The transition of the Ethereum blockchain to being a proof-of-stake (PoS) network has seen graphic processing units (GPUs) worth an estimated $8.1 billion stop operating according to data highlighted by Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant.
GPUs were the source of computing power to confirm transactions and earn ETH rewards on the proof-of-work (PoW) Ethereum blockchain. Ju points out that as of May 2022, these computers provided a hash rate of 1.06 Petahashes (PH/s) for the Ethereum network.
The need for the energy-guzzling GPUs to mine ETH was made obsolete the moment the Merge was initiated last month. However, despite knowing that the Merge would sever their ties with the Ethereum blockchain, the miners did not budge as the network's hash rate continued to increase till the PoS transition was confirmed Ju noted.
In May 2022, #Ethereum hashrate was 1.06Ph/s (1,060,000,000,000,000 h/s) and now it's gone.— Ki Young Ju (@ki_young_ju) October 21, 2022
Roughly, $8.1 billion worth of GPUs stopped mining.
Hashrate kept increasing although miners knew it would convert to PoS soon. I wonder what their plan was.https://t.co/v8NnUdnZ94 pic.twitter.com/OC9Mx49kCt
Where has the ETH hash rate gone?
Previously, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also commented on the lingering loyalty of ETH miners. Buterin stated that the fact that miners did not rush to sell their ETH holdings was encouraging, and he was also surprised by their behavior as there was only a slight drop in hash rate right up to the migration.
Several former ETH miners have already repurposed their mining rigs to other PoW blockchains, while others like Hut 8 have looked to deploy their GPUs to provide Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, or VFX rendering services to customers.