Grayscale today said in a press release and SEC filing that it plans to claim and hold onto the rights to new EthereumPoW (ETHW) tokens born out of the Ethereum fork following the merge—and may sell these tokens and distribute the value to investors in the future.
ETHW is a new cryptocurrency which was created as a result of Ethereum’s merge this week.
On Thursday, the second-largest digital asset by market cap moved over to proof of stake in a long-anticipated transition—eliminating the need for miners.
But a prominent Chinese miner last month invited left-behind miners to keep mining, fork Ethereum, and produce a new proof-of-work cryptocurrency: ETHW.
Grayscale, a crypto asset management company which allows its customers to buy shares which roughly track the price of cryptocurrencies, holds large amounts of various digital assets, including Ethereum. As a result of the fork, it now holds the rights to an equivalent amount of ETHW tokens as it did ETH, Ethereum’s native coin.
Grayscale said today that it has claim to over 3 million ETHW tokens. The asset manager added that it plans to hold onto these tokens and may distribute the value of the ETHW holdings to its investors in a cash disbursal as and when the tokens find a market. At the moment, ETHW is trading for $9.30, according to CoinMarketCap, which places the value of Grayscale’s holding at over $28.8 million.
In a filing and press release Friday, Grayscale said it may, at its “sole discretion,” sell the tokens—or completely abandon them.
It added that the price of the tokens could fluctuate and that there was uncertainty to whether digital asset custodians would support the token.
A number of mainstream exchanges—including Coinbase—already said before the merge that they would think about listing the asset. Investors can currently trade the asset on major exchanges including FTX and ByBit.
Many major mining pools will support miners who want to mine the cryptocurrency, developers behind the new asset said Wednesday.
But the asset has so far had a rocky start: due to technical issues, users had issues accessing the network when it went live, which may have contributed to ETHW’s dramatic drop in price. Since its launch yesterday, the price of ETHW has sunk by over 84%.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to clarify that Grayscale currently holds rights to ETHW tokens but not does yet hold the tokens themselves.