A Chinese Bitcoin miner has claimed that a Proof of Work (POW) fork for Ethereum is “coming soon” as Ethereum prepares to migrate to its Proof of Stake (POS) consensus mechanism.
If Ethereum is able to keep to its current projected schedule the change in consensus mechanism, known as “the merge,” will occur on the week commencing Sept 19. The change will mean that Proof-of-Work Ethereum miners could soon find themselves out of business, or searching for alternative revenue streams.
A good hard look
The upgrade to the Ethereum network is forcing miners to take a good hard look at their options.
As Wu Blockchain summed up on Jul 29 on Twitter, “there are nearly 5 billion US dollars of graphics card mining machines and ASIC Ethereum mining machines (A11 E9) that need to find a way to continue mining after Ethereum turns to POS in September. Most belong to Chinese miners.”
Chandler Guo is among those considering their future. Last week the well-known miner stated that ETH POW would be “coming soon,” but his assertion instantly ran into a wall of skepticism and criticism.
Part of the reason for the pushback is that Ethereum already has a legacy blockchain in the form of Ethereum Classic (ETC). Ethereum Classic has been operating since 2015 and has no plans to switch to Proof-of-Stake.
AntPool and Bitmain
Leon Lv, the CEO of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pool, AntPool, has other ideas on how best to approach Ethereum’s upcoming merge. On July 26, Lv explained that the company, which is closely tied to hardware giant Bitmain, would be investing $10 million “to build the prosperity of ETC.”
With AntPool and Bitmain backing the plan to switch to Ethereum Classic, the momentum may be with them.
Vitalik Buterin previously lent some weight to Ethereum Classic as a serious option for those who wished to jump from the Ethereum PoS train.
“There are plenty of blockchains, like there is Ethereum Classic which is the original Ethereum,” said Buterin. “It’s a very welcoming community and they’ll definitely welcome Proof-of-Work fans.”
While the choice between Ethereum Classic and some proposed new fork of Ethereum POW should make for an interesting battle, miners still have further options available to them. After all, Bitcoin and Ethereum are hardly the only POW blockchains in the cryptosphere.
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