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Barry Silbert clarifies the naming of the proposed Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust

Digital Currency Group’s Grayscale recently announced the Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust or EIT. Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group (DCG), is the man behind this effort. On the Grayscale website, the description of the trust reads:

“The Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust allows investors to participate in the price movement of Ethereum Classic by purchasing a titled security.”

what’s in a name

The problem appears to be the use of the word “Ethereum” in the EIT’s name. While the Ethereum Foundation is the brand owner of the Ethereum brand, the currency split into Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH) after the Dao incident in June 2016.

EIT also has a Twitter handle @EthereumTrust, which has only one Hello World tweet so far. The description of the Twitter handle reads:

“The Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust will be an open trust investing solely in and deriving value from the Ethereum Classic price.”

Ever since Twitter and the proposed trust came to light, there has been some controversy over the use of the word Ethereum. We have contacted the Ethereum Foundation but have not heard from them at the time of writing this article.

EIT not started yet, waiting for Hard Cap

An interesting idea, Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust is modeled after Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, which behaves like a traditional investment vehicle without requiring investors to go through the logistical steps of buying, storing or custodial bitcoin.

We spoke to Barry Silbert, CEO and Founder of Grayscale, about the pros and cons of EIT and he revealed the following:

“The ETC Trust is modeled after the Bitcoin Investment Trust. The current plan is to launch in the first quarter and is open to accredited investors via an ongoing private placement. However, we will not launch the product until the ETC monetary policy hard cap is set.”

A lot of noise about nothing

It seems that using the name Ethereum has unnecessarily upset some people.

Firstly, there is no trust yet and there is nothing at all that can be named or renamed as such.

Second, the descriptions posted online clearly indicate that the currency investors would be exposed to would be ETC. There are no questions about deceiving anyone.

Barry didn’t really want to comment on the naming issue, but he had this to say:

“I will not comment on the naming, but I can assure you that all ETC Trust investors will be 100 percent clear that they are investing in Ethereum Classic, not ETH.”

ETC breaks new ground

The hard cap when it happens and when it happens ETC will give a new monetary policy and lift it off ETH. It’s interesting to see that ETC has support from Grayscale and from companies in China like BTCC.

Chandler Guo has pledged ETC support and announced plans to create 100 Ethereum-class DApps. He also announced the launch of an ETC Angel Investment Fund on his website:

“I, Chandler Guo, officially launch an ETC Angel Investment Fund. The minimum investment amount is 10,000 ETC. Fundraising ends at 10,000,000 ETC.”

It seems like ETC has arrived in its own right and with the support of investors and many laypeople, the Ethereum name controversy is meaningless and just a means to create a ripple in the pond.

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