World’s biggest ether mining firm to shut down after the ‘Merge’

Ethermine, the largest Ethereum mining services provider by computing power, will shut down its servers for miners after the blockchain completes its historic technical upgrade.

The news comes on the eve of Ethereum’s highly-anticipated software revamp, dubbed the ‘Merge,’ which will shift the most used blockchain from a proof of work consensus mechanism to proof of stake. This means that in less than 24 hours, it will no longer be possible to mine Ether on the Etherum network, as the powerful graphic cards used to validate transaction data will be replaced with investors that stake Ether. Going forward, these validators will effectively secure the Ethereum blockchain and validate data on the network.

“As a consequence of this transition, the Ethermine Ethereum mining pool will switch to withdraw-only mode once the Proof-of-Work mining phase has ended,” Ethermine tweeted on Wednesday. A countdown timer will appear on the miner dashboard and users will be able to mine Ether until it hits zero. At that point, “all Ethermine stratum servers will be shut down, and you will no longer be able to connect your miner to the Ethermine Ethereum pool,” said the company.

A few days after the Merge, Ethermine will trigger an automatic payout to its miners for any unpaid balances. The company also launched an Ethereum staking pool in August, where Ether holders will be able to deposit their coins and earn yields.

After the Merge takes place, as many as one million people with over $10 billion worth of mining equipment will have to unplug the graphic processing units (GPUs) they have used so far to mine Ether.

Ether mining has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry over the last several years. The activity involves miners competing against each other to be the first to solve mathematic puzzles and earn a reward in the token. Mining pools such as Ethermine aggregate computing power from a group of miners to increase the probability of winning Ether before distributing the rewards among miners. The pools usually charge a fee for providing their services.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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