After the transition of the Ethereum blockchain to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm, which took place as part of The Merge event, mining this cryptocurrency on graphics cards became impossible. And a day after the event, the profitability of mining other altcoins fell catastrophically – mining almost completely stopped generating revenue.
As a result of The Merge, the miners busy mining Ethereum had released a huge batch of graphics cards. A few days ago, the Ethereum network hashrate was 900 Thesh/s, which is equivalent to 9.5 million RTX 3080 graphics cards, or 20 million mid-range graphics cards. Now miners need to look for other uses for these accelerators.
Many miners hoped that after Ethereum transitioned to the proof-of-stake algorithm, they could transfer their mining power to other altcoins that continue working on the proof-of-work algorithm. For example, for cryptocurrencies like Ravencoin, ERGO, Ethereum Classic, etc. However, this calculation does not seem to work out. The large-scale transfer of computing power has resulted in a sharp increase in the hash rate and a drop in the profitability of altcoin mining. As a result, the rewards received from miners no longer even cover electricity costs.
Portal Tom’s Hardware conducted an analysis of mining profitability on different models of graphics accelerators using data from NiceHash and WhatToMine. The conclusions for the miners were disappointing. With the cost of electricity at 10 cents per 1 kWh, as well as the current prices for accelerators, it will not be possible to earn or recoup the purchased accelerator with the help of mining.
Of the 21 models of AMD Radeon RX 6000 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, only five can theoretically make a profit. For example, the GeForce RTX 3090, Radeon RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT, which were considered the most profitable for mining before The Merge, now yield at best $0.06 per day profit (excluding electricity costs). In this case, it will take more than 20 years to recover the costs of the Radeon RX 6800, for example. Below is a table of current graphics card prices (according to eBay) and their current daily profitability. In most cases it’s in the red.
It is worth noting that the hashrate of many altcoins has not yet stabilized and mining revenues will continue to decrease, which will most likely make mining unprofitable on all graphics cards, except in situations when the miner has the opportunity to use stream for free . And that means that in the near future there will be an influx of graphics cards to the secondary market after they are mined at bargain prices. Such proposals should be treated with caution.