Another Crypto Exchange Signals Support for Miner-Led Ethereum Hard Fork

While Ethereum’s highly anticipated move towards proof of stake finally approachcrypto exchanges debate whether or not they should support a growing effort to resist the transition.

Today, another exchange decided the move was worth it.

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitrue today announced that it will support a token tied to ETHW, the proof-of-work version of Ethereum this “merge resistors” will attempt to create by forking Ethereum block chain at the time of the merger.

The Ethereum merger, now expected to take place on or around September 15, refers to a protocol update that will combine Ethereum main network with the Proof-of-Stake beacon chain – the final step in the network’s transition away from proof of work. This change also marks the end of mining on Ethereum, which ETH miners are not very happy about, hence the growing calls for a hard fork which maintains the status quo.

Through an exchange and IOU mechanism, Bitrue will make an ETHW token available to all current ETH holders on its platform. The trading platform, which according to data from CoinGecko ranks 20th among crypto exchanges across the globe and accounts for over $1.5 billion in 24-hour trading volume, will also create a token representing the new version of ETH’s proof-of-stake which is to exist if and when the merger takes place later next month.

Both tokens will be made available prior to the merger; if the hard fork predicted by the merge resistors fails and the ETHW never materializes, all ETHW on Bitrue’s platform will be automatically converted to post-merger and proof-of-stake ETH.

“Bitrue has always been about giving users unparalleled choice,” Bitrue Chief Marketing Officer Adam O’Neill said in a statement to Decrypt. “[That] can be seen not only in the thousands of trading pairs available on the exchange right now, but also in our actions of providing unique and innovative financial products.

Over the past few weeks, other crypto exchanges, including Justin Sun’s Poloniex, Houbiand BitMEX— have all launched ETHW-affiliated financial products. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, did not rule out supporting ETHW.

However, other major crypto companies, including Circle and Tether (providers of the two largest stablecoins, USDC and USDT, respectively) have declared their refusal to support ETHW in any form.

The campaign to create the ETHW started earlier this month at the request of prominent Chinese crypto-miner Chandler Guo. Guo and other crypto miners have so far enjoyed substantial revenue from mining Ethereum through a power-intensive process that involves directing massive amounts of computing power into hard-to-solve puzzles.

The merger, however, will end ETH mining by shifting Ethereum to a faster and more scalable proof-of-stake model, in which new ETH is created by pledging large amounts of pre-existing ETH.

Guo and other miners hope that by forking or splitting the Ethereum blockchain will merge, they will retain the ability to mine Ethereum (albeit a different form of the cryptocurrency).

Several specialists already said Decrypt that ETHW is very unlikely to approach the market value of Ethereum, thereby severely limiting the potential profitability of mining the new cryptocurrency. For these experts, the only thing the ETHW will likely be able to accomplish is to undermine the legitimacy of the merger in the short term.

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