Why GPU / Ethereum Mining Is Toast – Stop Buying GPUs

One way I keep up with the developments in cryptocurrency is I do watch some of the YouTubers since the YouTubers are generally following the juiciest developments to farm views. With the continued news that Ethereum is going to launch Eth 2.0 and is more or less on time (now called the “Ethereum consensus layer”, how catchy) how much denial there is around this fact.

Except we are way past that point now. It’s literally these YouTuber’s job to know that GPU mining is toast and today I’m going to expose how big of frauds they are, how they really built their mining farms, what they are actually doing vs. what they’re telling you and why, as well as explain what exactly is going on with Ethereum and why if you’re planning on being able to mine with those GPUs (at least above the cost of your electricity / profitably) the math is not looking good.

Why am I doing this? Because I’ve been mining since before Ethereum existed and will still be mining after Ethereum mining no longer exists so it’s pretty clear to me what is happening here.

Let’s break down what both the miners AND the Ethereum developers/community don’t seem to want to remember so we can actually understand what is happening (and when) and break it down!

Ethereum Mining Ending

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Is Ethereum mining ending? Yes, not only is it ending, they have been trying to end it almost since Ethereum started. Within 2-3 of years it had already been decided this was going to happen.

Look at this EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal) from all the way back in December 2016 where it was already a foregone conclusion it was going to proof of stake: Official Ethereum EIP #186 – GitHub.

That was several difficulty bombs ago. The block reward was 5 ETH per block back then!

The Beacon Chain

Now you might say “okay, so they’ve wanted to end it forever and it hasn’t happened, so why shouldn’t we assume that it will never happen or take 5 more years”?

Excellent question! It’s because now Ethereum 2.0 / Ethereum consensus layer already exists. It’s not theoretical anymore. There’s no question it will work. It is working / has been working for a while.

It’s called the “Beacon Chain”. It’s a separate network from Ethereum 1.0 but it already exists today. You can already run a validator node and you can even send Ethereum to the chain and stake it for pathetic rewards vs. mining it gives with even mediocre hardware.

Seeing is believing. If you want to see the Ethereum 2.0 chain working we can use the block explorer from beaconcha.in like this:

Ethereum Beacon Chain
Ethereum Beacon Chain

It was launched all the way back on December 1st, 2020. This was when the Ethereum bubble was starting and after I’d bought the last GPUs I’d ever buy for mining (5x RX5700 XTs for $400/ea in early November before the price went 1k+) and started buying ASICs and have been ever since.

Goldshell ASIC     Goldshell ASIC     Goldshell ASIC     Goldshell ASIC     Goldshell ASIC    

The Merger

So what’s left? All that is left is for them to merge Ethereum 1.0 with the Beacon chain. That is it. It’s already working. They aren’t still making it.

Right now they are planning. They want to make sure the transition goes as smooth as possible. If things went really badly it would impact the value of Ethereum and create potentially countless really serious problems / headaches for people.

They could move it today if they wanted. They really could. Think that’s a stretch? How could you possibly know that James?

The 51% Attack Threat Fiasco

Despite all of the denial back when the miners first heard about this they threatened a 51% attack. This is where miners group together to achieve greater than 50% hashpower on the coin. This allows them to start screwing with blocks as they have enough miners to make this possible.

Why? Because they are morons basically. The gas fees were hugely cut for miners and most of it is burned now. It was called EIP-1559.

It wasn’t all of us (it was a lot of the sponsored miners we’ll be talking about later though). In fact I was warning it would kill mining. And guess what? I was probably right. Look at me vs. reddit here: Reddit EtherMining Subreddit “Show of Force” Discussion

My argument was that the “Show of Force” 51% mining attack was lame and counterproductive. Want to guess how that went?

They got absolutely trounced so bad that they don’t even speak of it anymore. Vitalik Buterin presented a plan to IMMEDIATELY move Ethereum 1.0 to the Beacon chain if the miners performed a 51% attack. Were they actually ready then? Probably not, there would have been a lot of problems. They have had a year to prepare since then and they already thought they could mostly do it. That’s how you know.

If you weren’t around when this happened you may have never even heard of this. That is because it went as badly as we told them it would if not worse, and guess what? It actually does look like it’s going to mostly kill mining, and it’s *definitely* going to kill GPU mining. Even just the threat of it. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t actually perform a 51% attack.

