Ethereum miners fight hard to retain PoW consensus
In light of Ethereum’s decision to transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), some miners are not willing to go down without a fight. A group known as the Ethereum Genesys Foundation (EGF) has successfully hard forked the current chain to retain PoW mining.
The move from the miners is not unexpected. Recall that Ethereum miners had earlier kicked against the upcoming Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, which aims to lower gas fees. With ETH 2.0 on the way and a future switch to PoS, miners would be rendered redundant. Some miners have claimed that they are already being slowly phased out.
EGF wants to retain the PoW chain
The EGF successfully carried out a mainnet hard fork in mid-April. They dubbed their hard fork the “Maple Fork.” In addition to retaining the mining community, they’ve created a token called Ethereum Genesys (ETG).
The team behind the new project is positive that the community will prefer their version to the original Ethereum. According to them, the move by the Ethereum Foundation to adopt PoS makes the network less decentralized. This is because most Beaconchain validators run on Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure. Furthermore, the 32 ETH (88k) staking requirement from the foundation makes it very expensive for an average user.
Our first priority is to save the miners across the world that have been securing the Ethereum blockchain since the beginning. Therefore we will stay a pure PoW blockchain. We do not agree with Ethereums [sic] future path forward with a pure PoS model.
As part of its London hard fork scheduled for July, Ethereum core devs are planning to implement EIP 3238. The “Difficulty Bomb” will make mining less profitable by increasing the difficulty level of PoW puzzles. This will lead to longer block times and ultimately lesser rewards for miners.
The difficulty level will continue to increase until the “Ice Age.” At this point, mining becomes practically unattractive. One of the founding members of EGF, Earl Mai, said that the “Difficulty Bomb” was the first step to kick miners out of the network. He remarked:
The Ethereum GeneSys Foundation has disabled this code forever, so that mining can continue indefinitely. All parameters needed to enable the fork in the ‘geth’ and ‘openethereum’ code bases are submitted on GitHub for easy setup of nodes, including fork configuration changes.
The supposed “show of force” from miners against the EIP-1559 and the recent fork has been met with animosity.