It’s official – Ethereum’s platform upgrade is no longer known as Ethereum 2.0. Instead, Vitalik Buterin and Co. have switched their focus to developing two layers – the consensus layer and the execution layer.
When the upgrades are finished, the new layers will merge with the existing Ethereum blockchain. The consensus layer will then take over the production of Ether replacing Ethereum’s old proof-of-work system.
Ethereum foundation will continue to have an arbitrage role, guiding and coordinating the technical development of the blockchain.
New Name, New Path?
Apart from rebranding the project, the people behind Ethereum haven’t made too many other changes. The most important upgrades are still on the agenda, including the one regarding Ether mining.
The Beacon Chain – a new blockchain ledger – is added to the project. Its purpose is to get rid of Ethereum’s old proof-of-work system, which is famously power-consuming and relatively inefficient.
In laymen’s terms, this means that Ether mines might no longer be able to use high-end GPUs to mine the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency.
What Does “Consensus Layer” Mean for Miners?
Ethereum’s consensus layer could mean the end of Ether mining as we know it. In early 2022, Ether is the cryptocurrency that’s mostly mined via graphics cards. This crypto leads the world’s GPU mining thanks to the use of the proof-of-work system.
ETH miners have been buying graphics cards meant for gamers in huge quantities which, at one point, led to a GPU shortage. In fact, we even saw Nvidia installing a mining limiter in several of its products (e.g., GeForce RTX 3060) to discourage miners from buying it.
However, once Ethereum finishes its transition from the proof-of-work system to the proof-of-stake system, GPU mining will no longer be profitable.
On the bright side for ETH miners, the upgrade probably isn’t going to be completed until the end of 2022.