Digital assets ETP specialist ETC Group is preparing to launch a new directly backed Ethereum ETP based on the blockchain’s imminent ‘hard fork’.
Ethereum’s hard fork is expected to take place on 15 September.
Ethereum is a well-established, open-ended decentralized platform and the leading venue for the deployment of smart contracts. Its current native asset, ether, is the second largest crypto asset globally with a total market capitalization of $207 billion.
A hard fork is defined variously but broadly refers to a change in blockchain protocol or what happens when a blockchain diverges into two potential paths going forward.
Ethereum’s long-awaited hard fork, which is expected to take place on 15 September, will see its blockchain split from the current proof-of-work (PoW) protocol into two chains, one governed by the existing PoW protocol and another by the more energy-efficient and scalable proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol.
The PoS chain will retain ether as its native token while the PoW chain, representing a group of miners opposing the switch to PoS, will have a new token called ETHW.
ETC Group’s new Ethereum ETP – the ETHWetc – ETC Group Physical EthereumPoW (ZETW GY) – is expected to list on Deutsche Börse Xetra on 16 September, shortly after the hard fork occurs.
ZETW will be based on the existing PoW protocol and, as such, the ETP will be 100% collateralized by a corresponding investment in ETHW which will be stored using an institutional-grade cold-storage custody solution.
Shareholders within ETC Group’s existing Ethereum ETP – the $60 million ETHetc – ETC Group Physical Ethereum (ZETH GY) – will automatically be transferred into the new ETP, receiving shares of ZETW on a 1:1 basis.
ZETW’s expense ratio is expected to mirror ZETH’s fee of 1.49%.
Bradley Duke, Founder and co-CEO of ETC Group, commented: “When we launched ETC Group, we committed to holders of our digital asset-backed securities that they would benefit from hard forks to the underlying digital assets and cryptocurrencies. We believe that it is only right that investors in our products should receive the proceeds of this fork.”