April 1, 2023

As we approach Ethereum’s date, the last and final Bellatrix upgrade was rolled out earlier this week [ETH] merge. With Merge putting an end to the ETH mining community, miners are looking for other alternatives to continue the business.

ethereum classic [ETC]Working on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, it has seen a sudden increase in its total hash rate. ETC’s hashrate has grown by more than 50% in just one month, indicating an influx of new miners into the ecosystem ahead of the merger.

Source: 2Miners

While some miners prefer existing alternatives, some support hard forks to create a PoW alternative to Ethereum.

Popularity of ETC

It is evident from the hash rate chart that ETC is growing in popularity among the mining community. Currently, ETC ranks fourth in the market cap ranking of the top PoW tokens in the world. However, if trading volume is to be considered, ETC ranks third, proving the coin’s popularity worldwide. After the merger, these numbers are likely to change as more miners enter the ETC community.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Furthermore, while the total hash rate has increased, the price of ETC has followed a similar path, outperforming several leading cryptocurrencies last month. Starting at $14.17 in mid-July, the price of ETC skyrocketed and reached its highest level this year at $44.67 on August 13.

The decline in Ethereum’s mining profitability is a troubling issue due to the market crash and soaring electricity prices around the world. However, these factors, along with ETC’s soaring price, have given miners a sigh of relief.

Source: Bitinfocharts

Where to go from here?

Although the ETC community has grown over the past few months, some miners are reluctant to join the ETC ecosystem as they tend to use a hard fork to create a PoW alternative to ETH after the merger. Recently, the ETHW community launched the first testnet called “Iceberg”.

With this new development, ETHW is also calling on miners, exchanges and others to support and join their communities. We can expect a clearer picture of the state of the ETHW community in the coming weeks.

Nonetheless, when combined with ETC’s positive price action, the massive increase in hash rate suggests that the future of ETC mining appears to be brighter compared to ETHW.

However, it should be noted that since mid-August, the price of ETC has been volatile. This raises some serious questions about whether the altcoin can sustain its price in the long term. At the time of writing, ETC is trading at $33.77 with a 24-hour performance of negative 5.66%.

Source: CoinMarketCap

While the two sides are competing with each other to expand their network, it will be interesting to see which way miners take.

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