Cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale Investments is taking more time to decide whether it should acquire and sell post-Merge forked Ethereum tokens.
Grayscale announced on March 16 that the company intends to extend the review period for evaluating the market environment to determine whether it can acquire EthereumPoW (ETHW) tokens — the forked asset that emerged after 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 ETHW 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 to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the support of ETHW tokens by digital asset custodians and 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 EthereumPoW.
The emergence of ETHW has brought a significant challenge for crypto investment firms offering exposure to Ethereum because some investors might want to have exposure to ETHW. Some companies, such as the European exchange-traded product (ETP) issuer ETC Group, decided to launch a new ETP providing exclusive exposure to ETHW.
“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 2022.
In September, Grayscale announced that its two Ethereum-related products, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust and the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, declared a distribution of rights to ETHW. Each product received the tokens as a result of a fork by late September.