EthereumPoW (ETHW), a proof-of-work splinter from the Ethereum blockchain, has finally announced plans to launch its hardfork exactly 24 hours after the Ethereum Merge on September 15, 2022. A lot of criticisms have trailed the project so far.
ETHW Mainnet Launch Imminent
The Twitter account of the team behind the forthcoming Ethereum hardfork, ETHPoW, in a series of tweets on September 12, 2022, laid out the strategy and timeline of events.
“ETHW mainnet will happen within 24 hours after the Merge,” the EthereumPow Twitter account posted. “The exact time will be announced 1 hour before launch with a countdown timer, and everything including final code, binaries, config files, nodes info, RPC, explorer, etc. will be made public when the time’s up.”
The Ethereum merge, billed to launch later this week, will move the Ethereum network from the proof-of-work mechanism to the new proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, eliminating the need for energy-intensive mining technology. This shift in operation has caused debate in the Ethereum ecosystem, the miners are concerned the PoS mechanism eliminates a significant source of their revenue, and many have proposed forking Ethereum or leaving the Ethereum blockchain altogether.
Per the announcement, the team will provide sufficient time for the chainID switch to take place, after which the mainnet will go live at the specified time after 2048 empty blocks are processed, meaning that the first ETHPoW block to contain any transactions on the mainnet will be the Merge block +2049.
Some exchanges have already shown interest in the forked ETHW, including Poloniex, Bitfinex, and Coinbase, with some going as far as listing ETHW on their exchange.
There have been lingering concerns among developers about issues like the timing of the launch. Ethereum Classic developer, Igor Artamonov recently expressed concerns with the plan to launch the EthereumPow mainnet after the merge, saying “It’s like losing 90% of momentum just on launch, and no one would take it seriously if it’s not a continuous / non-stop chain.”
He also questioned the underlying motives of the hardfork, “The main sell point could be ‘PoW is more secure,'” he tweeted. “But they sell it under ‘miners need to earn money.’ Why??? That’s stupid. That’s not why people would use a blockchain. ‘Safety’ would be a better reason.”
There were also raised eyebrows about the decision to delay the code release and update the chainID until the last minute. A senior Software Engineer at Coinbase, Roberto Bayardo submitted a GitHub pull request on September 8, 2022, to clarify EthereumPoW fork code availability and activation, where it was noted that a new chainID had yet to be submitted and that using the same chainID post-merge would pose a significant risk to replay, or double-spend attacks.
For those who are unaware, EthereumPoW is the brainchild of Chinese Ethereum miner, Chandler Guo, who first proposed the fork on 27 July 2022.
The Ethereum Merge is arguably the most anticipated crypto-related event in 2022, a lot of major players in the crypto space have come out in support of the switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Most notably, Chainlink, crypto’s foremost decentralized oracle has announced that it will not support forked versions of the Ethereum blockchain and is instead anticipating the full adoption of PoS-based Ethereum.
With the Bellatrix Upgrade already seen as a huge success, it’s sure to be interesting to see the kind of reception the ETHPoW chain will get when it finally goes live.