Ethereum’s blockchain Merge is expected to take place around 05:05 UTC on Sept. 15. It is a milestone that marks a full transition towards Proof-of-Stake (PoS) for Ethereum, and eliminates the need for energy-intensive mining by a projected 99.9% when compared to Proof of Work (PoW).
Some miners are also getting ready for a hard fork that would allow them to continue using PoW consensus. Forked coins have proven to be lucrative in the past. The holders of Ethereum (ETH), for example, came to possess an equivalent amount of Ethereum Classic (ETC) when it forked in 2016.
In the event of a new hard fork, in which the Ethereum blockchain would split into two different networks, users holding ETH on-chain would have equal balance of ETHW on the forked chain. This would be an additional token; a totally different asset from ETH.
For ETH holders using hard wallets, the question is more straightforward: what would happen to your tokens if a fork followed the merge? We have wrapped up some answers to this question, so you don’t get lost or trapped in a scam in the coming hours.
In fact, most of the hard wallets providers are taking the same approach: monitor adoption in the new chain as well as the forked chain before adding any support for ETHPoW. Also, they alert that there is no need for users to take any action during the upgrade.
Charles Guillemet, CTO of security hard wallet Ledger, explained to Cointelegraph that, “in the event of a fork, the first thing everyone should know is that any assets the user currently has on the main network are safe,” adding that the company “will not support an ETH Proof of Work fork on day 1, as there are a number of technical aspects that need to be evaluated to ensure it’s safe for users, chief among those is ensuring the new chain is secure.”
Similarly, Josef Tětek, bitcoin analyst at Trezor, said that “Trezor Suite will not support interaction with the pre-merge proof of work coins after the merge, but users can still use their Trezor with a third-party interface like MetaMask to access the older version of the blockchain.”
Tangem, a Swiss wallet provider, also has no plans to support the PoW fork. “Until we are certain of the seriousness of the proponents of this hard fork, we are not ready to show our customers support for the project”, stated the CTO, Andrey Lazutkin.
ETH holders who use non-custodial wallets and control their own private keys will have fast access to both sets of coins (ETHW and ETH). Private key owners can collect the forked coins using Metamask to connect the PoW network to an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) wallet.
Crypto wallet companies also warn users to take extra precautions during and after the network upgrade. “Scammers are especially active during major network upgrades. Do not engage with anyone who claims you need to take urgent steps to protect your coins”, warned Tetek.