As the Ethereum (ETH) Merge – dubbed the blockchain industry’s biggest event this year – approaches, discussions among industry veterans and experts have started to heat up. The topics of conversation focus mostly on the consensus mechanism shifting from Proof of Word (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS).
As the Merge will be driven by the shift in the consensus mechanism, there are generally two schools of thought – those who are pro-PoW and others who are pro-PoS. Due to these differences, the “hard fork” of ETH is very likely to occur: where the PoW-based ETH continues to operate as a hard fork while the new version, after the merge, will be called ETH 2.0. Let’s check out how blockchain veterans view the Merge and Fork.
Chainlink: Supports Merge but not Fork
Chainlink, a decentralized blockchain oracle network built on Ethereum, indicated that it supports the Merge but will not support forked versions of the Ethereum network.
“Users should be aware that forked versions of the Ethereum blockchain, including PoW forks, will not be supported by the Chainlink protocol. This is aligned with both the Ethereum Foundation and broader Ethereum community’s decision, achieved via social consensus, to upgrade the Ethereum blockchain to PoS consensus,” Chainlink said in a notification on its website.
Frax Finance：Against PoW fork
Sam Kazemian, the co-founder of blockchain project Frax Finance, initiated a proposal to vote against the ETH hard fork in the community, urging Frax DAO to choose PoS-based ETH as the only accepted ETH network. The project is behind the FRAX token, an algorithmic stable coin that is partially collateralized.
The proposal explained that Frax is the fifth largest stablecoin, and the top token on Uniswap. It is also a crucial part of the ETH ecosystem. So, “it makes sense to clearly make FXS holders’ desire public knowledge through governance,” the proposal states, referring to the Frax share governance token by its ticker FXS.
Vitalik Buterin: Hard fork proponents ‘want to make a quick buck’
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said at a press conference in South Korea that those who push for a hard fork of Ethereum to retain PoW are “simply trying to make a quick buck”.
Buterin said he had seen nothing but support for PoS from within the community, and noted that most people who want to keep proof-of-work are outsiders from the ETH ecosystem.
Crypto Pragmatist：Merged chain is the ‘real’ Ethereum
The founder of Crypto Pragmatist, Jack Niewold, said in a tweet that the PoW hard fork will be a ghost town. He added that it was unlikely that we would see any acceptance of a PoW fork at all, due to logistical reasons. “The social consensus is that the merged chain is the ‘real’ Ethereum.”
DCG：“Zero intention to support PoW fork”
Barry Silbert, the CEO of DCG, a venture capital company focusing on the digital currency market, said on Twitter that the company would fully support ETH PoS in addition to ETC, and “have zero intention to support any ETH PoW fork”.
“ETH miners should move to ETC to maximize their revenue long term, simple as that,” he tweeted.
Chandler Guo: “I fork Ethereum once, I will fork it again!”
Ethereum miner Chandler Guo has repeatedly voiced his support for ETH PoW. Guo told a TV program recently that he helped organize miners to back his effort, as a way to save them from having to “shut down their business”.
He said: “I think the PoW fork should take place, and the computing powers should be retained. There people (miners) invested many funds, time out of their belief on ETH and their career. It is irresponsible to let these people suddenly lose their jobs or go bankrupt.”
His tweet in July read: “I fork Ethereum once, I will fork it again!”
Justin Sun：Contribution of PoW may be underestimated
Justin Sun, the founder of public chain Tron and a strong backer of Poloniex, said on Twitter: “As a whale with over one million ETH, I will make a lot of money switching to POS (POS is obviously more friendly to ETH holders)… I think to some extent that the Ether community may underestimate how much POW has contributed to Ethereum as the core consensus mechanism.”
Sun also announced his support for a hard fork by listing two new tokens on the Poloniex exchange. The tokens will be named ETHS and ETHW, related to proof-of-stake and proof-of-work, respectively. ETHW will represent a newly created hard fork of Ethereum where GPU miners continue to mine ETH after the merge of the Beacon chain.
Further, Sun is looking to incentivize a move to forked Ethereum to retain a version of the current network within a proof-of-work chain. He is offering up to 1 million ETHW to build a developer community should the chain come to fruition.
APENFT: Supports potential hard fork
APENFT Marketplace has announced its support for the Ethereum 2.0 Merge and its potential hard fork on August 10. This will ensure the new Ethereum chain can accommodate all NFT projects with the fork.
BitFinex: Launches new tokens
Crypto exchange BitFinex launched New Chain Split Tokens (CSTs) on Ethereum in late August. With the launch, users can trade both the ETHPoW fork and the ETH PoS tokens resulting from The Merge on the BitFinex Derivatives platform. Both tokens will be separate and also available in trading pairs.