- Miners on the Ethereum Network look to preserve the proof-of-work consensus mechanism through hard forks.
- The launch of ETHPoW and EthereumFair show that miners are not backing down in their efforts to preserve the original version of the blockchain.
- Though a bold move, much of the community and project feel that proof-of-stake is the future.
The Ethereum Merge, which kept crypto enthusiasts on their toes this past week, has happened but not without lingering effects.
As the debate on blockchains and environmental concerns grew, the Ethereum blockchain was on course to make a switch to an energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus model. Miners did not appreciate the switch widely anticipated by many within and outside the community. Miners, on their part, claimed that they have invested a fortune in hardware to mine blocks and seek to preserve the status quo.
The merge, which took place last week, saw miners stage a mini protest to create ETHPOW (ETHW) from a hard fork on the Ethereum blockchain. The mining industry is worth about $18 billion and will become extinct due to the PoS upgrade. To further compound the woes of miners, ETH is mined with dedicated GPUs while Bitcoin is mined with ASIC, so they cannot make a switch to Bitcoin.
ETHPoW is not the only product of the hard fork on the Ethereum blockchain, as it has to compete with EthereumFair (ETF). The founders of ETF claim that it was the original hard fork meant to preserve the PoW model before the creation of ETHPoW. Miners also went back to Ethereum Classic, the initial model of the Ethereum blockchain preserved after the infamous DAO hack.
The new staking method of Ethereum will require validators to stake 32 ETH to add new blocks to the chain. Many users have complained about the cost of staking, leaving many to stake through exchanges.
Prospects of POW
The Ethereum blockchain was the second largest POW blockchain and the home of decentralized applications (dApps). As miners look to make ETHW and ETF viable options, they will need to attract many projects to the platforms.
Currently, most Ethereum blockchain projects have chosen the staking model and not the PoW hard fork model, causing a slow start for ETHW and ETF. Although ETHW has been topping trend charts these past few days, a lot still needs to be done to attract projects to the blockchain.
ETHPOW currently trades at $5.60 with over 1.7 billion million transactions held in 83 million addresses, while ETF is worth $4.37 with 6.7 million transactions. Similarly, Ethereum Classic also had a price rally after the Merge due to the migration of miners to the blockchain and the temporary pause on the Ethereum blockchain.