly way to verify and validate cryptocurrency transactions — called Proof-of-Stake. Advantages of Proof-of-Stake over Proof-of-Work include the lower energy costs, fewer hardware requirements and a subsequent lower barrier to entry as well as faster transaction speed, less operational expenses, and increasing decentralization.
In , Deloitte found that 2, businesses in the US were accepting Bitcoin as a valid form of payment, including in California. That figure has likely risen since then. It's really a question of supply and demand — the more people buy digital currencies, the more businesses will accept them. What's more, the news that there may be a solution to the energy-intensive nature of current crypto-mining just removes another barrier to mass investment, especially to those who have been heavily critical of its environmental impact.
If you own or manage a business and are looking into diversifying your payment options, making space for digital currencies may prove quite profitable. Some POS systems are already capable of accepting cryptocurrency, meaning that it's easier than ever for companies to charge in Bitcoin, Ethereum or other currencies. We're sorry this article didn't help you today — we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at contact tech.
Aaron Drapkin is a Senior Writer at Tech. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol three years ago. As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs and project management software.
An overview of the Ethereum upgrades and the vision they hope to make a reality. If you want to use your ETH to help secure the Ethereum network. This upgrade involves a shift in Ethereum's mining model (“Proof-of-Work”) to a staking model (“Proof-of-Stake”). What's the difference between Ethereum (ETH). The Ethereum “merge” is an attempt to switch from a proof-of-work model to graphics cards and other gear—to build an Ether mining rig.