They forced the Ethereum team into a difficult position using what they must see as weaknesses/mistakes in the past. All of the major new competitors in this last bull run were Eth-killers that already were using proof of stake and had way, way lower fees which are atrocious on Ethereum to this day. The fees are literally the worst of any cryptocurrency in the world and maybe even more expensive fees than any financial product that has ever been created on Earth. Already being proof-of-stake meant they were immune to this threat the miners were making which was making them look even more like punks against their fiercest competitors that legitimately want them dead (Eth killers). This was going to trigger their wrath.

They don’t want to talk about it because it literally advanced the timetable. They cut off their own foot. This would not be happening as soon as it is going to if this didn’t happen and create a legitimate threat that spooked Ethereum holders/investors forcing Vitalik to respond.

If we had just had a little bit more time NVIDIA was heavily making more efficient GPUs for mining that used much less power. Things didn’t have to be this way. The miners honestly forced a lot of this by being such greedy short-sighted idiots as most of them are (which is why they usually go bankrupt when the bubble is over).

This last Ethereum mining bubble was so large that most of them got away jumping in late and buying GPUs at 5x prices. In 2017 they all went bankrupt and we went in to a 3 year bear market. They’ll just get left behind on ASICs and frankly they already have if they haven’t started building their ASIC farm already.

The Current Situation

Okay, now that we’ve covered the history that neither the miners or Ethereum developers want to talk about we have enough background to explain what is actually going on here with mining. Let’s divide the miners into two groups:

  • #1 – Old miners – Likely believe in decentralization and are most idealist about crypto, probably have mined other things than Ethereum before, have survived multiple bubbles, will tell you honestly if they think something is good/bad to mine as they’re experienced enough to know more people/attention to a coin actually does benefit them financially directly. Probably less than 10% of miners qualify in this climate.
  • #2 – Almost everyone else – Started mining in the middle of the Ethereum bubble and buying GPUs — were successful because of the magnitude of the Ethereum bubble but would not normally have been — not likely to care about decentralization or possibly even know what it is in some cases — some of them will survive and join the “old miners” club if they can survive a bubble or two bursting and not be gone — not necessarily evil but are naive/inexperienced and super prone to greed or they wouldn’t have jumped in during the middle of a bubble at 5x prices

But wait, there’s a third category I wanted to talk to you about today.

  • #3 Sponsored miners – People who received most or all of their GPUs for free during the Ethereum bubble by starting a YouTube channel to review GPUs for mining. Have never survived a bubble. Probably haven’t been mining for more than a few years at most. Did not build their farm the way they teach you. Their purpose is (was, we’ll get into it) to sell you GPUs one at a time and tell you to build their farm that way even though they didn’t and never will. This is what they’re still doing because they aren’t actually successful miners and that is all they know how to do. They’re sponsored grifters.

I’m not sure that most people realize this. All those YouTube cryptocurrency stars? Those are not successful or even real miners. They did not buy most of those GPUs, and they definitely didn’t build their farms the way they are telling you to. That’s all sponsored gear. You definitely don’t want their advice on how to actually build a profitable farm if you, for instance, actually have to buy your gear with your own money because they didn’t. They have no idea.

What happened was when the bubble started the GPU sales went absolutely off the charts. GPU launches were the biggest thing ever. Now people largely ignore them because the availability is so poor it doesn’t mean anything unless you’re an insider. As a result of this GPU vendors started raising their prices and really wanted to cash in on this phenomena.

NVIDIA started making GPUs that were more power efficient just for mining. That’s how much these companies wanted a piece. They also started sponsoring YouTubers. Just like YouTubers that review GPUs for gaming there started to be YouTubers who covered crypto mining that started to be sent free GPUs for the exact same reason. To sell more GPUs through influencers. That is where this class of “miner” was born.

You know who I’m talking about. The people with giant towers of GPUs behind them with all the RGB lit up basically screaming “look at how badass of a miner I am”. That’s your grifters right there. Guess where they got those? Most of them came from NVIDIA, EVGA, Gigabyte, every GPU vendor you can imagine.

What happened was all of these YouTubers realized that since the companies were trying to cash in on this phenomena there was an opportunity. It wasn’t mining though, not really, and definitely not the way they are preaching to their audience pretending they are building these farms 1 GPU at a time with their hard earned money like they’re telling their audiences. They smelled a grift and they started up their channel. Take it from another content creator but one with very different audiences / motivations.

