What Is Ethereum Classic (ETC)?
Ethereum Classic (ETC) is a hard fork of Ethereum (ETH) that launched in July 2016. Its primary function is as an innovative contract network with the ability to host and support decentralized applications (DApps). Its native token is ETC.
Since its launch, ETC has sought to differentiate itself from Ethereum, with the two networks’ technical roadmap diverging further and further from each other with time.
Ethereum Classic first set out to preserve the integrity of the existing Ethereum blockchain after a significant hacking event led to the theft of 3.6 million ETH.
Who Are the Founders of Ethereum Classic?
Ethereum Classic is, in fact, the legacy chain of Ethereum, and its actual creators are, therefore, the original Ethereum developers — Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood.
A contentious hard fork on Ethereum occurred in July 2016, when participants disagreed over whether to revert the blockchain to cancel out the effects of a major hack. This impacted The DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that had raised approximately $150 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) several months earlier.
Ethereum Classic became the network that did not revert the chain. Developers state that no “official” team is attached to the project and that its “global development community is a permissionless ‘do-democracy,’ where anyone can participate.”
What Makes Ethereum Classic Unique?
Ethereum Classic’s main aim is to preserve the Ethereum blockchain as it originally was without artificially countering the DAO hack.
Its appeal was first to those who disagreed with Ethereum’s response. Still, the legacy network has since gained a broader fan base, including significant investors such as Barry Silbert, CEO of investment firm Grayscale.
As a voluntary organization, the developers of ETC do not aim to turn the network into a for-profit entity. Users pay transaction fees as with Ethereum, and miners collect them based on work done as per the proof-of-work (PoW) mining algorithm.
Unlike Ethereum, Ethereum Classic has no plans to convert to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mining algorithm, while multiple developers continue to work on future improvements such as scaling solutions.
How Many Ethereum Classic (ETC) Coins Are There In Circulation?
ETC began in a similar technical state to ETH, except for how the DAO hack transactions were handled.
Since launch, however, changes in tokenomics have occurred, with participants voting to cap the supply of ETC in December 2017. The maximum supply is thus 210,700,000 ETC, roughly ten times that of Bitcoin (BTC), while ETH has no cap.
ETC uses a PoW mining algorithm, which functions like Bitcoin — miners are rewarded with new coins for validating the blockchain in competition with each other. The ETC block reward decreases with time, with the next drop due at block 15,000,000, roughly in April 2022 — from 3.2 ETC to 2.56 ETC per block.
How Is the Ethereum Classic Network Secured?
The Ethereum Classic network is secured using proof-of-work, but as a minority chain, it has suffered regular attacks itself.
These include several 51% attacks to gain control of the mining hash rate and execute spurious transactions and double-spend coins, the most recent in August 2020.
Where Can You Buy Ethereum Classic (ETC)?
ETC is a significant market cap cryptocurrency and is freely tradable on many major exchanges. Pairs are available against stablecoins, other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, while derivatives and institutional investment vehicles exist. Exchanges that let you buy ETC include Binance, OKEx and Huobi Global.