Ethereum Merge is the transition of Ethereum’s consensus mechanism from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Proof-of-work is an energy-intensive system that has been criticized for energy waste. The transition is expected to reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption by more than 99%. However, the transition will also replace the Ethereum miners currently required to run the current proof-of-work system. The next move of the miners is fast becoming a topic of heated discussion in the Ethereum community.
One possible option for the Ethereum mining industry is to move to Ethereum Classic. ETC was the result of the Ethereum Foundation’s decision to hard fork the Ethereum blockchain in 2016. ETC’s price has increased by more than 170% in anticipation of this move.
The other and more controversial option is a hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain after the merge. The proof-of-stake layer will become the main Ethereum chain. However, another blockchain still running the proof-of-work mechanism will originate. A hard fork can cause major confusion and potential technological issues.
The Ethereum Merge is set to be rolled out on the week of September 19th. With the date fast approaching, many influential figures and companies are releasing statements for or against any potential hard forks.
Statements Against The Ethereum Hard Fork
- Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, has spoken out fiercely against any potential hard fork. In the EthCC, Vitalik asked the proof-of-work enthusiasts to support the Ethereum Classic chain. He also stated that hard fork supporters are exchange owners looking to make quick money.
- Chainlink, the leading smart contract company, has revealed that it will only support the proof-of-stake layer of Ethereum. Any other hard forks will not be supported by Chainlink.
- The second largest mining pool, f2pool, stated that the era of proof-of-work is over on Ethereum. They have left the decision of a hard fork to individual Ethereum miners. However, they hope to move on to proof-of-stake.
- DeBank DeFi, a major crypto portfolio company, states that an Ethereum hard fork will be a disaster. They revealed that none of their products will support any token originating from a hard fork.
- Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group, has publicly stated his support only for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. Digital Currency Group is the parent company of Grayscale, Genesis Trading and CoinDesk.
- ETC Cooperative has written an open letter explaining why an Ethereum hard fork will not work. They explain the substantial difficulty of such a fork this time, compared to when Ethereum was hard forked in 2016.
Statements Supporting The Ethereum Hard Fork
- Justin Sun, the founder of Tron blockchain and Poloniex Exchange, has been the biggest supporter of an Ethereum hard fork. His Poloniex exchange lists both ETHw and ETHs tokens. He also engaged in a war of words with Vitalik Buterin over this issue.
- BitMEX, the crypto trading platform, has recently announced that it will allow margin trading options for the expected hard fork.
- Huobi, a crypto exchange, has revealed that they will list hard fork tokens as long as they meet their security requirements.
- Chandler Guo, an influential Chinese miner has made it clear that he will hard fork Ethereum.
- OKX CEO Jay Hao has also hinted at the possibility of listing any hard fork tokens if there is significant demand.
- Alistair Milne, the CIO of Altana Digital Currency Fund, believed that an Ethereum hard fork token can be as big as 9% of Ethereum. This makes the market cap of such a token about the same size as Ripple XRP. However, he has not explicitly supported a potential hard fork.
- Kevin Zhou, the CEO of Galois Capital, believes that he can see as many as three chains after the merge. Kevin Zhou also predicted the crash of Terra LUNA.
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