Why Sponsored Miners Recommend GPUs STILL

There’s a few reasons. The first one I touched on already which is that that has always been their job. They got a bunch of free sponsored GPUs to build a poser farm with and look like they’re some kind of badass on YouTube. That’s all they are. They didn’t build that farm actually buying them like a real miner has to. How it worked is they would get a 3070 from NVIDIA, then a 3070 from ASUS, then a 3070 from Gigabyte, and so on. Then the 3060 came out and they would do it again!

Because of that they don’t actually know anything. Some of them might legitimately not know / understand that GPU mining is ending and that these other coins couldn’t even absorb a small fraction of Ethereum’s hashrate and remain profitable. The closer we get though the lower the chances are that is the case, and they’re getting quite low which is why I’m writing this now. Too low.

The explanation is really simple. The “Eth Mining isn’t ending / GPU mining isn’t ending” denial group is very passionate about what they are saying. They need a constant drip of reinforcement to maintain this illusion. Wait until you see the numbers, and then you will understand why. They’re absolutely soul-crushing.

What do YouTubers specialize in? Making content and ultimately driving clicks about things that piss people off. It’s usually controversial topics. Topics where people will subscribe and come back so you can drip-feed them the same nonsense are the most lucrative of all. That is the “grift”. People do it in almost every topic/category and this one is even better because it also has free merchandise you get to keep from the vendors.

Could you succeed at GPU mining with dozens of free GPUs during a silicon shortage?

That’s why these guys are *NOT* successful miners. Are you kidding me? Can you imagine being handed literally dozens of NVIDIA 3000 series GPU during the biggest Ethereum bubble in history AND a silicon shortage? How could you lose? That is literally a gift of hundreds of thousands of dollars between the ETH mined and the GPUs themselves.

Do you think that person has something to teach you about mining? Why? They don’t even know as much as you do. If you had to buy your equipment you are a better and more successful miner than they are. They aren’t miners. They’re sponsored performers with literally free gear, DOZENS of GPUs. They’re circus performers generating clicks from the build in their background and the brand names on them which was an investment by the manufacturer into that YouTuber at YOUR expense (you are the target to go buy the GPU and make the manufacturer money).

In fact, it’s even worse than that. They know they are lying to you AND you are buying them their ASIC miners with the money. Why? Because ASIC miners are *much* more difficult to get for free. You’re going to get at best one of the smaller models from each manufacturer or if you’re really lucky you might get something like a KD5/KD6 on occasion is as good as it could possibly get. You’re not going to get dozens of them. They need money. A lot of money, and there’s not much time.

They’re also *way* more expensive than GPUs. Too expensive for these guys even if they haven’t managed their money very wisely. They aren’t getting crazy money from the Ethereum anymore, nobody really is that isn’t using ASICs because they’re way more efficient and powerful. They probably paid way too much for those ASICs too because of the Eth bubble but the smart ones are doing fine.

That means they need you to buy them. The one free vendor ASIC is not even going to impress an average YouTube user. Buying 5-6 more of them is going to be a problem both because of availability and price. The GPU grift is all dried up. They’ll never receive another free GPU again. That time has passed and the manufacturers weren’t sending them to the mining YouTubers because they like them.

Don’t Be Fooled

Now let’s put it all together. We’ve covered the actual state and progress of the Ethereum chain merge that will eliminate Ethereum mining. We’ve covered the motivations of the people you are most likely to get crypto information from. Now let’s put it all together.

The GPU mining content in the year 2022 is so YOU can pay for their ASICs which the vendors will never send them enough of to even pose with on YouTube. Why? Because if they don’t get some ASICs fast they are not going to have a YouTube channel in 6 months. That is no joke.

They have a limited amount of time left to milk those GPUs before most of you still watching that trash will finally wake up and realize GPU mining is toast. They probably haven’t been managing their funds wisely and thought the grift could continue but they know it now.

Mark my words, it is that very moment when those of you remaining accept that Ethereum mining is ending when… SURPRISE! All of the sudden that YouTuber who has been doing knowingly dishonest GPU mining content pretending they are building these farms 1 GPU at a time like they’re telling the viewer?

They have a ton of ASIC content now paid for with your profits from needing to consume a constant drip of soothing saying it’s okay we will mine other coins blah blah blah. No. You won’t. The numbers do not support that conclusion.

Bobcat 300 Helium Miner
Bobcat 300 Helium Miner*

Why GPU mining can’t absorb Ethereum’s hash rate

Name a GPU mineable coin. You said Ravencoin didn’t you. Everyone always says Ravencoin when I ask that question!

