The Merge is inching closer with every minute, with every crypto enthusiast in the space positioning themselves for the event. With the Merge, Ethereum users will get an NFT from Consensys, and those with ETH in their wallets (or on select exchanges) will get an equivalent amount of ETHW (an Ethereum PoW Fork) airdropped to them.
However, there are risks associated with this new token. Nevertheless, people will just not pass up free money. Therefore, here is how to interact with ETH PoW and why you shouldn’t do it.
According to Bordel.wtf, based on the Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD), the Ethereum difficulty bomb will go off when difficulty reaches 58,750,000,000,000,000,000,000. This is projected to be around Thu Sep 15 03:35 2022 UTC. However, the time is not fixed and is more of a range between Thu Sep 15 01:24 UTC and Thu Sep 15 05:49 UTC.
What Happens on the Day of the Merge?
When the Merge happens, the Ethereum chain will split. Ethereum will continue to function on PoS, but miners will fork it, creating the ETHW coin. This is the native coin for Ethereum PoW. When this happens, the entire blockchain will have two identical instances (copies). This means that all ETH and ERC-20 tokens and transactions will be duplicated on PoW and PoS. Additionally, all DeFi positions will also exist on the two chains.
Given that most DeFi projects fully support ETH2.0, all assets on the Ethereum PoW fork will trend toward zero.
In a replay attack, if you broadcast a transaction in one chain, a bot broadcasts it on the other chain, mirroring the Tx. This will happen if Ethereum PoS and Ethereum PoW share the same Chain ID.
To find the Chain ID of an EVM-compatible blockchain, you can head over to Chain List.
For instance, imagine sending 100 ETHW (PoW) to Poloniex to sell them – a bot can send your 100 real ETH on mainnet (PoS) to the same Poloniex address.
While the funds might not be lost forever, such confusion may erupt into chaos on the day of the Merge, driving the attention away from the main milestone.
How to Stay Safe From Replay Attacks
While staying 100% out of Ethereum PoW is the best way, many will not want to pass up free money. Therefore, the following are a few things you can do to prevent replay attacks in case the Chain ID is the same.
Use Up Nonces
Make a few transactions in Ethereum PoS after the Merge. They can be simple transactions that are free of risk, such as sending yourself 0 ETH. The purpose of this is to increase your nonce #.
With a higher nonce, you can interact with Ethereum PoW without the risk of a replay attack up until that nonce. It is also important to monitor your transactions on Etherscan to ensure a bot is not mirroring those first transactions from PoS into PoW.
Move Assets and ETH
After the Merge, send your assets (except ETHW) and ETH on Ethereum PoS from your main wallet to another secondary wallet. After this, you can send your ETHW to sell to Poloniex (or any supported exchange). This way, if a bot (or someone) tries to carry out a replay attack on PoS, the transaction will fail since you already moved your ETH to a different wallet.
Note: The current price of ETHW futures on Bitmex is $18 and will only go down from there when the dump starts. Therefore, Unless you are a whale, all of this is probably not worth it. If you plan on selling your ETHW airdrop, make sure you don’t mess up and end up losing your assets
Vincent Munene is a freelance writer and a great blockchain enthusiast. Blockchain has changed his life in terms of financial freedom and in return, he likes to educate people and keep them up to date on everything blockchain. He is a Biochemist by profession and also loves to play the piano.