What alternatives do the former Ethereum miners have left?

On September 15, The Merge update took place on the Ethereum network, which transferred the altcoin from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). Now the security of the blockchain is provided not by miners, but by validators supporting network nodes, writes RBC Crypto.

Many miners were forced to look for other projects. In addition to falling profits, many ideological miners were also upset by the need to switch to other networks, as they considered themselves an important part of the ether ecosystem and had been supporting the network for years.

Ethereum Classic — have you ever used DApp on the ETC network?

Despite the fact that the Ethereum Classic network has existed longer than most of the projects of today’s top 100 coins according to Coinmarketcap, unfortunately, not a single popular application has appeared on the ETC blockchain. Only the most convinced supporters of the network, or blockchain enthusiasts who like to test a variety of software, will answer the question of the subtitle in the affirmative. However, with increased attention to the asset, the situation may change.

What awaits the ETC ecosystem with the arrival of new miners? Since the end of July, the hashrate of the network has been gradually increasing, moving to a parabolic growth as it approaches the shutdown of Ethereum’s PoW. Since mid-summer, the ETC hashrate has grown almost tenfold and as of September 20 is about 200 TH/s.
Ethereum Classic was the first and “lying on the surface” candidate for switching the equipment of ether miners, however, already on the first day after The Merge, many miners who switched to ETC stated a drop in earnings several times compared to past rewards on the ETH network. As a result, having jumped sharply to 300 TH/s on the first day, the hashrate also quickly fell by 30% in the following days — the high complexity of the network did not please the new miners.
From the point of view of technical analysis, the coin looks quite confident — the ETC price was largely correlated with the increase in hashrate, which has risen by more than 140% since mid-summer at its peak. A significant support level of $28 per ETC, repeatedly tested in the past for correction, has not yet been broken, despite the difficult market conditions of late summer and early autumn.
Ravencoin — a more decentralized Bitcoin with tokens?
Ravencoin is a fork of Bitcoin RVN and uses a modified KAWPOW consensus algorithm, which provides higher network decentralization. Ecosystem projects delight with a variety of high-tech developments in the field of Atomic Swaps to a variety of ideas with NFT. Unlike the obvious ETC, miners did not start switching to RVN even before Ethereum turned off PoW — the hashrate was flat all summer. Since the beginning of September, the complexity of the network began to rise, increasing almost 10 times to the values of 20 TH/s and making a parabolic leap on September 15. Just as in the situation with ETC, miners “cooled down” to RVN in the first days after The Merge, which led to a decrease in hashrate by 20-25% to the current figures in the range of 15-17 TH/s.
RavenCoin’s technical analysis is more impressive — 160% growth at the peak since the beginning of September and record trading volumes in the entire history of the asset. The correction that began immediately after the ether merger created a strong downward momentum, breaking through an important psychological support level of $ 0.05. Now the bears are trying to take the next support level around $0.04. This level is extremely important, since it was here in June 2021 that the catastrophic and prolonged decline in the asset price was stopped during extremely bearish market sentiment.

Firo — support the right to anonymity?

The complexity of the RVN network, which has increased many times, and even more so, ETC, could not be to the liking of many miners, which led to the search for smaller alternatives. One of these projects was Firo, the rebranding of the anonymous Zcoin coin with a modified PoW — FiroPow algorithm, which pays special attention to protection from excessive centralization, the use of ASICs and making mining more democratic for ordinary users. In addition to financial benefits, anonymous coin mining is supported by many ideological miners and is understood in this case as an important contribution to the protected future of projects aimed at increasing the privacy of transactions in the world.
The hashrate of the coin practically did not change until the very last days of the PoW shutdown on the ether network. The sharp increase in complexity that began on September 14, unlike the other two examples above, did not fall in the first day after The Merge and continues to increase until now, having already exceeded 500 Gh/s (on September 1, the hashrate was at around 50Gh/s).

Along with the increase in the complexity of the network, the value of the asset has also been growing since the beginning of September — since the first of September it has peaked by more than 105%. The correction characteristic of all the described coins on September 15, however, returned FIRO to the lower area of the range from which the asset tried to break above the entire second half of the summer — a lot of wicks of day candles then “went out” at the values of $3.1-3.2 per coin and this level will now have to be punched up again. In favor of the possibility of further growth of FIRO from the current levels, however, says the coin’s chart to BTC, relative to which the asset is still above the previously restrained price level of 0.0001400 BTC.

ETHW — I’m staying!
Some of the miners did not look for alternatives and simply continued to support the operation of the Ethereum PoW network, which has now turned into an independent ETHW asset. The hashrate of altcoin is at a high level in the region of 30 Th/s, speaking of a large number of participants in the process.

Users can already add ETHW to their Metamask extensions, where the balance corresponding to the ETH balance of the main network at the time of switching to PoS will immediately be displayed. The future of ETHW is uncertain, however, due to its small capitalization (2500+ place in the Coinmarketcap rating), the asset is likely to expect high volatility, which usually attracts the attention of the crypto community. Coin trading has already been supported by such major exchanges as FTX, OKX, Bitfinex and others, and trading volumes are increasing.