The Fork of Thrones - Will the Merge Fracture the ETH Ecosystem?

The much anticipated (or dreaded if you're a miner) "merge" coming in Sep 19th will officially move the Ethereum ecosystem from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Justin Sun seems to see the opportunity for this event to sow some chaos within his competition by supporting ETHW and ETHS coins on the Poloniex exchanges as of this week.

- ETHW and ETHS is similar to ETC (Ethereum Classic) in the sense that they are hard-forks of the original ETH chain - which means that if you had money in a wallet during the time of the fork, you would have gotten copied coins of it there, too. (Free money!) FYI, if you had your money on an exchange during that time, however, the coins go to them, not you.

- ETC has had many issues in the past, including having gotten 51% attacked, which is probably the worst thing that can happen on any given chain. These new projects (with more likely to emerge as a result of miners looking for work after leaving ETH2) will also be vulnerable to similar attacks just because the smaller size makes it easier for hackers to target.

- A lot of developers and artists were chased off ETH due to its high-gas fee problems last year, and it's unclear if they're going to be going back, or if the foundation has any strategy of addressing this problem in the near future. (Right now the ecosystem is dominated by talks of speculators talking to other speculators about speculation - which usually is a bad sign for a project's long-term prospects.) ETH has many issues to contend with, even if the merge is successful. (Sharding and scaling issues are planned for 2023, not in September, btw - it's unclear whether or not this upgrade will have an impact on the high fees.)

- Crypto's biggest sell during a recession - staking rewards - is not available on Bitcoin, since simply doesn't have the mechanism to do so. The rivalry between the two coins right now revolves around the pros/cons of PoW vs PoS, but keep in mind that on PoW, mining power = voting power; on PoS, money = voting power. Aside from Tezos (XTZ) and a few other niche projects, most coins do not offer on-chain governance so the results of voting will always be unclear and vulnerable to manipulation/misinformation.

It's going to be a crazy year for both crypto and the general economy so hope people are prepared. Good luck, folks. 🤞