Justin Sun Backs Ethereum Hard Fork as Merge Approaches

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Tron founder Justin Sun has emerged as one of the most prominent investors supporting a hard fork of Ethereum after the blockchain switches to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism, an event known as The Merge, that's expected in September.

Developers say the move away from a proof-of-work (PoW) system will make the network much cheaper, faster and environmentally friendly. It will also mean the end of an income stream for Ethereum miners, who are rewarded with ether (ETH) tokens for supplying resources to the blockchain. Miners produced over $620 million worth of ether in July alone, data show, making The Merge akin to a death knell for a significant chunk of cash.

That has prompted some prominent Chinese miners to propose a hard fork, so even as Ethereum undergoes The Merge and becomes validated by stakers, the miners will continue to support a newly separated PoW version of the chain – a move that could theoretically keep their financial activity intact.

“We currently have more than 1 million ETH,” Sun said in a Thursday tweet. “If Ethereum hard fork succeeds, we will donate some forked #ETHW to #ETHW community and developers to build Ethereum ecosystem.

Sun-backed crypto exchange Poloniex has offered support for the Ethereum fork, currently called EthereumPOW. The exchange will list both ether and the forked token, currently termed ETHW. A futures product for the new token will be launched in August, allowing investors to bet on prices.

Tron-based stablecoin USDD, in which Sun has invested billions of dollars, will become the “first stablecoin in the EthereumPOW ecosystem,” according to a tweet.

Neither Tron nor Sun responded to requests for additional comments.

Another key proponent of the hard fork is China-based miner Chandler Guo, who was said to have previously played a part in forking Ethereum in 2016 to continue the existing chain as Ethereum Classic. Guo did not shy away from touching on that fact in a tweet earlier this week: “I fork ethereum once, I will fork it again”

A Twitter account by backers of EthereumPOW set up a donation address earlier this week for community members to fund development.

The address has received a $1,400 worth of ether so far and $400 in the tether, suggesting the community may not share the same enthusiasm for EthereumPOW as Sun and Guo.