Justin Sun Says Proof-of-Work 'Essential' Part of Ethereum

Tron's controversial founder said his stablecoin, USDD, will be the first to support the post-Merge Ethereum fork, on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

AccessTimeIconAug 8, 2022 at 10:34 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:42 p.m. UTC
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Always controversial, Tron founder Justin Sun said he thinks the proof-of-work way of operating is an "essential" component of Ethereum – just as the Ethereum community readies to transition to a different, proof-of-stake, system after a multi-year effort. Many billions of dollars are at stake.

The crypto entrepreneur still supports Ethereum’s Merge, the much anticipated event that will see Ethereum reborn as a faster and cheaper blockchain, if things go according to plan. But that might be because Sun has since vowed to back what he calls “EthereumPOW,” if the hard work succeeds.

Sun is angling to have the algorithmic stablecoin he designed, USDD, become the first stablecoin in the EthereumPOW ecosystem, he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.” The exchange he owns, Poloniex, has already said it will be the first to support EthereumPOW’s native currency.

Sun added that, at least to his knowledge, no other stablecoin issuers have come out in support of EthereumPOW, the blockchain he said will be left behind after the Merge.

“We all want to be the first solution when everybody uses Ethereum proof-of-work post-Merge,” he said on CoinDesk TV.

“I think decentralized stablecoins, like [Tron stablecoin] USDD, [a] decentralized U.S. dollar, is still essential to our industry because, as we all know, all the components of [decentralized finance] today it's all decentralized … except stablecoins,” Sun said.

Sun backs PoW

Sun thinks a PoW version of Ethereum could be a viable competitor among blockchains, even after the vast majority of Ethereum applications and developers move to PoS.

“Proof-of-work actually provides a very good foundation for Ethereum infrastructure,” he said. Not only is it tried and true, he said, it’s probably “essential” for the “whole crypto industry” to have an alternative smart contract-friendly blockchain based on proof-of-work.

He noted that the field is crowded with proof-of-stake chains including Solana, Avalanche and the network he founded, Tron. Meanwhile, the majority of PoW chains – like Monero and Bitcoin – are not useful for building applications or supporting complicated economies like decentralized finance (DeFi).

Sun’s support for the Merge sidesteps criticisms that the forked ETHW chain will see the same problems that plague Ethereum, such as high gas fees and slow transaction speeds, which developers say will be adjusted once the Merge happens.

What’s more, he said ETHW would not be pre-mined, so all airdrop recipients will receive “equivalent” amounts of ETHW following the fork and no developers will be “making more ETHW than other people.”


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.

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