BTC.com is releasing an Ether (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) mining client on its portal, according to an August 30 announcement. The expansion is part of the platform's effort to diversify its mining portfolio "to include more GPU/CPU mining options for its users." To accompany the new client, BTC.com is also releasing an Ethereum block explorer and application programming interface.
The client will allow miners to switch their hashing power between ETH and ETC pools, giving them the ability to adjust to market forces. Miners will be rewarded under a "full pay per share" accounting system "that calculates a standard transaction fee within a certain period of time."
Apparently, BTC.com released the client in part to help scale the Ethereum network's mining infrastructure. Zhuang Zhong, director of BTC.com's mining pool, said that through his team's efforts, he expects "mining operations to grow to 12% of ETH total hashrate in the next 12 months."
Zhong also commented on the upcoming Casper proof-of-stake (PoS) implementation, noting that a mining pool would still be possible with this different consensus algorithm: "[PoS] will increase the complexity to design such a pool since miners need to deposit Ether to the mining pool, but we have a lot of hands-on experience with wallet and Ethereum smart contracts to make a PoS mining pool possible."
Despite Zhong's optimism, though, it has long been thought that switching to a PoS mechanism would render mining obsolete and GPUs unprofitable. However, it's possible that he is simply using the term "mining" imprecisely, and is instead simply referring to the possibility of a (for lack of a better term) staking pool. BTC.com wouldn't be the first to suggest such a thing.
BTC.com, along with the mining pool Antpool, are owned by Chinese parent company Bitmain, which develops ASIC mining machines. These pools are two of the biggest in the world.