The Ethereum network completed the Merge on September 15. The Merge faced some opposition from a section of Ethereum miners. These miners decided to fork the Ethereum blockchain and release a new network dubbed ETHPoW. The fork is aimed at preserving the Ethereum proof-of-work version. The fork went live on Thursday afternoon.
Ethereum PoW fork goes live
Ethereum transitioned from the energy-intensive PoW fork to a PoS fork that will lower the energy consumption by 99.99%. Ethereum miners left behind following the Merge decided to go with the ETHPoW fork, whose launch has been marred by chaos.
The ETHPoW mainnet debuted on Thursday, but users started facing issues accessing the network shortly after. The issue in question is that the ETHPoW developers had selected a chain ID in use.
Chain IDs were created to support the hard fork of Ethereum Classic in 2016. They are used as a fingerprint for a specific network and assist blockchains in confirming the unique identity of the on-chain assets.
The chain ID selected by ETHPoW was already being used by a testnet for Bitcoin Cash. Chain IDs do not have a central authority or a registry for chain IDs. Therefore, they can be selected arbitrarily. However, the issue shows that ETHPoW did not conduct pre-hardfork testing, as this would have detected the conflict.
The error with the chain ID is quite a surprise because it was already an issue weeks before the Ethereum Merge. At the time, there were concerns in the crypto community who said that because of the creation of the fork, there would be a rise in replay attacks if the fork failed to change the chain ID from that used by the Ethereum mainnet.
There were also concerns that scammers could replicate a transaction from the ETHPoW network on the actual Ethereum network if the two networks had the same chain ID.
The efforts to fork the Ethereum blockchain and retain the PoW version were led by Chinese cryptocurrency miner Chandler Guo. Guo is yet to issue an announcement regarding the issue with the Chain ID and the reason behind choosing a chain ID already being used.
ETHPoW crashes following ChainID issue
In the moments after the Ethereum Merge, but before the ETHPoW fork went live, the native token of the fork, ETHW, was on an impressive bull run. The token had gained around 70% to trade at $60. However, after the issue of the chain ID surfaced, the price plunged by more than 70%. At the time of writing, ETHW was trading at $13.14.
Some users said the ETHPoW network worked properly a few hours after the launch. However, others have criticized the confusion in the community following the chaotic launch. As expected, scammers have taken advantage of the situation and are already running malicious campaigns.