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Does an Ethereum ASIC Unlock Greater Value for Miners?

The launching of ASIC Miners for Ethereum’s blockchain has not gone down well among the Ethereum community, with many arguing the network will be harmed and the amount of ETH will endure. For miners, however, an ASIC Miners provides increased speed and efficiency than a conventional GPU, which producers assert will enable miners to unlock more value. Who’s right in the long term remains to be seen, but for anyone with an interest in mining ETH, it is a debate worth researching.

A Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is a processor or digital circuit which could render images for display on a digital device. Although their main purpose is to manage and increase the performance of movie and game images, GPUs are also quite good at solving complicated math’s problems to confirm cryptocurrency transactions. Most GPUs can be purchased fairly cheaply from conventional technology shops. An ASIC, on the other hand, which stands for “application-specific integrated circuit”, is an extremely specialized device that’s designed for a particular purpose. As an example, a chip designed to operate in a digital voice recorder or a high-efficiency Bitcoin miner is an ASIC.

Because ASICs concentrate on one specific function, they are generally better at that job than more general apparatus, but this comes at a price tag. ASIC rigs for cryptocurrency mining may cost a few thousand pounds. Traditionally, Ethereum was mined using GPUs, but this might be about to change. Lots of individuals even want Ethereum to experience another fork to protect it from ASIC mining rigs such as Linzhi. The principal issue, critics argue, is that ASIC rigs result in the creation of enormous mining farms that may control the future growth of cryptocurrencies — in essence, they could undermine decentralization.

The principal benefit of using an ASIC to mine Ethereum is it’s much more efficient than a GPU. Linzhi Phoenix ASIC miner for example, is about five times more effective than commercially available GPUs. The greater the mining efficiency, the greater the possible profits. Though ASICs have a higher initial price tag, miners only expect a web browser to run an ASIC, whereas establishing mining using a GPU requires miners to purchase a good deal of extra parts. Getting started with an ASIC is easier, and ASICs use less power than GPUs, so electricity prices are lower. The biggest drawback to using an ASIC is it’s specific to an algorithm, whereas a GPU can be used to mine any coin. The risk of mining just one coin is extremely high if the value of this coin plummets or developers opt to change the hash algorithm, the ASIC will become useless.

Another disadvantage comes from the fact that the problem of mining a coin is dependent upon the computing power of this network. After an ASIC for a specific coin is published, the difficulty for this coin raises and the profitability of the ASIC eventually begins to fall. You need to invest in a capable hardware to yield maximum profits. 

ASICs later on

Even if a lot more Ethereum miners choose ASICs over GPUs, which seems unlikely given their high initial costs and coin-specific attributes, some people today think ASIC mining replacements will really have a limited effect on Ethereum’s network. Ethash, the algorithm used to mine Ethereum, is made to be ASIC-resistant, and Ethereum is supposed to move towards a Proof of Stake (POS) algorithm at any point later on.

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