The PEPE Proof of Work Story

3 min readOct 7, 2023
Proof of Work feels good, Man!

The PEPE POW layer 1 blockchain originated early May 2023 in the form of a cryptocurrency code fork (DASH) produced by an unknown developer. Likely using AI assisted tools and hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the PEPE ethereum token which was growing (at the time) — a frog-themed dash fork was produced which claimed to one day rival doge-coin as the “second best” proof of work meme coin.

In the post ETH-merge mining environment of 2023, the few miners left who had not yet sold their cards or shut down their operations were desperate for something to believe in. They checked mining pool stats and bitcoin talk forum every morning to find the newest coins — as the competition was so fierce and the rewards so sparsely distributed.

PEPE POW billed itself as a community coin which would align itself with the greats among decentralized meme coins. As the miners began to discover this new coin, the community grew and began to form a life of its own. A tipping point came when multiple commercial mining software developers released new mining software which supported the PEPE Pow algorithm “memehash” for GPUs.

Though the project was PEPE “Proof of Work” it included additional features borrowed from DASH, such as a proof of stake governance layer (which rewards masternode owners with part of the block rewards) and of course, a developer fee. With the availability of commercial mining software, more pools and more miners became interested.

Though there was a developer fee on a “community coin” — the network participants were still motivated and interest grew rapidly, at a point doing so exponentially. As more and more miners began to onboard, the network hash-rate grew and soon PEPE POW was on the top of the hashrate no charts as a top preforming proof of work asset for home graphics cards.

As the joy from the peaks subsided, real issues began to emerge. The code was botched, resulting in issues maintaining consensus. As the need for development rose, the original developer became more quiet until eventually disappearing all-together, unable or unwilling to fix the issues of the chain, likely already selling everything he had earned.

Leaving the chain for dead, the community however refused to die. A band of organized community members, including a willing developer who was motivated to help, began the process of slowly taking over the chain. Exchanges and pool owners were notified of the change and more than once it seemed that there was no hope.

Like rescuing a patient from certain death, many members rushed to the aid of the coin — proving that there was much more value in the meme cryptocurrency protocol than what was dumped on the market. With the proper work being done correctly (including the help of many contributors) the community was able to fork PEPE POW into a new master branch.

The original developer fee was removed and the chain managed to survive. PEPE POW now exists as a testament to the effectiveness of decentralization, specifically in the context of using computer code to solve the “byzantine general” problem. PEPEW is able to survive with competing interests all existing together cohesively, “trustlessly.” (operating confidently with trust, without actually trusting any individual to be honest)

PEPEW has shown that open source systems such as bitcoin can be used by individuals to establish and maintain a trustless decentralized networks without the need of a central authority, or a developer to skim from the top. Using the governance feature of smart nodes to incentivize node holders, as well as the ability to mine and earn using a home computer — PEPE Proof of Work is set to become the next best Proof of Work Memecoin!