It’s basically the same as it has been for the past few years. I’m going to show you, but brace yourselves.

WhatToMine – Daily Earnings Calculator

Let’s start with Ethereum Classic. GPU miners hoping to utilize this coin have a problem. It uses Ethash, the same as Ethereum, and there are ASICs for that. Those ASICs can’t mine anything else. They *HAVE* to mine Ethereum Classic or another Ethash coin of which there are some but they’re even tinier than the ones we’ll be comparing here.

What does that mean? It means since they have to mine Ethereum Classic and can’t mine the other coins the GPUs can you can scratch that one off your list. The ASICs are way more efficient than your GPUs that are also going to be homeless when Ethereum mining ends. You will not be able to compete here. It unfortunately also has by far the highest market cap of any of them of 3.8 billion.

Ethereum’s market cap is 331 billion. Let’s calculate that as a percentage to get a sense of how big Eth Classic is vs. Eth:

(3811994785 ÷ 331332705081) * 100 = 1.15%

Ok. That’s not good. Ethereum Classic, as BY FAR the biggest coin other than Ethereum that is GPU mineable, has 1.5% the market cap of Ethereum.

What happens when however many % of those people try to keep GPU mining or have to mine with their Ethash ASICs have to share a pie that is 1.15% the size of what they were getting before? They starve. You don’t make electricity. There aren’t enough daily emissions to feed you all.

Does it help if we do the calculations by hash rate? No, and they’re a lot harder to compare because a TH of hashpower on Ethash is not the same as on another coin/algorithm. You can do it though, and it scales pretty similarly to the market cap. The bigger factor will be whether there are ASICs on them because you can’t compete with the newer ASICs (9.5 GH/s in a single Bitmain ASIC, ONE!).

But what about those other coins?

We just did the biggest one and we are at 1.15% of Ethereum’s market cap. If you add them all together you won’t even break double digits. There’s nowhere to go, there’s no money in there literally. Not even if you add the entire market cap of the coins together can you find enough money for all these miners and have them make above the cost of electricity.

The fact is there are no other coins. Proof of Work is unfashionable now. Elon Musk will tweet saying you’re destroying the planet. Ethereum is feeding into this as well by touting how they’re getting rid of evil energy consuming mining to go to proof of stake. This makes all the other coins left behind on Proof of Stake look bad and no new project wants to be accused of that.

I just showed you the menu. Either 99% of both ASIC and GPU miners need to quit mining forever or you need to understand that you will be sharing from a pie that is 1-2% the size of Ethereum. Just Ethereum by itself. You also have ASICs that will be homeless that you will be competing with for Ethash (Eth Classic basically), which is by far your biggest choice.


If you want to keep mining then prepare. You’re going to need ASICs and / or Helium hotspots. There is no other choice as having no proof of work coins (at least that are in the spotlight) for so many years has left the landscape pretty barren. CPU mining hasn’t been profitable for years. If you think a type of mining can’t just go unprofitable and basically die then look at CPU mining, GPU mining is next.

If you want to ride out into the sunset then that is what you should do. Use what you have and keep it all as profit. Buying GPUs is only lining pockets at this point and it won’t be your pockets. Even if Ethereum mining goes on for longer than the end of the year (it won’t) the big boy ASICs from Bitmain that are 9.5GH/s will keep shipping and keep stomping on your GPUs until it’s not even worth the electricity.

Even at today’s numbers if you stopped mining Ethereum you’d be making about 60-70%. That is literally competing against nobody you already lose at least 30-40% of everything you make switching when nobody else even is. It’s going to be absolutely devastating.

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1 year ago

What do you think about Chia Network (XCH)? It’s the most decentralized Blockchain with over 350.000 nodes ran by a high percentage of small farmers. PoST could easily be the future of crypto decentralization.

1 year ago

Hey, official pool support was introduced in early July and it’s been working flawlessly since then. I also started plotting before pooling support, so about half of my plots are being farmed through an unofficial OG pool (foxypool.io) and the other half are NFT (pool) plots so I can farm them with any of the available official pools (there are a ton, usually with fees between 0 and 1%). The last week’s I’ve been slowly replotting my OG plots to NFT pool compatible plots, but I’m not in a hurry because foxypool works really well. In the last months there have been very exciting development milestones from the Chia team, like truly peer to peer exchange capabilities and CAT support (Chia tokens, equivalent to the tokes that use the ETH network). I recommend you the Chia Plot website to follow the Chia news (I’m not affiliated to it).

