ETHW Token Surges and Plummets Before Its Launch

Price of ETHW tokens from a proof-of-work fork drastically soared moments after the Merge, only to plummet right back down.

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Source: DALL·E

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key takeaways

  • ETHPoW airdrops may take up to hours to deliver
  • FTX, FTX US, Bybit, Gate.io, MEXC Global and OKX are among the handful of exchanges trading ETHPoW tokens

After seven years of planning, Ethereum has successfully switched from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) — quickly leaving a nascent new PoW chain in the lurch. 

The group of Ethereum miners hard-forking the blockchain saw the price of its ETHW token soar from $34.08 to $51.35 moments after the Merge, only to plummet back down to $16.39 by publication, according to data compiled by Blockworks.

Price volatility of the PoW token should come as no surprise, as the majority of DeFi activity that exists on Ethereum will move to the PoS chain. 

The coin, with an unknown circulating supply and no market capitalization, is currently trading on only a handful of exchanges, including FTX, FTX US, Bybit, Gate.io, MEXC Global and OKX.

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Traders who stored ether on those exchanges before the Merge were airdropped ETHW tokens at a 1:1 ratio. 

“All airdrops will take hours to deliver. If you haven’t received it yet, please wait patiently,” Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange OKX tweeted. “All airdrops distributed to sub-accounts will be received collectively in the corresponding parent account.”

Why an Ethereum hard fork?

In a recent open letter, ETHPoW advocates said “PoS is indeed a game changer, but only in bad ways.”

“PoW has a 12 year track record of being reliable, robust, and censorship-resistant. It is only prudent to continue a PoW Ethereum, which should be a no-brainer for those who champion openness and the free market as there is no downside,” the group said. “After all, if PoS Ethereum is really so great, why be afraid of competition?”

Despite this, EthPoW advocates have drawn substantial criticism from the wider Ethereum community, including founder Vitalik Buterin. At a press conference during ETHSeoul, Buterin said that those pushing for an Ethereum hard fork are “simply trying to make a quick buck.”

At the time of publication, Ethereum traded around $1,500 — over about 125 times higher than ETHW.

Correction Sept. 16 at 6:13 am ET: The original version of this story misstated the price differential between ETHW and ETH.


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