Ethereum Founder Says Crypto Mining on Phones is Fool's Game

Ethereum Founder Says Crypto Mining on Phones is Fool's Game

By Abhimanyu Krishnan | News | 14 Apr 2020

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin doesn’t believe that mining conducted on mobile phones is of any use, tweeting on April 13 that it is a “fool’s game” and that it “more likely to trick users with false hope than help them”,

The device referred to in the report, the HTC Exodus, allows users to mine Monero (XMR). Forbes reported that HTC had partnered with Midas Labs, which will make its DeMiner app available on the phone in Q2 2020.

Jr Lee, the founder of Mida Labs, said that the app “empowers EXODUS 1S users to mine at least $0.0038 of XMR per day on average, while the electricity cost is less than 50% of that.” By these numbers, it would take over 35 years to mine 1 XMR if the phone was used for mining every day.

While at least giving users the option to mine, the process itself is not ideal for the hardware of a mobile phone. Most profitable mining networks today require entire farms of expensive Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) - which has led to the much repeated claim that Proof-of-Work (PoW) is far from a democratic process.

Buterin has not shied away from criticizing PoW and mining in the past, saying that “Proof of Work  is the rich get richer squared.” He also outlined his arguments against PoW and a design philosophy for Proof-of-Stake (PoS) in a highly cited Medium post.

Staking, as Buterin mentions, would bring network contribution and rewards towards a vast audience, who would not have to worry about the hardware limitations of phones and could see a much more fruitful outcome as a result of the more democratic protocol that is PoS. Ethereum itself is in the midst of an enormous transition that includes a switch to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), with many of the changes and features that make up Ethereum 2.0 slated for release from the middle of this year and beyond. Ethereum 2.0's changes will be released in a phased manner.

The upgrade has been delayed several times, as the community and the wider investment world anticipate a change that is expected to be much better suited for a global-level decentralized system.

Staking on the Ethereum network, brought to a blockchain-focused phone like the HTC Exodus, coupled with the integration of DApps and various DeFi services, could greatly add to Ethereum's adoption, and certainly give current holders a much more accessible shot at profit than mining.

Abhimanyu Krishnan
Abhimanyu Krishnan

Technophile, cryptocurrency enthusiast and journalist.


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