Grayscale extends review of ETHPoW decision


Cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale Investments is taking more time to decide whether it should acquire and sell post-Merge forked Ethereum tokens.

Grayscale on March 16 announced that the company intends to extend the review period for the process of evaluating the market environment to determine whether it can acquire ETHPoW tokens, the forked asset that emerged due to Ethereum’s Merge in September 2022.

During the review period, the firm also aims to decide whether, when and in what manner Grayscale may sell ETHPoW on behalf of the record date shareholders. “Such review period is not currently expected to exceed 180 days from the date hereof,” Grayscale noted in the announcement.

Grayscale reasoned the extension of the review period by the ongoing uncertainty regarding support of ETHPoW tokens by digital asset custodians as well as trading venues. “If digital asset custodians do support the ETHPoW tokens and/or trading markets do develop, it is expected that the ETHPoW token’s value will fluctuate widely for some time,” Grayscale said, adding:

“It is not possible to predict whether Grayscale, as agent, will be able to acquire the ETHPoW tokens or the value, if any, that Grayscale, as agent, will be able to realize from sales of the ETHPoW tokens.”

Ethereum, currently the second-largest blockchain network by market value after Bitcoin, completed the Merge, a major consensus upgrade in September 2022. The upgrade moved the Ethereum network from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. As some people in the Ethereum community were willing to keep using the mining-based PoW Ethereum model, Ethereum has forked into two different blockchains, the main PoS-based Ethereum and ETHPoW.

Related: Coinbase expects high demand for ETH unstaking with Shanghai upgrade

The emergence of ETHPoW has brought a significant challenge for crypto investment firms offering exposure to Ethereum because some investors might want to have exposure to ETHPoW, also referred to as ETHW tokens. Some companies such as the European ETP issuer ETC Group decided to launch a new ETP providing exclusive exposure to ETHPoW.

“The new ETP seems better because we just don’t know what will happen whether ETHW will succeed or not,” ETC Group founder Bradley Duke told Cointelegraph in September.

Grayscale previously announced in September that its two Ethereum-related products, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust and the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, declared a distribution of rights to ETHPoW. The tokens were received by each product as a result of a fork by late September.