Just over a week post-Merge and EthereumPoW — the fork meant to maintain Ethereum proof-of-work (PoW) — appears to be dying. Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) hasn’t offered the respite from a bear market that some had hoped, with prices down across the board. But the legacy PoW chain has suffered far worse than its successor.
Leading up to the Merge, the PoW network’s native token, ETHW, had been hovering slightly below $30. It spiked in the moments before the transition to a maximum of almost $60.
Those who had accumulated ether (ETH) ahead of the Merge dumped in droves in the following 24 hours, which resulted in a tumbling token price.
At the time of writing, ETHW is down 90% from its all-time-high at just over $6, less than 0.5% of the value of PoS ether.
Read more: EthPoW: The pre-mined Ethereum fork no one wants
Although the official EthereumPoW Twitter account styles the chain as the “original Ethereum,” the network’s falling hashrate suggests that ideology alone is not enough to convince miners to stay. Mining activity peaked directly after the Merge at close to 80 TH/s before rapidly dropping off to around 30TH/s three days later, where it remains.
And while poor preparation stoked fears of replay attacks on mainnet, it was the PoW fork which suffered in the end. A faulty chainID verification in a bridge contract on the Gnosis chain led to a gain of 200 ETHW for the exploiter.
EthereumPoW is not the first fork to split from the canonical chain. In 2016, Ethereum Classic broke away following the decision to hard-fork the network and revert the effects of the DAO hack, in which 3.6 million ether (around a third of the total supply at the time) was stolen.