Arthur Hayes Says Ethereum PoW Is “Free Money” and Will Have No Users

BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes believes that ongoing efforts to preserve the Ethereum Proof-of-Work (PoW) after the “Merge” event will be largely unsuccessful. The crypto industry veteran argues that an Ethereum PoW chain will “have no users” and suffer the same fate as earlier Bitcoin forks.

Most Users Don’t Care About Consensus Mechanism

Arthur Hayes shared his thoughts on a recent Unchained podcast appearance to discuss the Merge and other vital topics around the Ethereum network. Speaking on whether he expects a PoW Ethereum version to thrive post-merge, the BitMEX co-founder noted that Ethereum’s value comes from its users.

Most of these users are not “technologically savvy” and do not care about the underlying consensus mechanism. Additionally, the “majority of service providers and major dApps on Ethereum are moving,” making it unlikely that users who stay back will have any applications to interact with. 

Hayes pinpointed the support of stablecoin issuers Tether and Circle for the PoS network as evidence that value will quickly move from the older Ethereum version. Hence, he argues, “They [ETH PoW proponents] will have no users.” 

Ethereum PoW Chain Similar to Bitcoin Forks

Hayes drew comparisons between the potential Ethereum PoW chain and current Bitcoin forks, many of which have underperformed. 

“You can have a similar sort of analysis of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and all the different Bitcoin forks that happened during the blocksize debate in 2017. How many of those have done very well in price performance against the assets they were supposed to supplant?” he explained.

The most valuable Bitcoin fork, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), currently has a $2.5 billion market cap, less than one percent of Bitcoin’s nearly $400 billion value.

Free Money

Regarding his trade plan for potential Ethereum PoW coins, the BitMEX co-founder said, “if it has a value above zero, it’s just free money.” He added: “I’ll try to sell it at a very opportune time. Maybe that’s as soon as they come out, or maybe not. The details will depend on the hash rate, price on different exchanges, derivatives, and mispricing.”

The Ethereum “Merge” is already underway. The first stage, codenamed “Bellatrix,” happened on September 6. The final step, codenamed “Paris,” is expected anytime between September 15-20.

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