What is Ethereum Classic? – Complete Guide

Based upon the original Ethereum code, Ethereum Classic is another open-source, peer-to-peer blockchain-powered platform. It operates in the same way as Ethereum (ETH) in that it offers a value token, known as ‘classic ether’, which those within the Ethereum Classic community use to pay for products and services. It also operates as a transaction fee when users purchase decentralised apps (dApps) on the Ethereum Classic blockchain.  
  • Price of ETC has already experienced substantial growth
  • Several leading cryptocurrency wallets support Ethereum Classic
  • ETC is also available to trade with contracts for difference (CFD) brokers such as eToro
Ethereum Classic

What is Ethereum Classic?

The story which led to the formation of Ethereum Classic is somewhat dramatic. Ethereum is a decentralised open-source blockchain network, with Ether as the cryptocurrency that powers it. As internet users require a web browser like Mozilla Firefox ether coinor Google Chrome to access information, the Ethereum platform is necessary to help software developers build and launch dApps.

In 2015, the Ethereum community approved plans to establish the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO). Its sole purpose was to create a distributed venture capital fund that would provide financial support to organisations and innovators planning to develop applications on the Ethereum platform.

By the summer of 2016, the DAO had amassed more than $150 million in funding and was ready to proceed with supporting Ethereum developers. However, in June of that  same year, the DAO was compromised. Cyber-criminals took advantage of a technically legal exploit in the DAO’s system architecture, stealing $50 million in the process.

Ethereum’s developers were under pressure to roll-back the blockchain to its condition prior to the hack, returning all stolen Ether to their rightful owners. However, a large portion of the community felt that this action went against the fundamental principal of blockchain technology, in terms of immutability. Consequently, Ethereum undertook a hard fork, replicating and modifying the original code to reverse the DAO hack. Ethereum Classic is a continuation of the original chain, where the record of the hack still exists. The passionate community of Ethereum Classic have now coined the phrase, ‘Code is Law’.

 

Why was Ethereum Classic (ETC) Invented?

If you are wondering why Ethereum Classic was invented, the answer is a simple one. The cryptocurrency attempts to stay true to the original nature of the intended Ethereum blockchain. The ultimate vision of Ethereum Classic remains the same as Ethereum in many ways: to create a blockchain platform that enables Ethereum Classic software developers to design and build dApps that don’t require centralised oversight, but are stored on every single node connected to the Ethereum Classic blockchain.

Ethereum Classic remains a firm favourite with cryptocurrency ideologists that have an unwavering belief in the Ethos and purpose of its blockchain. However, there is no doubt that the decision for Ethereum to create a new hard fork and migrate across to the ‘new Ethereum’ has caused a significant split within the Ethereum community.

 

The Team Behind Ethereum Classic

There are five key teams of software engineers and developers that work tirelessly to support the growth of the Ethereum Classic platform:

ETCDEV

ETCDEV was a global interdisciplinary group of software engineers and developers that worked full-time on some of the core projects on the Ethereum Classic platform. These included Emerald SDK, Classic Geth and Sidechains. Unfortunately, at the end of 2018, ETCDEV announced that it would be stopping all operations through a lack of funding. Some petitioned the group to plead their case before the entire community in a bid to raise funds, while others believed the days of Ethereum Classic were numbered. In spite of this occurrence, ETC is still going strong and is  listed within the top 20 coins at the time of writing (February, 2020).

IOHK

The IOHK Grothendieck group is comprised of mathematical and scientific engineers and developers who work around the clock to improve the security and scalability of the ETC ecosystem.

ETC Cooperative

The ETC Cooperative (ECC) was founded to provide financial assistance to underpin the long-term growth of the Ethereum Classic platform. The ECC has a three-pronged approach to financial support: community, marketing and development. They also build links with other Ethereum-based crypto communities.

ETC Labs

Ethereum Classic Labs is another leading ETC team geared to providing start-up funding for new projects on the ETC platform. It also seeks to build industry connections to improve the longevity of the Ethereum Classic ecosystem.

