A potential PoW fork of Ethereum would require a huge coordination effort and would not be viable if implemented. This opinion was expressed by the head of the ETC Cooperative, Bob Summerville, in an open letter to miner Chandler Goh.
— ETC Cooperative (@ETCCooperative) August 8, 2022
The idea of launching a fork of Ethereum, which will continue to work on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm, was expressed by Guo in July. The ETHW asset is intended to enable miners to continue working after the merger of the Ethereum main network with Beacon Chain, scheduled for September.
The executive director of the non-profit organization behind the development of the Ethereum Classic ecosystem explained to the well-known miner why he considers his plan inappropriate.
In many ways, Summerville referred to his own experience with the ETH/ETC hard fork. According to him, then it took “zero effort”.
Implementation of the idea of Go will require huge costs, both financial and organizational, says Summerville. For the new network to work, it will be necessary to hard fork clients (at least Geth, and possibly Erigon, Besu and Nethermind). In each of these codebases, you need to:
- remove the logic of transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS);
- disable the difficulty bomb;
- update the chain ID to protect against a replay attack.
Mining software will also require changes. Not only will developers have to be persuaded to upgrade and test, but further upgrades will have to be implemented, Summerville said.
The initiators of the project will have to work with wallet providers and exchanges to ensure support for ETHW, he recalled.
“All this coordination is extremely hard work and consumes a lot of time. I know this because I have gone through several ETC upgrades. It is really very difficult and slow,” said the head of the ETC Cooperative.
He noted that there are no signs of even the start of work in these areas, although there are “several weeks” left before The Merge update in Ethereum.
If the work on the above tasks yields results, the network that emerged as a result of the fork will not be successful, Summerville believes. He is sure that the new chain will not have:
- the largest stablecoins like USDT and USDC;
- projects in the DeFi sector, which is largely based on stablecoins;
- NFT and related infrastructure;
- most Ethereum applications, since developers will not create alternative versions of smart contracts.
“I just don’t see such a network providing any value to actual end users. There is a huge coordination burden to even launch the chain itself, and then it will take a lot more effort to actually make it useful,” Summerville concluded.
In his opinion, Ethereum miners should abandon the Go initiative, but rather switch to ETC mining after the merger.
Recall that CoinShares experts were also skeptical about the viability of a potential Ethereum PoW fork.
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