Ethereum Classic (ETC) is an open-source, public, and blockchain-based distributed platform that works on the premise of smart contracts. To make things as clear as possible, Ethereum Classic is not a new cryptocurrency, but instead a split from an existing cryptocurrency, Ethereum (ETH).
Ethereum Classic features the same functionality as Ethereum. It still offers the possibility of creating and deploying smart contracts and decentralized apps. It also has the same average block time, with the same size and reward.
However, there’s more to Ethereum Classic than what it’s basic definition might imply, as this is a cryptocurrency that stirred a lot of waves when it was subjected to one of the biggest hacks in the history of crypto.
The DAO hack
Not that long ago, Ethereum Classic and Ethereum had the exact same transaction history. This was before block 1,920,000 when something happened to Ethereum’s DAO, otherwise known as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization.
DAO was a decentralized investment fund created by early investors to help promote dApps and the development of Ethereum. In short, DAO allowed anyone to pitch their ETH. The funds would be used safely for projects that would benefit the interest of the all the stakeholders involved. At its peak, the DAO had 11,000 users, and the collective fund was worth well over $150 million.
And then, on 17th June 2016, the hack happened. The hacker managed to steal approximately 30% of all the DAO assets (almost 14% of all the funds Ethereum had), which is roughly 50 million dollars.
Naturally, Vitalik Buterin and the rest of the Ethereum team got together in order to decide what is the best course of action. After much debate, the team decided that the best course of action is a hard fork. The entire idea behind the hard fork was to make the attacker’s Ethereum chain worthless while the rest of the community would move to the new chain. Basically, it would take the money from the attacker, and give it back to the victims.
Therefore, Ethereum mining nodes hard forked to a new version of the blockchain and the nodes that continued to mine on the original chain quickly fell into minority. Surprising to some, expected by others, not everyone was on board with this hard fork. Users that did not support the hard fork abided by DAO’s original terms and conditions section that states that “Code is law.” In principle, the idea of a hard-fork was found entirely unethical for some users. After all, everything that happens on the blockchain is unchangeable (or so it should be), regardless of the outcome.
This is how Ethereum Classic came to be. Ethereum Classic is the blockchain that stays true to the philosophy of immutability.
How Ethereum Classic works
Just like in the case of Ethereum being powered by Ether, it’s official token, Ethereum Classic is powered by “Classic Ether.” The Classic Ether token is used to pay users for products and services, as well as for paying transaction fees.
The original goal and vision of Ethereum can be found in Ethereum Classic. Despite all the drawbacks of the platform (i.e., the lack of access to new updates of ETH), it’s still a platform upon which decentralized applications can be developed. The apps’ databases and transactions are stored on all the platform’s nodes.
Using Ethereum Classic
You can get the most of what the ETC blockchain has to offer by installing an Ethereum Classic-compatible wallet on your device. Wallets that can access the ETC blockchain are usually able to access the ETH blockchain as well. Some of the best hardware wallets for storing ETC are Mist Ethereum Wallet, Ledger Nano S, Trezor, and Jaxx (which also comes with support for mobile and web). Coinomi and Trust are some of the best mobile wallets, and ClassicEtherWallet is one of your best options when it comes to web wallets that support ETC.
The main thing to keep in mind while transferring ETC is to pay close attention to the public key addresses usually associated with transactions. For example, if you want to send ETC to someone, make sure you have the correct wallet address from the recipient. The public key address can be a string of numbers and letters or a QR code that can be scanned using your phone.
Just like its counterpart, ETC is based on Dagger-Hashimoto algorithm which means that mining ETC can be done with the help of AMD and Nvidia GPUs. The network difficulty is probably the most important issue when it comes to mining as it represents the complexity of a task that miners need to undergo to create a block. This network difficulty is always changing since the blockchain regulates itself. At the time of this writing, the ETC network is somewhere around the 160,936 T mark and the block reward is 4 ETC plus fees.
Market situation and investment
Even though it’s nowhere near as well-placed as its counterpart, Ethereum Classic is ranked at a respectable 15th place on CoinMarketCap with a total capitalization of $1,738,691,997 and a circulating supply of 102,774,151 ETC.
If you want to invest in Ethereum Classic, you simply need to buy and hold some Classic Ether. Ethereum Classic seems to be attracting more and more investors and developers who will build new decentralized apps on the network, thus instilling more confidence in the network. This might ultimately lead to a very hefty rise in the coin’s value.
How to buy ETC tokens
If you’re interested in buying ETC, then you will be happy to hear that it can be purchased on some of the most renowned crypto exchanges out there such as OKEx, Bit-Z, CoinEX, Binance, BitForex, Huobi, and Bitfinex. More information can be found on the Markets section on CoinMarketCap.
Ethereum Classic Resources
For more information on the Ethereum Classic project, you can visit the official website, its official GitHub repository and its very-comprehensive guide section. Another great way to stay up to date with the project’s developments is with the help of its subreddit and official forum. Finally, you can get in touch with various Ethereum Classic representatives using the platform’s Discord, Telegram, and Twitter channels.
In regards to what the future holds, no one can accurately predict what will happen to Ethereum Classic. However, one thing is for sure: it will be interesting to see how Ethereum Classic will evolve without having Vitalik Buterin’s visionary mind behind it.