Most members of the Ethereum community are counting down the days until the network “merges,” a major upgrade that promises to improve efficiency and significantly reduce its environmental impact. Among the most delighted is, unsurprisingly, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin.
But while the impending consolidation has brought excitement in the Ethereum community, it has also drawn criticism and speculation.
The merger will move Ethereum from a proof-of-work consensus model to a proof-of-stake, and not everyone is happy about that. For example, some are resisting consolidation by promoting a potential “ETH PoW” (“Ethereum proof of work”) chain to be continued after the upgrade.
In a call with reporters on Friday night, Buterin acknowledged the ETH PoW movement — but he didn’t care much.
“I don’t expect Ethereum to actually be significantly harmed by another fork,” Buterin said, referring to the controversial hard fork, or blockchain split, in 2016 that resulted in a separate chain called a separate chain. Ethereum Classic. “My impression from pretty much everyone I spoke to in the Ethereum ecosystem was that they were completely supportive of the proof-of-stake effort and united around it.”
Most — and not surprisingly — current interest in ETH PoW has been driven by Ethereum miners, like the famous Chinese crypto miner Chandler Guo, because Miners have something to lose after Ethereum moves to proof of stake: Their earnings.
Currently, with proof of work, Ethereum miners validate transactions on the network — and in turn, earn token rewards — using very expensive equipment and computing power. Some miners have invested tens of thousands of dollars to mine Ether and make a living. With proof of stake, Ethereum will rely on a trusted validator network — effectively eliminating its mining for good. For that reason, miners may want to try and continue Ethereum’s proof-of-work chain, no matter how uncertain or risky that attempt is, to retain their investment.
Mainly, according to Buterin, the people promoting the fork are just “a few outsiders who basically have an exchange and most just want to make a quick buck,” he said. “So I don’t expect it to have significant long-term adoption, just because I think Ethereum Classic already has a preeminent community and superior product for backers of the work.”
But, that doesn’t mean we won’t see “some change” as Ethereum changes.
“If a proof-of-work fork gets big, then there are definitely a lot of applications that will have to choose one way or the other,” Buterin said, adding that if ETH PoW gains significant traction, he Expect a lot of confusion in the market. and issues. “I hope that whatever happens doesn’t lead to people losing money.”
Even if implemented, proper Ether (ETH) production will not resume after merging their forked proof-of-work chain. Miners will have to create a new coin (and a new coin name) for whatever they mine and hope for it to be accepted by the masses, while Ether itself will remain exclusive to Ethereum on its new proof-of-stake chain. Buterin says the same goes for apps and projects.
“From everything I’ve seen,” he said, “it’s all going to be in favor of the proof-of-stake side.”
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