Barry Silbert Clarifies Naming of Proposed Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust

Digital Currency Group’s Grayscale recently announced the Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust or EIT. Barry Silbert, CEO and Founder of Digital Currency Group (DCG) is the man behind this effort. On the Grayscale website, the trust’s description reads:

“Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust allows investors to gain exposure to the price movement of Ethereum Classic through the purchase of a titled security.”

What’s in a name?

The problem seems to be the use of the word “Ethereum” in the name of EIT. While the Ethereum foundation is the trademark holder of Ethereum the brand, the currency has split into Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH) after the Dao incident in June 2016.

EIT also has a twitter handle @EthereumTrust, which only has a Hello World tweet as of yet. The twitter handle’s description reads:

“Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust will be an open-ended trust solely invested in and deriving value from the Ethereum Classic price.”

Since the twitter and the proposed trust came to light there has been some controversy regarding the use of the word Ethereum. We contacted the Ethereum foundation but have yet to hear from them as of the writing of this article.

EIT not launched yet, waiting for hard cap

Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust is an interesting idea and is modeled after Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, which behaves like a traditional investment vehicle without investors having to take the logistical steps of buying, storing or safekeeping Bitcoin.

We talked with Barry Silbert, CEO and Founder of Grayscale about the ins and outs of EIT and he revealed:

“The ETC Trust is being modeled after the Bitcoin Investment Trust.  The current plan is to launch in Q1 and it will be open to accredited investors via an ongoing private placement.  However, we are not launching the product until the ETC monetary policy hard cap is finalized.”

Much ado about nothing

It seems that the use of the Ethereum name has unnecessarily riled up some people.

First of all, there is no Trust as of yet and there is nothing to name or rename as such in the first place.

Secondly, the descriptions that have been put online clearly indicate that the currency the investors would be exposed to would be ETC. There are no questions about misleading anyone.

Barry did not really want to comment on the name issue but he did have this to say:

“I’m not going to comment on the naming stuff but I can assure you that any investors in the ETC Trust will be 100 percent clear that they are investing in Ethereum Classic, not ETH.”

ETC is taking a new direction

The hard cap when it does happen and if it does happen will give ETC a new monetary policy and set it apart from ETH. It is interesting to see that ETC is getting support from Grayscale and by companies in China such as BTCC.

Chandler Guo has pledged support to ETC and announced plans to create 100 Ethereum Class DApps. He had also announced the launching of an ETC Angel Investment Fund on his website:

“I, Chandler Guo, am officially launching an ETC Angel Investment Fund. The minimum investment amount is 10,000 ETC. Fundraising ends at 10,000,000 ETC.”

It seems when ETC has arrived in its own right and has the backing of investors and many lay people, the Ethereum name controversy is meaningless and just a means to create a ripple in the pond.