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Post-Merge, PoW Die-Hards Plan to Fork Their Own Ethereum Chains

The Defiant | Samuel Haig | Aug 3, 2022

Ethereum merge possible forks - Post-Merge, PoW Die-Hards Plan to Fork Their Own Ethereum ChainsThe biggest upgrade in the history of Ethereum is rapidly approaching. The Merge will convert Ethereum into a Proof-of-Stake-based blockchain from a Proof-of-Work one. The shift will make the No. 1 blockchain for smart contracts and dApps faster and more affordable. Jazzed investors have sent Ether soaring 52% in the last 30 days.

But not everyone is happy.  'Maintain the Original'

  • Some die-hard miners are facing the obsolescence of billions of dollars worth of mining hardware and a fall in revenue. And they are threatening to maintain the original, Proof-of-Work version of the Ethereum network to protect their investment.
  • Colin Wu, a Chinese cryptocurrency journalist, recently estimated The Merge will displace $5B worth of GPU and ASIC-based mining hardware.
  • On July 31, Wu reported that Chandler Guo, a Chinese miner and former advisor to Binance, predicted roughly half a dozen PoW forks will emerge after Ethereum moves to PoS.

See:  Vitalik’s Announces Next 4 Phases of Ethereum’s Development Which is Only 40% Done

  • In response, Llama Salami pondered whether an “NFT black market” could emerge on a PoW fork of Ethereum.  But many onlookers are skeptical that post-merge PoW Ethereum forks will survive for long.

Perspectives

  • Justin Drake, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, dismissed the threat of PoW forks.  Drake said he expects there will be little economic activity on the PoW chain because there’s a very strong social buy-in for moving to PoS.
  • Marc Zeller, head of developers relations at Aave, said stETH would be worthless on any PoW forks. In a post onTwitter he said stETH won’t be redeemable for Ether, creating a “$1.4B hole” in the books of a PoW fork of Aave.
  • Bob Summerwill, the executive director of ETCCooperative, an organization providing grants and funding to the Ethereum Classic ecosystem, also told The Defiant that PoW Ethereum forks will ultimately fail due to the network effects of DeFi and stablecoins.

See:  Blockchain-based replacement for traditional crowdfunding: DAOs

“All the dApp websites will stop working because they will reference ETH, not the fork,” he said. “Even if it’s possible for somebody to bring up clone websites, servers, etc, that needs doing for every dApp, and then somebody needs to maintain all those forks, too. Some likely not even possible, because you would need admin keys to be able to operate them, and those belong to the existing operators.” - Bob Summerwill

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