Ethereum Commonwealth

This organisation has had an influential input on a host of blockchain projects, including those on the ETC blockchain. At the time of writing, Ethereum Commonwealth maintain the Classic Ether Wallet.


How does Ethereum Classic Work?

Ethereum Classic operates just like the original Ethereum, as it is actually based on the original blockchain. It’s taken some time for ETC to receive widespread acceptance and acknowledgement within the cryptocurrency industry, with its parent currency Ethereum (ETH) still largely wishing to remain disassociated in all ways.

Nonetheless, investors in cryptocurrencies and those who wish to use the dApps on the Ethereum platform can buy Ethereum Classic on a host of cryptocurrency exchanges today. It can either be held as a form of long-term investment or used as a form of payment with digital merchants and service providers.

If you are wondering how to get Ethereum Classic, you can also profit from it without having to physically own and store ETC coins through trading the price of ETC via a CFD broker. Brokers such as eToro and Markets.com allow for users to place ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ orders on the price of Ethereum Classic, which we’ll go into greater detail about shortly.

How Safe is Ethereum Classic?

There is definitely a mixed bag of opinions concerning this topic. Strong supporters of ETH consider ETC as an unnecessary fork, creating an unreliable coin. However, Ethereum Classic still holds dear the principals that Ethereum was built upon, and would not agree to roll back the DAO attack, believing that blockchain should remain immune to such manipulation, especially by its own community. While there have been some dips and losses for the project, the token is still listed in the top twenty cryptocurrencies and receives continuous innovation and a lot of loyal support.

However, on January 5th, 2019, Ethereum Classic suffered a 51% attack. Effectively, a singe individual or entity gained control of over half of the mining power (in this case, around 60%) which allowed them to create a longer blockchain than would normally be permitted and open the doors to double spending. ETC is one of only a handful of projects to have been successfully hacked.

 

How does Ethereum Classic Compare to Bitcoin?

Ethereum Classic aims to make the most of blockchain technology and create a decentralised open-source platform. Although Bitcoin’s developers have sought to restrict the blockchain to process currency-based transactions, the Ethereum Classic blockchain is designed to create a decentralised operating system atop the ETC blockchain.

 

How Can You Get Ethereum Classic?

Although some believe that, as a forked coin, ETC may be a riskier investment than its parent, there are many opportunities to buy, sell, trade and use ETC coins online:

                                                                    You Can Buy It

If you wish to get Ethereum Classic online, one of the quickest and most accessible ways  is to use a cryptocurrency exchange or broker. Crypto exchanges are generally intuitive and make it easy for newcomers to understand the price movements of the markets. You can buy ETC coins using fiat currencies and other cryptocurrencies through an exchange. As the crypto sphere has continued to have faith in the Ethereum Classic platform – the original, immutable Ethereum blockchain – it is likely that the price of ETC will experience an upward curve in the months to come.

Does the thought of setting up an alternative cryptocurrency wallet to store your ETC coins safely seem like hard work? If so, you could ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ based on the price movement of ETC instead by entering into a CFD via eToro. Check out our eToro review to understand how to profit from the rise and fall in the value of digital assets without having to own and store them.

You Can Trade It

A great alternative to buying is to trade ETC coins using CFD brokers like eToro, 24Option, Plus500 and Investous. Cryptocurrency is steadily becoming a more popular trading instrument among investors that have traditionally dabbled in the stock and forex markets. For example, when you place a ‘buy’ order for Ethereum Classic on eToro and the price increases in your favour, you can place a closing ‘sell’ order to take the profit between the ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ prices of ETC. Brokers provide technical instruments and fundamental trading indicators that can help their users make informed investment decisions.

You Can Mine It

Another positive about Ethereum Classic is that you can mine ETC coins just like Ethereum (ETH). There are mining pools that you can use to quickly generate high amounts of ETC by combining the might of their computer resources. Of course, before you start mining for Ethereum Classic, you’ll need to set up an ETC-compatible wallet in order to safely store the tokens.

Get it for Free!

Newcomers to building cryptocurrency portfolios can even get their hands on free ETC coins. Ethereum Classic faucets give away fragments of ETC every 30 minutes to an hour.

