The domain of the cryptocurrencies, at least for most of those in the general public and even for many from the ranks of the developers, investors, and traders, is primarily a software venture. This means that they are interested in digital applications that can be employed related to the bitcoin, ethereum or some other blockchain digital currency network. For all of these individuals, the back-end hardware which enables whole networks hold not of that big of an importance. While it is safe to assume that none are oblivious to the fact that it exists, the level of interest provided to the mining hardware by non-miners is minimal by all accounts for all networks.
But recently, a huge computer hardware company made an interesting announcement related to this very topic, suppressing many in the digital currency domain. The company in question if the Taiwanese Asus and their new graphic processing units which will be sold with a set of features that make them very effective for the process of hashing, otherwise known as coin mining.
The news came as the company revealed their Mining P106 and Mining RX 470 graphic cards. Both of these were designed specifically to handle both the heat and energy of the mining process. Being that hashing calculations are exceedingly intense, the mining rigs, which are usually made from GPU units, have to be very robust and also focused on their primary task. With practically no user interface or any other elements of a regular computer, the rigs are placed online and here they being their tasks using the pieces of code of their network.
At the same time, it is interesting to note that Asus did not brand these graphic cards as elements of future mining rigs. However, people did not take long to figure out, mostly from the presentation of the products and their specs, that they were created with the focus on mining ethereum. The biggest network supporting a digital currency, which is bitcoin, has surpassed the level of individual mining.
At its current stage, bitcoin mines use what is called ASIC, or application specific integrated circuits. BTC is widespread and used for anything from online poker to using bitcoin for investment. Because of this, the mines used to support the network are huge systems of mining rigs that are light-years away from any home mining operation.
But now it looks like Asus has an interesting offer to anyone who is into digital currencies but not specifically bitcoin. With the ethereum mining potential, Asus clearly believes that there is profit to be made by catering to this market.
Asus is branding their graphic cards as devices that have been engineered with the purpose of coin mining, which is why they are able to provide maximum hash rates while they operate at minimum cost. With this, it is clear that Asus is doing everything aside from calling their cards mining elements.
The news comes as a global shortage of graphic card hits the most regions of the world. Hobby miners have reported that many local stores are running low on these products, while gigantic online retailers like eBay or Amazon are also depleting their stocks.
For some, this has all the hallmarks of a GPU Rush that took place in 2014. In this period, altcoins like litecoin and dogecoin began to be mined by a growing pool of individuals, buying out all available stocks of graphic cards. This time, it looks like ether is the coin of choice for many new miners.
But, all those who decide to enter this domain will encounter a growing problem for their new operation. While graphic cards like these launched by Asus might be more efficient, the hashing difficulty is constantly rising, as the basic network protocol dictates.
For ethereum, the trend shows a tripled level of difficulty that came about in the period between late April and late June of this year. In the long run, the same difficulty will continue to grow and it is only a matter of time before the network has to switch to a similar setup to those used by BTC miners for a long time.
The month of June 2017 was a time period when many believed that the so-called flippening will take place, in which ethereum takes over from bitcoin as the leader when it comes to market cap. However, over the past few days, nothing of the starts occurred as ETH began sliding in price.
Now, it is hovering around $250 and the signs for the recovery of the network in a short amount of time are dubious at best. One of the main reasons why so much ETH was sold is the fact that several ICO began taking away funds, fueled by investors hoping to attain larger profits in a shorter time frame.
But, anyone looking to embark into ETH mining should be ready to apply themselves to a long-term investment. If not, they have to have great trading instincts to pull off a constant flow of profits. The same problem does not exist when it comes to the long-term ethereum investment and this will not change with one or even more price drops on the global markets.
In spite of the drop, many experts have once again underlined their opinion that this digital currency will stay very relevant but also produce a big breakthrough at some future point. When this happens, big profits will be made, especially when it comes to the miners that have saved their coins.
The flippening might not come in such an intensive form as it name suggests – right now, the smart money says it will occur, but no one can tell for certain when. But, the consensus is that the ethereum network will gain in value and market position. Because of this, anyone who has started mining ETH would do well to keep their coins and wait for the price increase that is undoubtedly coming.