Ethereum, the blockchain behind the world’s second-largest crypto asset of the same name, will almost certainly split, creating two separate coins running on two separate chains: proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS).
Such a split, often influenced by divergent views among crypto community members, is referred to as a ‘hard fork.’ Or just ‘fork.’ Some Ethereum miners reluctant to get rid of the old consensus mechanism have now signaled plans to ‘fork’ the blockchain once it ‘Merges’.
“The chain will split. Ethereum will continue normally on PoS, and miners will fork it and create $ETHW,” tweeted pseudonymous DeFi strategist Olimpio.
What this means, Olimpio explained, is that the entire Ethereum blockchain will have two identical instances – all Ether, ERC20 tokens, and transactions, as well as all DeFi positions will exist in proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.
Users that held ethereum before the Merge may automatically receive a balance of tokens of the new proof-of-work forks in their wallets. The process of claiming these tokens will vary depending on the chain.
Assets on a centralized exchange such as Poloniex or Coinbase will likely receive the forked tokens without much hustle, should the exchange decide to list those specific tokens.