1 year ago

Nice, I’d be great to read an article about it. The ROI for Chia farmers isn’t great right now with the current XCH prices, but the strengths of the project are the little power consumption and that no one needs specialized hardware to farm it (anyone can buy a big ass HDD without having to deal with scalpers). Also all the paranoia with killings SSDs turned out to be an overstatement: you can find people in Reddit that went over 3x or 4x the TBW life of their SSDs and they still work fine, and also the newest plotter implementations reduce the SSD writes up to 75% by using RAM for most operations.

1 year ago

Which Asic mining do you suggest? Stick to BTC?

1 year ago

We have 22 S19j ASICs we bought at $40-54 per t/h. We have 8 3000 series Nvidia GPUs we got 10% over msrp. We are looking to diversify and reinvest in miners while the market trades sideways/down. We have not owned Goldshells yet and are a bit afraid to buy used.

1 year ago

You sharpened my perspective. Thank you

1 year ago

Great article. I believe much of what you say is spot on. What’s your take on how miners can evolve? You mentioned helium, but that seems to be getting less profitable, too. How about MXC, or deeper network? Or maybe miners migrating to becoming validators by running nodes like Flux or Pocket? What’s your take on the next phase?

1 year ago

I ordered my Bobcat miner back in November and I’m still waiting. By the time I get it, it’s quite possible it might be down to $0.398 per day, lol.

Although I don’t run a flux node yet, I mine it at continually decreasing profitability. The parallel assets they award helped a little.

Presearch is a great project and I operate a node, but the node profitability is not very good. I am in it because it was inexpensive to get up and running, the potential of the project (I personally use it and really like it) and the future price of PRE.

I agree with you that the commitment for many of these nodes is often too much risk for the reward at this point. One concern that I have is that many so called “nodes” aren’t really even nodes. They are more like a ponzi scheme based on paying existing “node” operators with the investment from new “node” operators. There isn’t necessarily even a defined project.

Just to note, poket.network’s site does reference there is a node staking pool for POKT with no minimum, which is run on discord (not all that comfortable with that but it seems legit). The pool takes 15% of the profit from the nodes bought by the pool with the remainder being split in proportion to the node pool stakers’ investments . I’m not recommending it, I put a very small amount of money in to see how it works. But I’m thinking, if leaving it in the pool grows me to the point where I can do my own node for the whopping $19K it now costs, and the project still looks good by then… that might be an option.

There are a whole bunch of low powered miners popping up, but their coins are questionable, so I try to focus on projects. MXC Foundation (mxc.org) seems to be a fairly large IoT project but they make it difficult to take out your coins from the project at this point in time. Helium, has hopefully long term utility and hopefully HNT grows in value but I’m concerned as you mentioned, too, about future profitability. The other problem that I foresee with many, if not most, low powered miners is the risk that if the project fails… you’re stuck with a device you can’t use, resell or repurpose (although maybe that’s a business model for someone who can figure that out!). The other issues is that for most of these projects, your coins are pretty much in your account of the projects wallet… and not in your own hot or cold wallet.

I hadn’t seen that validator node for Solana, thanks , I will look into that one.

I think we are at a crossroads and although mining may not be realistic for those just starting, as W3 and the metaverse starts to take shape, I am hopeful that over the next 12 to 18 months we will see the next generation of ways that we can develop a sustainable “passive” crypto income on the blockchain.

Sorry for the long post, I used to write a lot and tend to get on my soapbox. I really enjoy your blog and your detailed approach.

1 year ago

You forget the real Ethereum force: miners around the world, small players with 1-10 gpus. They guard the system and make it safe. If ETH goes PoS then it will join the ADA, Solana and other youtube infected coins. The miners will get into the system guaranted to work in a democratic way, not the madeup numbers systems. Nobody knows what is going to happen, it is 50/50. But who will trust the guy (butterik) who burned few billions of shitcoins. PoS eth will turn into one huge bubble exactly the same as fiat banks. I belive in decentralization, based on small miners around the world. The new “ETH”will be PoW Asics-proof coin and this is going to emerge, once not all the nods will update to eth2. Hard fork.

1 year ago

Such a poorly written article. Go check and see if the ethereum team has frozen any code for the “merger”. It doesn’t seem like you understand the SDLC very well….

1 year ago

Not really I am mining on 3080s it’s still decent profitable to me. Made a lot last year sure it’s 50% less profit these days but not as you described