Following the Merge, an unnamed group of developers intends to create an Ethereum Proof-of-Work split. Learn how to make sure you get your ETHW tokens. Following the forking of Ethereum, addresses holding ETH will acquire an equivalent amount of ETHW on the split network.
Getting Ready for the Merge
Although Ethereum is transitioning to Proof-of-Stake, miners are contemplating a Proof-of-Work fork. After next week’s Merge, a group of anonymous developers backed by several major Ethereum miners are likely to hard fork the Ethereum blockchain, maintaining a portion of the network operating on the existing Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism while the main blockchain converts to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
The split, known colloquially as ETHPoW, will have the same transaction history as the main Ethereum network but will begin producing its own blocks when the Merge update is implemented. Because the PoW fork begins from the pre-Merge state of the Ethereum network, all token balances and smart contracts will be carried over.
This means that everyone who has ETH on-chain will wind up with an identical amount of ETHW on the forked ETHPoW chain. ETHW will be exclusive to the PoW split and will be a completely distinct asset than the original ETH on Ethereum.
Many Ethereum supporters are uninterested in the impending PoW fork as an investment. Almost all DeFi, NFT, and network infrastructure protocols have openly stated that they would support the PoS chain, putting the PoW fork in a difficult position. Decentralized exchanges on the split would almost certainly cease to operate, and centralized stablecoins like as USDC and USDT will be worthless, perhaps sparking mass liquidations and disrupting several DeFi protocols.
Despite the fact that the PoW fork will have to start from scratch, there is one token that will most likely have some value—ETHW. The PoW fork, like the 2016 DAO hack fork that generated Ethereum Classic, may have some ardent advocates who continue to develop it, increasing demand for its token.
Those who do not feel the fork will succeed may choose to sell their ETHW coins after the Merge in order to profit. But how can you be certain that you receive your ETHW? What exchanges are planning to support the Ethereum PoW fork? Continue reading to make the most of the Merge and PoW fork.
The simplest approach to participate in the Merge is to deposit ETH on a centralized exchange that has indicated support for the PoW fork. The following list is not complete, but it covers the major exchanges that have issued statements:
Poloniex has already published an ETHW placeholder token, and when the ETHW fork opens, it will list and allow trade for it, including crediting users’ accounts with ETHW at a 1:1 ratio with the amount of ETH they own.
Binance, MEXC Global, Gate.io, and FTX have all said that they will support an ETH PoW fork and will credit users’ accounts with ETHW at a 1:1 ratio with ETH.
OKX will list and facilitate ETHW fork trading. ETHPOWZ22, a USDT-margined ETHPoW Linear Futures Contract, has been introduced by BitMEX.
Coinbase and Kraken have stated that they will assess an ETH PoW fork like any other asset and, if acceptable, offer it for trade. Poloniex, Binance, MEXC Global, Gate.io, and FTX appear to be the most likely to offer customers their equivalent ETHW following the Merge. Binance, the top centralized exchange by trading volume, would most certainly have the largest market of them.
Those who are unable or unwilling to deposit their ETH on one of these exchanges prior to the Merge, however, have another alternative. Keeping ETH in a non-custodial Ethereum wallet ensures that your address will get ETHW in the event of the upcoming PoW fork.
After the Merge, a non-custodial wallet should be the quickest method to retrieve your ETHW. While users on centralized exchanges may have to wait hours or even days for their ETHW to appear in their accounts, seizing control of your ETH money is the most certain approach to ensure you have access to your PoW fork coins.
However, accessing the new PoW chain involves considerable technical understanding and may expose consumers to risk. Those that go this route will need to add the PoW network to their EVM wallet whenever it becomes available. You may accomplish this in MetaMask by clicking on the network at the top of the browser extension and then selecting “Add Network.”
The name of the ETH PoW chain, RPC URL, and Chain ID must then be entered (these details will be announced after the PoW chain launches). The procedure is comparable to adding RPCs to other Ethereum-compatible chains such as Polygon or Avalanche.
Consolidation is another factor to consider for individuals seeking to self-custody their ETH ahead of the Merge. Your ETH will not be matched with ETHW on the PoW chain if it is locked in a smart contract, on a Layer 2 chain, or staked via a protocol like Lido. To maximize the amount of ETHW you receive, convert your assets into regular ETH and keep it in your wallet in the run-up to the Merge.
Although having a non-custodial wallet guarantees you will acquire PoW fork coins, finding a marketplace to sell them on after the Merge will be the limiting issue. Using decentralized exchanges is out of the question because all tokens on the split chain except ETHW will almost likely be worthless. Those looking to cash out must still wait for a centralized exchange to accept ETHW deposits.
To be prepared, consider opening accounts on the many exchanges that will accept ETHW ahead of time. That manner, people who wish to can transfer their ETHW as soon as possible and perhaps sell it for a greater price. Finally, it’s critical to understand the hazards of the Merge and any additional PoW forks. One well discussed risk is that if an Ethereum split launches with the same Chain ID as the main PoS chain, transactions may be “relayed.” Transactions signed on a branched chain might be verified on the main Ethereum PoS chain, opening the door to new frauds that could deplete users’ wallets.
While such schemes are feasible, the PoW fork is unlikely to begin with the same Chain ID. However, unscrupulous individuals may attempt to establish further forks in order to steal users’ PoS ETH. Be extremely cautious before signing any ETH fork transactions; if in doubt, do nothing. It is preferable to miss out on a few hundred dollars than to lose your entire stack of ETH.
According to the most recent projections, the Merge will take place between September 13th and 14th. If you intend to send ETH to a centralized exchange or your own wallet, plan ahead of time. To guarantee that no user money are lost, most exchanges intend to suspend ETH transactions a few hours before the Merge, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Whether you want to use exchanges or self-custody your ETH, double-check everything before sending transactions to remain secure.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the merger had not occurred, and ETH was actively observed.