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Grayscale officially abandons post-Merge PoW Ethereum tokens

  • September 20, 2023

Major cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale has finally taken a decision to abandon all the rights to the post-Merge proof-of-work (PoW) Ethereum tokens (ETHPoW).

Announcing the news on Sept. 18, Grayscale said that the firm has “irrevocably abandoned” all the rights to ETHPoW tokens on behalf of the record date shareholders of each product.

After thorough review, Grayscale determined that the ETHPoW tokens have not developed meaningful liquidity, while the products’ custodian doesn’t support such tokens. The firm wrote:

“As such, it is not possible to exercise the rights to acquire and sell the ETHPoW tokens, and on behalf of the record date shareholders, Grayscale is abandoning the rights to these assets.”

Grayscale’s decision to drop the rights for ETHPoW tokens comes more than a year after the Ethereum Merge, an event that marked Ethereum’s full transition from PoW to proof-of-stake (PoS). The Merge occurred on Sept. 15, 2022, forking the Ethereum blockchain into main PoS-based Ether (ETH) and minor PoW-based EthereumPoW (ETHW) tokens.

In the aftermath of the Merge, Grayscale was considering whether the company should acquire EthereumPoW and sell ETHW on behalf of the record date shareholders. 180 days after the Merge, the company took another six months to make a decision on whether to acquire those PoW tokens, citing uncertainty regarding the support of ETHW tokens by digital asset custodians and trading venues.

Related: Ethereum Merge anniversary — 99% energy drop but centralization fears linger

Unlike Grayscale, some cryptocurrency investment firms like ETC Group have attempted to launch dedicated EthereumPoW exchange-traded products (ETPs). ETC Group eventually terminated its PoW-based ZETW ETP just six weeks after the launch, citing the absence of eligible custody providers.

The news on Grayscale’s ETHW decision came one day before The Wall Street Journal reported that the firm has launched a new Ether futures exchange-traded fund, citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cointelegraph hasn’t been able to locate a related SEC filing online. Grayscale did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.