The Merge may have launched without a hitch but ETHPoW, the Proof of Work fork of Ethereum aimed at die-hard miners, is off to a troubled start.
In its first 24 hours, its ETHW coin has lost three-quarters of its value and users are complaining they cannot access the network using the information provided by the ETHPoW team, according to reports on Twitter.
What’s more, miners, the users the network targeted, appear to be earning just a tenth of what they were when mining Proof of Work Ethereum.
Ethereum underwent its largest ever upgrade on Sept. 15, when it replaced the Proof of Work consensus mechanism with Proof of Stake. The shift reduced the network’s energy consumption by 99.8% by dropping miners from the network; Ether issuance dropped more than 87% as well.
ETHPoW captured headlines in the run-up to The Merge when news broke that large Chinese miners planned to fork Ethereum and maintain the chain after The Merge.
Yet its debut could have gone better. The ETHPoW team was criticized for delaying its launch until hours after The Merge, with onlookers grumbling the delay was due to poor organization and a lack of tooling. On Twitter, Igor Artamonov, a former Ethereum Classic developer, highlighted the project’s failure to prepare a block explorer, wallet, and public Remote Procedure Call software well in advance of launching.
“They haven’t been able to prepare their chain launch on time for The Merge,” Kieran Warwick, the co-founder of Illuvium told The Defiant. “They had a unique chance and missed the momentum for a good launch.”
When ETHPoW published its network specifications around eight hours after The Merge, users immediately reported that they were unable to access the network due to its Chain ID already being used by a different project
“MetaMask says: ‘The network with chain ID 10001 may use a different currency symbol (BCHT) than the one you have entered. Please verify before continuing’,” posted Twitter user, Cascadia Coin. “Get ready for replay attack LMAO!!! Do you guys even know what you’re doing?”
ETHPoW’s rocky start coincided with a bloodbath in the ETHW market. While future ‘IOU’ contracts for ETHW spiked more than 70% to $51 on the day of The Merge, the price of ETHW plunged 75% to $12.29 over the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko.
Most miners appear unconvinced by ETHPoW, too, with the network hosting 70.34 terahashes per second (TH/s) of hashing power, according to 2miners.
By contrast, Ethereum Classic took on 242 TH/s of hashing power on Thursday. Its hash rate peaked at an all-time high of 308 TH/s, with 70 TH/s since leaving the increasingly crowded network as mining profitability plummeted.
Despite ETHPoW hosting less than one-twelfth of Ethereum’s pre-merge hash rate, ETHPoW is also failing in its mission to provide EtHash miners with a profitable refuge after The Merge.
Ethereum issued 13,500 new ETH every day to miners under Proof of Work, valued at roughly $20M based on current prices. With ETHW coins being issued at the same rate, daily ETHPoW issuance is worth just $167,000, equating to 0.8% of the value generated each day under Proof of Work Ethereum.
Even with only 8% of Ethereum’s hash rate migrating over to ETHPoW, the numbers suggest ETHW miners’ earnings have fallen 90% compared to when they were mining Ethereum.
“There is no way miners can just keep mining the ETHPoW chain, no matter how you adjust the difficulty,” tweeted Eric Wall, a crypto trader. “There simply aren’t enough rewards in the system to pay for the electricity bills.”