All you have to do is complete a string of captchas, complete surveys or download specified mobile applications in order to qualify for your free ETC.

Can Ethereum Classic be used Anonymously?

Ethereum Classic, like many altcoins, can be used anonymously if users are transacting directly on its native network. If you want to exchange your ETC for other crypto or fiat currency however, you will have to employ the services of an exchange or broker. Many of these are now compliant with varying government regulations, which include AML and KYC practices. These regulations require a user to provide evidence pertaining to their identity, and so, anonymity becomes diminished.

How to Store Ethereum Classic

If you are confused about how to store your Ethereum Classic, the answer can be a little complex. You must first create a compatible cryptocurrency wallet. The top cryptocurrency wallets for storing and managing Ethereum Classic include hardware wallets such as Trezor, and Ledger Nano S; both of which allow you to keep your private keys offline for improved security. Both Jaxx and Trust Wallet are mobile wallets that support the sending and receiving of ETC and many other ERC-20 and ERC-223 tokens.

Of course, if you don’t want the rigmarole of storing and protecting cryptocurrency, you can still trade without having to own the underlying asset. Of all the top crypto exchanges and brokers we’ve tested and reviewed, our review of eToro rates it as the safest and best-regulated platform for buying and selling based the price fluctuations of Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum Classic Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • ETC’s immutable platform is deemed more secure than ETH by its community
  • Plenty of growth potential with the price of ETC
  • Large firms now beginning to invest in Ethereum Classic platform
  • Growing number of decentralised apps on the ETC platform

Cons

  • Many users have abandoned ETC after ETCDEV annouced that they were ceasing all operations
  • Requires separate crypto wallets if you wish to own both ETC and ETH (although, hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S are capable of storing both)

 

Should you invest in Ethereum Classic or not?

Ethereum Classic is still considered as an emerging altcoin with a bright future. After the launch of the Emerald platform and with many developments planned for the future, the use cases for this blockchain seem set to expand.

The price of Ethereum Classic coins is far lower than Ethereum, which also makes it a viable investment with great growth potential. The future for the Ethereum Classic platform is promising, receiving strong backing from some large organisations and a loyal development community who are committed to its continued innovation.

Ethereum Classic FAQs

Is it right to consider Ethereum Classic as part of Ethereum?

No, this is not correct. Both Ethereum Classic and Ethereum should be regarded as two separate cryptocurrencies that share the same features as digital assets. They function independently of one another, utilise separate blockchains and both have very different long-term aspirations. Ethereum Classic also utilises a Proof-of-Work system to generate ETC, while Ethereum is reportedly considering moving towards a Proof of Stake system, whereby the generating of new blocks is carried out by owners of Ethereum coins rather than crypto miners.

Do I require separate wallets to store Ethereum Classic and Ethereum?

Yes, this has been a necessity since September 2017. You will be required to install or purchase two separate cryptocurrency wallets. It’s important to ensure the crypto wallet(s) you choose can operate multiple installations on the same device. This is because some Ethereum-supported wallets will not permit another installation to access Ethereum Classic and vice versa.

What is an Ethereum Classic smart contract?

Ethereum Classic smart contracts are digital systems that control the transfer of assets between individuals and organisations. Ethereum Classic smart contracts are capable of transferring all manner of assets; it doesn’t have to be financial. It can be anything from property to legal documentation.

What is Ether?

Ether and ETC is the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum Classic that is used to pay for necessary tasks e.g. the installation of new smart contracts.

What is Gas?

Gas is the secondary unit of Ethereum Classic that is used to indicate the amount of resources needed to undertake necessary tasks e.g. the installation of new smart contracts.

What does Proof of Work mining mean?

In its most basic form, cryptocurrency mining involves miners undertaking computational tasks that are intentionally difficult to complete. This is to safeguard each cryptocurrency network from cyber-attack. These computational tasks usually require miners to find certain numbers relating to new each new block. The locating of these numbers is what is known as Proof of Work mining for digital assets such as Ethereum Classic.

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