Ethereum blockchain shifted from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism on Sept. 15, 2022. Along with this move, ETHPoW, a distinct PoW blockchain (basically the old pre-Merge Ethereum) forked from Ethereum’s Merge, became live. This forked version of Ethereum aims to maintain the proof-of-work mining process for ETH miners.
Any miner is permitted to add a block to the PoW network with the clear stipulation that the first valid block published is the correct one. In reality, more than one legitimate block is occasionally discovered by the network due to the latency of data propagation, creating numerous branches of the blockchain called a fork.
This article will discuss the proof-of-work Ethereum fork, the history of PoW Ethereum and the differences between ETH and ETHW.
What is ETHPoW (ETHW)?
The long-awaited “The Merge” upgrade for Ethereum reduced the requirement for miners. It replaced them with validators who stake Ether (ETH) rather than using costly and energy-intensive devices to secure the network, significantly increasing the cryptocurrency’s energy efficiency. However, ahead of the Merge, a hard fork of the Ethereum network, called ETHW, which still uses the PoW consensus mechanism, was created, leading to a triumph for ETH miners.
But who is behind ETHW? Chinese miner Chandler Guo opposed the PoS consensus method and launched the PoW-based Ethereum blockchain. Although creating the PoW Ethereum chain could be a victory for miners over stakers, ETHW users suffered accessibility issues.
The chain ID that ETHPoW used is 10001, but it was already in use by a Bitcoin Cash testnet. As a result, the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet users faced issues as the Chain ID, acting as an identifier, could not differentiate between two separate blockchains.
Chain IDs can be chosen at will because there is no central repository or registry, but pre-hard fork testing would have found the contradiction, whereas the team behind ETHW ignored the issue. Despite this, crypto exchanges like Binance and Coinbase showed support for ETHW. For instance, Binance announced its ETHW mining pool, stating that it will be subject to the same review process as other cryptocurrencies.
Related: What is a cryptocurrency mining pool?
How does PoW Ethereum (ETHW) work?
The initial version of the Ethereum network (i.e., Ethereum Classic) was based on the PoW consensus method. Howe
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