The Ethereum Merge has officially taken place, meaning that ETH is now issued through proof-of-stake instead of proof-of-work. Ethereum miners have to switch to other coins, or sell their hardware now. This was the original plan for Ethereum, but there still remains a proof-of-work version of Ethereum: Ethereum Classic (ETC).
You see, Ethereum is actually a fork and Ethereum Classic is the original chain after the famous DAO hack occurred in 2016. If this took place in the Bitcoin world, it would be analogous to Bitcoin Cash taking the Bitcoin name after it forked and Bitcoin becoming "Bitcoin Classic."
Although, after the Merge, a a group of miners naturally began work on a new Ethereum POW fork. Aptly named ETHPoW (ETHW), the miners behind this network disliked Ethereum Classic as a solution and wanted to make a new Ethereum POW coin with the potential for more money from the mining algorithm than ETC.
Some miners on Reddit pointed out how ETHPoW is likely a grift since Ethereum Classic is the original chain and works well-enough for most users. In fact, Ethereum Classic now has an ecosystem of dapps and an increasing user count.
ETHPoW is doomed
After a week of trading, the market spoke post-Merge about ETC and ETHW, since ETC held its position as the top POW smart contract coin, while ETHW plummeted from $40 to $5 into obscurity.
When traders discard a coin like ETHW that fast, there usually is a concrete reason why. As stated before, Ethereum Classic is the original Ethereum network and has a fairly large ecosystem now compared to years prior. ETHPoW has no ecosystem and although leaders in the new project discussed porting over Ethereum's dapps, this doesn't appear to be a concrete solution in the long term. Companies like ANTPOOL also see value in Ethereum Classic and no value in ETHPoW, given they made a $10 million investment in ETC recently.
It will take some time before the profitability of Ethereum Classic improves after the merge, but it is clear that ETHPoW does not have a bright future. Given the maximum coin supply on ETC and daily growing interest, the ETC price could see a steep increase in the near-term future.