Arcane research outlined some possible routes left for Ethereum miners as they face obsoletion with the coming Merge.
According to Arcane, the miners have two choices, drive up the price of other GPU mineable coins or dump their GPU machines. It is worth noting that, unlike Ethereum, Bitcoin mining requires ASIC machines, so Ethereum miners can not just migrate to mining Bitcoin. Furthermore, while other GPU mineable coins exist, the mining profitability is meagre compared to Ethereum, whose mining profitability trumps even that of Bitcoin. CoinMetrics data shows that Ethereum mining profitability continues surpassing Bitcoin’s by $1 billion in the last two years.
The closest GPU mineable coin to Ethereum in terms of profitability is Ethereum Classic. Notably, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin in his speech at EthCC, addressing concerns of those who are against the Merge that would see Ethereum migrate to proof-of-stake (PoS), encouraged them to consider using Ethereum Classic, calling it a perfectly fine chain. However, at current price levels, despite a 155% increase in July, the mining profitability is just 3% of that of Ethereum.
Miners have already moved to improve the development activity on these smaller GPU mineable proof-of-work (PoW) chains. Last month, AntPool invested $10 million to support the development of the Ethereum Classic network.
It is worth noting that the Ethereum Merge is just over a month away, provided all goes well with the Merge on the final testnet known as Goerli.
While the Merge promises a host of benefits for the network, it is understandably a nightmare for miners. At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading at the $1,684 price point, down 6.31% in the last 24 hours but up 6.51% in the last seven days.