Ethereum’s blockchain Merge is expected to take place around 05:05 UTC on September 15. It is a milestone that marks a full transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) for Ethereum, eliminating the need for energy-intensive mining by a projected 99.9% compared to Proof of Work (PoW).
Some miners are also preparing for a hard fork that will allow them to continue using PoW consensus. Forked coins have proved lucrative in the past. Holders of Ethereum (ETH), for example, came into possession of an equivalent amount of Ethereum Classic (ETC) in 2016.
In the event of a new hard fork, in which the Ethereum blockchain would be split into two different networks, users who have ETH in the chain would have an equal balance of ETHW on the forked chain. This would be an additional token; a completely different asset than ETH.
For ETH holders using hard wallets, the question is simpler: what would happen to your tokens if a fork followed the merger? We’ve packed some answers to this question so you don’t get lost or caught up in scams for the next few hours.
In fact, most hard wallet providers follow the same approach: check adoption in the new chain and the forked chain before adding support for ETHPoW. They also warn that users do not need to take any action during the upgrade.
Charles Guillemet, CTO of Ledger’s security hard wallet, explained to TBEN that “in the event of a fork, everyone must first know that all 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 is safe for users, the most important of which is that 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 merger, but users can still use their Trezor with an external interface such as MetaMask to access to the older version of the blockchain.”
Tangem, a Swiss wallet provider, also has no plans to support the PoW fork. “Until we are sure of the seriousness of the proponents of this hard fork, we are not ready to show our customers support for the project,” said CTO Andrey Lazutkin.
ETH holders who use non-custodial wallets and manage their own private keys can quickly access 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 are also warning users to take extra precautions during and after the network upgrade. “Scammers are especially active during major network upgrades. Don’t deal with someone who claims you need to take urgent measures to protect your coins,” Tetek warned.