What the merge means for Ethereum Classic

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Ethereum Classic and the merge.
Credit: Flickr

The price of Ethereum Classic has risen significantly since the announcement of the Ethereum merge date, which has been scheduled for next week. But have you ever wondered how Ethereum Classic and the merge are interconnected?

The merge is one of the most eagerly anticipated cryptocurrency events of the year, in case you haven't been following the most current news on Ethereum.

It's not just the price of Ethereum that's been soaring past its usual metrics in anticipation of the merge, Ethereum Classic (ETC) is also making a record-breaking surge. But how are these two connected? Let's find out.

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What is Ethereum Classic?

Launched in 2016, Ethereum Classic is a parallel version of the main Ethereum blockchain.

After Ethereum's mainnet suffered a major security breach, the blockchain was split into two. Funds that were lost as a result of the hack were returned to users as ETC tokens.

The ETC chain still maintains the original infrastructural quality of the previous Ethereum mainnet including its unmodified transaction history. The blockchain still utilises a PoW consensus to process transactions.

What the merge means for Ethereum Classic

The merge is an upgrade that the Ethereum blockchain is scheduled to receive on September 13-15.

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Once the merge has been deployed on the Ethereum mainnet, Ethereum will become a sustainable PoS network. In a PoS consensus, transaction validators are selected automatically based on the number of ETH that they have staked on the network.

News of Ethereum's transition to PoS triggered a state of panic among existing PoW miners. As a result, miners have already begun to migrate to ETC.

Ethereum miners opposed the planned transition to PoS and requested the Ethereum foundation to consider a hard fork of the network. Many crypto critics expressed their own scepticism, adding that the said transition may have unprecedented consequences for Ethereum in the future.

Chandler Guo, a prominent Chinese miner, supported the idea of an Ethereum hard fork. The idea later gained momentum and was backed by Tron's founder, Justin Sun and crypto trading platform Poloniex.

Multiple crypto exchanges have prepared a plan to credit any hard-forked tokens born out of the merge process.

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ETC may gain traction soon after the merge goes live on September 13. Miners who still wish to practice traditional PoW mining can do so freely by opting to authenticate transactions on ETC. Recently, ETCs hashrate reached a record high of 46TH/s, indicating that the miner exodus has already begun.

At press time, the price of ETC is up 8% in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, holders are also wondering how the merge affects Bitcoin, and how SHIB is impacted by the merge too.