Ethereum hard fork is intensifying: Fork for the sake of fork or to protect the interests of miners?

As we all know, Ethereum will officially usher in The Merge (that is, the big merger) in mid-September, and the many effects and advantages of PoS have long been known to everyone. But it is also in the consensus mechanism conversion that the miners of PoW will also usher in their own hard landing.

As a result, in order to ensure its interests, support for the Ethereum fork is also rampant.

Crypto hedge fund Galois Capital shared a survey: “Will Ethereum split into two chains after The Merge”. Of these, 53.7% said the merger would go smoothly, but 33.1% believed that the chain might split. If it does split, there will be PoW and PoS tokens even though a PoW version of ETH already exists.


Ethereum Hard Fork History

In the history of Ethereum’s development, it has experienced many “hard forks”, such as the Constantinople hard fork, Istanbul hard fork, Berlin hard fork, London hard fork, etc. .


Most hard forks are planned as part of a roadmap and contain updates that are generally agreed upon by the community, which is often referred to as consensus. However, some hard forks do not always maintain consensus, resulting in multiple different blockchains. Such was the case with the events that led to the Ethereum/Ethereum Classic split.

Ethereum Classic came after members of the Ethereum community continued to use a time-sensitive hard fork (“DAO Hard Fork”).

On July 20, 2016, at a block height of 1,920,000, Ethereum introduced an irregular state change through a hard fork that returned approximately 3.6 million ETH from a smart contract called The DAO . Some in the community disagreed with the change, arguing that it violated the immutability of Ethereum, they chose to keep the original chain under the name of Ethereum Classic (ETC), the new chain supported by the Ethereum Foundation is ETH . While the original split centered on The DAO, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are now separate projects.

Several other forks have also occurred in Ethereum. Some of these are hard forks because they spun off directly from the pre-existing Ethereum network. Such as Expanse, Ethereum fog (ETF) fork, EtherZero (ETZ) fork, etc.

Others are soft forks: they use ethereum’s clients/nodes, but run completely separate networks without any history shared with ethereum. There may be more forks in the life of Ethereum.

There are other projects that claim to be Ethereum forks, but are actually based on ERC20 tokens and run on the Ethereum chain. Two of these examples are EtherBTC (ETHB) and Ethereum Modification (EMOD). These are not forks in the traditional sense and are sometimes called airdrops.

ETC becomes the ultimate winner?

As the only blockchain left over from the Ethereum hard fork, Ethereum Classic has always lived in the shadow of Ethereum. After PoW to PoS, the whereabouts of Ethereum miners has become the focus of attention. One of its options is to support other blockchains that use PoW or graphics card mining, and the first choice is naturally Ethereum Classic (ETC).

On July 22, Vitalik, the founder of Ethereum, responded to the opinions of miners at the ETH CC conference, saying that he would not stop converting Ethereum to PoS, and encouraged miners who support PoW to switch to ETC. “There are a lot of blockchains like Ethereum Classic which was the original Ethereum and didn’t betray the original intention by forking The DAO. It’s a very popular community and I think they will definitely welcome PoW fans…if You like PoW, you should go for Ethereum Classic, it’s a really good chain.”

After Buterin’s remarks, the price of ETC has skyrocketed. According to TradingView data, ETC climbed from 22.8USD to 45USD in the last week, an increase of 66%. As of press time, the price of ETC has fallen back to around 37USD.


It is worth noting that AntPool, a mining pool owned by Bitmain, announced on July 27 that it has invested $10 million to support the Ethereum Classic ecosystem, and plans to continue to invest more.

However, the community also has objections. Neuroscience Ph.D@0xAA said: “ETC cannot catch the computing power of ETH miners. The most beneficial solution for miners is to perform a hard fork when the Ethereum main network is converted to PoS, and create an ETH-PoW, which is more efficient than the current one. The ETC chain is much more valuable. After all, the Ethereum ecosystem is much richer than when ETC was forked.”

Another “hard fork” storm , fork for the sake of fork?

Obviously, in addition to switching to support other blockchains that use PoW or graphics card mining, miners have another option – hard fork Ethereum and retain the PoW consensus mechanism.

Judging from the existing news, a team is planning a hard fork of Ethereum.

On July 28, Guo Hongcai (Bao Erye), an early evangelist of Bitcoin, and the Bay Area aWSB Club established the ETH hard fork project, tentatively named ETH.A, which is expected to be launched in September. At present, the project has assembled a technical team and several mining pools.

Fork for the sake of fork, or to protect the interests of miners? The focus of the debate has returned to the “dispute between Pow and PoS”.

Kan Jia, a Ph.D. in cryptography and distributed systems from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, told Golden Finance: “Because Ethereum was designed many years ago, it has many problems. Forking means bringing the technical burden of Ethereum, so I I think that the technology of forking is more difficult than doing a new one. It is very painful for the V God team to upgrade Ethereum, and they often bounce tickets. This is because the historical burden is relatively large. The fork is very complicated, and the miners have their reasons. .I am also more supportive of PoW. But I advocate using the improved EcoPoW instead of using the original proof-of-work, so I prefer to do a new chain and bring something new to the blockchain.”

Chainlink community ambassador ChainLinkGod.eth wrote directly to the core issue: “It is not really a problem for miners to continue producing blocks on the non-canonical PoW version of Ethereum after the PoS merger. With all off-chain dependencies broken , the valuation drops and it will be a completely unusable ecosystem. Only for dumping forked tokens.”

As an experiencer and witness of the bifurcation wave that year, Pzai, founder of 3 Waves Lab, wrote that such a scene seemed to be commonplace at the time. The mainstream fork at that time was not Ethereum but Bitcoin. The Ethereum ecosystem was still barren, and neither DeFi nor NFT was as prosperous as it is today. When it comes to Bitcoin, its own ecological effect is very small, and it is naturally the computing power that determines the rise and fall of forks. But it would be too stupid to evaluate the present with that set of antiques.

For today’s bifurcation discussion, Pzai believes that the dominant voice has been transferred from the previous miners to the asset side (in fact, Ethereum is also constantly weakening the influence of PoW miners), and PoS itself is also beneficial to the asset side. Ethereum 2.0 itself has another question of “meaning”, namely the choice of sharding and Rollup. Pzai believes that the preferences of the executive layer will not affect the choice of the consensus layer, and ultimately the people will still choose the right path. In the end, only the exchange may choose to accept the fork (and it must not be the battle for hegemony in the past, after all, today is different from the past).

Assuming that the Ethereum faction really relies on PoW miners to fork, does it have practical value in itself? According to Pzai’s analysis, it is very simple, the ecology needs to be rebuilt (ETH is not DCR), and the miners can set off a huge wave of “protection” today?

Pzai gave an example. “We should have all seen the rocket launch, it is generally divided into three stages, the outermost stage is the first to throw away (ETC), and then the second stage rocket is also thrown away. The last stage of the rocket relies on the two The next time I lost weight and went to the sea of ​​stars. It is true that the three-stage rocket did its best for the launch. But when the time came, it could only fall into the atmosphere and wither like a flower.”

“It’s simple, Wake Up Bros,” Pzai said.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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