Vietnamese cryptominers lose big after Ethereum ‘merge’

By Khuong Nha   September 17, 2022 | 10:11 pm PT
Vietnamese cryptominers lose big after Ethereum ‘merge’
A representation of cryptocurrency Ethereum is seen in this illustration taken August 6, 2021. Photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters
Vietnamese cryptominers say they have suffered heavy losses with their mining rigs turning useless after Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, completed its switch to a more energy-efficient framework.

"Goodbye Ethereum", "no more chances" and "sell off rigs" have become the most used keywords on online groups of Vietnamese cryptominers after Ethereum successfully changed its protocol from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).

The technical upgrade, called "The Merge", was completed in the early hours of Thursday morning. It significantly reduces the amount of energy used by the network and sets the stage for Ethereum to lower its fees and massively expand its user base, according to Time.

The change will no longer require miners to use "mining rigs" and vast amounts of energy to solve arbitrary mathematical equations, and these rigs have become useless for mining the popular cryptocurrency.

Given that the majority of Vietnamese cryptominers were mining Ethereum, many are in trouble.

"We all knew this day will come and we have been prepared, but some hoped ‘The Merge’ would happen later so we could mine some more," said Ngoc Can, administrator of a social group on cryptomining."All mining pools have closed down, so miners can no longer mine and have to turn off their rigs," Can said.

Ethermine, the largest Ethereum mining pool, has also announced that it is shutting down its servers. Unpaid balance of miners will be automatically paid in several days, it said.

A miner from Dong Nai said large crypto farms were being affected the most. "I started mining four years ago and expanded my farm after breaking even. I haven’t recouped my new investment and it is s almost impossible to sell it," he said.

"Many of my friends have collapsed and don’t know what to do with their assets", the miner added.

Another miner from Binh Dinh said he planned to mine other cryptocurrencies but gave up after finding out that electricity bills would eat up any profit.

"I spent my family’s savings on the mining rig. I don’t know how to recover from that", he said.

"I regret gambling on these cryptocurrencies."

Many cryptominers also expect that Ethereum will be split into a new branch that still allows PoW mechanism, but that prospect is uncertain at this point.

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