Late last year the team behind the Ethereum network and its co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced the upcoming Merge of the Ethereum network. Dubbed Ethereum 2.0, this system update will merge Ethereum with a famous Beacon Chain Proof-of-Stake system.
This will remove the Proof-of-Work protocol and Ethereum mining entirely. In place of mining, the blockchain validations will happen through Ethereum staking, which is an easier, more lucrative, and environment-friendly process.
Ever since then, Ethereum has been shipping different updates to prepare for this Merge, which is planned to finalize later this year. This news did not leave many people satisfied, especially those who have invested heavily in Ethereum mining, and one Chinese miner plans on saving his investment.
Chandler Gou to fork the Ethereum network
The news left many Ethereum miners scrambling to find alternative ways they can use their expensive mining equipment, which will become useless in the near future. But the alternative approach was not something that famous Chinese Ethereum miner, Chandler Gou was looking at. His intentions became clear just recently when he tweeted about ethpow, an Ethereum alternative that will be a fork of the existing Ethereum network.
ethpow will coming soon pic.twitter.com/v9eAbWO2BZ
— Chandler Guo (@ChandlerGuo) July 27, 2022
Forking the Ethereum network means that we will see a new version of the Ethereum network that will work independently of the original one. Usually, forking of the network is done to implement new features and protocols in the existing network. But in Gou’s case, he does not plan on making new changes. It will be the complete opposite, as he plans on saving a version of the old Ethereum network to save Ethereum mining.
Usually, blockchain forks can be differentiated into two categories. soft and hard forks. As the name suggests, soft forks are minor adjustments to the blockchain, while hard forks are big changes, which completely separate the new blockchain from the original. In Gou’s case, this will be a hard fork, as he plans on saving the current functions of the Ethereum network.
With this fork, Ethereum mining will remain on this new blockchain, but the cryptocurrency mined will not be Ether, as it will only be obtainable through staking once the merge completes. This fork version of the blockchain will introduce a new cryptocurrency, and as Gou suggests, it will be named ETHPOW.
This is a huge ambition as the new network will require huge economical and technical support which will then need to be taken care of with constant maintenance and updates. Another problem that Gou and everyone who will be part of the network will have to solve is the new token.
Since ETHPOW will be a new cryptocurrency, it will not inherit the value of the original ETH. Gou and the team behind this new network will need to give this new token its value by giving it infrastructure and the utility that will make people invest in this token.
Well, Gou would not be able to make these huge plans, without having something to take inspiration from. This inspiration and the guarantee that something like this can be done probably came from Ethereum Classic, the old network of the Ethereum network.
Ethereum Classic is a remnant of the old Ethereum network after it split into two separate networks. This took place in 2016 when one of the largest Ethereum-based projects, The DAO was hacked. When this happened, voting took place, and with 97% voting in favor of a bailout, the Ethereum network split into two parts. The newer version, the hard fork, of the original network is the current Ethereum network, while the old network was renamed Ethereum Classic and has its own crypto ETC.
The upcoming Ethereum merge will not affect this classic network, so Gou’s new fork will have to compete with Ethereum Classic in order to achieve success. It is still unlikely that Gou’s new network will find much success. If we compare ETH, which currently trades for $1,579 and is the 2nd largest crypto, to the ETC, which trades for $36.27 and holds the 19th spot, we can clearly see which crypto is valued the most and how hard it would be for Gou to find success.