The second largest cryptocurrency in the world is receiving an upgrade that will support its blockchain. Burning energy to mine money from the Internet has been met with criticism, so calls for cryptocurrencies to move to a more sustainable proof-of-stake algorithm have been increasing, and Ethereum is doing just that. Specialized miners have been created to mine cryptocurrencies efficiently, meaning they can generate more hash rate with less electricity. It's likely that it will be difficult to continue mining cryptocurrencies profitably unless there are major changes in the popularity of certain currencies, so let's take a closer look.
Once the merger takes place, mining difficulty will skyrocket due to the “difficulty bomb”, which is a mechanism designed to eliminate the incentive to mine Ethereum in favor of staking. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said today that the cryptocurrency is aiming to transition from its traditional mining model to a “proof of stake” algorithm later this summer, likely in August. There are other Proof of Work cryptocurrencies that can be mined with consumer hardware for profit; however, with many Ethereum miners looking for new coins to mine, these alternative options may no longer be profitable.