Three crypto exchanges are letting traders bet on tokens for anticipated Ethereum fork

Quick Take

  • Poloniex and MEXC have listed tokens tied to a possible miner-led fork of Ethereum.
  • BitMEX has now added a futures product related to the tokens.
  • These listings will allow the trading of an asset that is yet to come into existence. 

Three cyptocurrency exchanges are supporting the trading of tokens representing a future proof-of-work fork of Ethereum.

Last weekend, Poloniex and MEXC became the first spot exchanges to list such tokens. Today, BitMEX joined the two by launching a futures product based on the tokens, called ETHPoW.

ETHPoW Futures will support the trading of ETHPoW in the form of a derivative trading contract. The futures contract will use the Tether (USDT) stablecoin as margin collateral and it will open for trading under the ETHPOWZ22 ticker on Tuesday. 

The idea of an miner-led Ethereum fork gained momentum after Chandler Guo, an influential Chinese crypto miner, declared on Twitter last week that he would fork the Ethereum blockchain to what he called “ETH POW.” The fork, he claimed, would allow miners to continue operations after Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) consensus to proof-of-stake (PoS), which is planned in the coming months. 

Both Poloniex and MEXC are letting ether holders swap ETH into ETHPoS (IOU) and ETHPoW (IOU) in a 1:1 ratio.  IOU tokens function like derivatives, while allowing users to trade the native asset of a blockchain that has not been launched yet. On these two exchanges, the ETHPoS (IOU) token is trading roughly the same price as ETH whereas the ETHPoW (IOU) is changing hands at a much lower price between $125-$130, per data from CoinMarketCap.

If Ethereum's proof-of-stake upgrade is completed without a fork, Poloniex and MEXC said they would suspend and delist the IOU tokens and their associated markets. These listings are highly speculative as they allow the trading of an asset that is yet to come into existence — and may not do so.

Other crypto exchanges — Huobi, Gate, Digifinex, and OKX — have started coalescing around the fork and have offered support to listing the forked versions of ether. However, those exchanges have not yet provided details on their respective plans related to listing ether forks. Last Saturday, Huobi was still evaluating the idea, saying it would list any hard forks of Ethereum so long as they meet certain requirements.


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