A Beginner’s Guide to Ethereum Classic

By Rushali Shome

You might have already heard of Ethereum Classic (ETC) if you’ve been around the crypto block for a while. However, this particular cryptocurrency is almost always discussed in relation to Ethereum (ETH). Most articles discuss the differences between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic but few are dedicated exclusively to Ethereum Classic itself, what it is, how it works, what its features are. Let’s have a look.

What is Ethereum Classic?

The Ethereum Classic, simply put, is the non-forked version of the classic Ethereum. To understand, what that means, we must first take a quick trip down the memory lane. In 2016, the Ethereum community underwent a major controversy owing to a security flaw that was inherent in a Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO run on it. As we are aware, Ethereum is a blockchain network that offers support to a wide variety of use cases by implementing blockchain smart contracts and one of the protocols related to them was the DAO. Eventually, hackers were able to take advantage of the security loophole and steal 3.6 million Ethers. As a result, a large section of Ethereum community decided to have a hard fork where the hack would be reversed and the platform would become a clean slate as though the incident had never occurred at all. In this situation, some of the community members protested, claiming that this would hamper the principle of immutability that is inherent in blockchain technology. Hence they decided to hold on to the older platform, calling it Ethereum Classic.

Therefore, much like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic is a blockchain network that features blockchain smart contracts on a decentralized distributed computing platform. Just like its better-known fork, Ethereum Classic is complete with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a Turing-complete Virtual Machine. According to its website:

“Ethereum Classic (ETC) is a smarter blockchain, it is a network, a community, and a cryptocurrency that takes digital assets further. In addition to allowing people to send value to each other, ETC allows for complex contracts that operate autonomously and cannot be modified or censored.”

How Does Ethereum Classic Work?

Ethereum Classic follows a very different model of mining and coin supply than Ethereum. It has a difficulty bomb that is built into the network and this is meant to make it more difficult to mine with the proof of work consensus protocol over time. This means that gradually, ETC users will be required to switch over to the proof of stake consensus protocol. However, there is also a provision for putting the pause button on the difficulty bomb and holding on to the original proof of work protocol it has been following. Transaction fees on this blockchain are rather low owing to the short block times (roughly 10 to 14 seconds). Each block yields a reward value of 5 ETC. The block rewards will keep rising till 2025 when a 210 million cap will be placed on the coin. This quality if ETC ensures greater safety for investors as this implies that prices will not fall as a result of indefinitely rising supplies.

Characteristics of Ethereum Classic

Certain key characteristics that distinguish Ethereum Classic from any other blockchain network or its cryptocurrency are as follows-

1. Low-Profile Developers To Reinforce Decentralization:

A key idea the ETC developers had in mind was that they wanted a thoroughly decentralized, permission-less blockchain network. In order to attain that vision, they decided to keep themselves low-profile. Unlike Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin or Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, these highly competent developers prefer to stay a mile away from the public eye.

2. Immutable Blockchain:

The developers of ETC have a clearly articulated respect for the “code”, which, to them, is as good as the “law”. Hence all attempts are geared towards making ETC thoroughly immutable, as a blockchain network is expected to be.

In addition to these highly emphasized upon features, ETC also relies on its “long history of reliable operation” to make a distinct case for itself. ETC is naturally far less popular compared to Ethereum but stays afloat in the crypto market driven by a vision that places great trust in its original principles. If it is an approach that appeals to you and you wish to purchase ETC for yourself, then we have just the thing for you: a made-easy guide on how to buy Ethereum Classic!

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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