Beginner’s guide to Ethereum Classic

Beginner’s Guide / 07.03.2020

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is an open-source blockchain network that is embedded with smart contract technology.  It operates on the Turing-complete virtual machine of Ethereum, and it is known as the real Ethereum following the hard fork that took place some years back to yield the new Ethereum, which we popularly know.

Ethereum Classic in a Nutshell

  • It is the original Ethereum, which kept its blockchain distributed ledger intact following the hack of funds deposited in the DAO smart contract. 
  • It has a total supply of 210 million, unlike Ethereum, which has no total supply.
  • It also creates a decentralized platform that allows developers to build their decentralized applications by paying with ETC. 
  • You can mine ETC or purchase them on exchanges and over-the-counter platforms.

The History behind Ethereum Classic

The shortfalls of Bitcoin after its launch in 2009 became so obvious that the average Joe in crypto could tell for a fact that bitcoin was slow, not scalable enough, and also had a very robust protocol making it difficult to add unto it any other use cases. Vitalik Buterin, who was then part of the Bitcoin community, was aware of these shortfalls hence proposed the idea of Ethereum. He realized that the blockchain technology could be used in several other instances other than just serving as a validator and security over a network, which was then that off bitcoin. Many crypto enthusiasts bought into this idea, and the first Initial Coin Offering was conducted within the period of July and August 2014.

Ethereum was launched on 30th July 2015, with about 60 million coins of Ethereum minted and distributed to investors of the ICO. After two years of launch, the team behind Ethereum decided to integrate a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) project. The DAO will serve as a decentralized substrate for the development of decentralized blockchain startups. Just as its name goes, this platform would control its affairs with any Central body or organization’s intervention. Given this vision, a crowd token sale was organized to support the DAO’s creation in May 2016, and a whopping $150 million was raised. Along the line, it was brought to the entire Ethereum community about some security vulnerabilities that the DAO is likely to suffer shortly. Peter Vessenes was Stephan Tual ignored one of the developers who announced that DAO funds were still safe despite the disclosed vulnerabilities.

Unfortunately, on the 17th of June 2016, 3.6 million Ether worth about $50 million was stolen from DAO accounts. This incident took a great toll on the price of Ethereum on the market as investors were not sure about the future of the project hence causing panic selling. This unfortunate situation brought the developers of Ethereum to a crossroad to pick one of the paths listed below:

  1. Eating the humble pie that the hack has already occurred, and there is nothing they can do about it since they cannot alter the blockchain distributed ledger if they are maintaining its immutability.
  2.  Putting in place mechanisms like a soft fork to regulate transactions across the network.
  3. Initiating a hard fork, which would, in the long run, reverse the transaction.

The Ethereum community debated several issues regarding this hack until some members thought of settling on a hard fork between 28 June-15 July 2016, announced by the Ethereum Foundation and Slock members. Some strong crypto enthusiasts of the crypto community did not agree to this hard fork. They felt this decision would be going against one of the core features of blockchain technology, which they advocate: immutability. These miners stayed with the old chain, which is now called Ethereum Classic, and the members who moved on with the new chain after the fork is now Ethereum.

How to mine Ethereum Classic

To all those interested in mining Ethereum Classic, the good news is that it is easier to mine ETC than ETH comparing the computation energy required. You can mine Ethereum Classic with GPUs instead of spending huge sums of money with Application Specific Integrated Circuits as the hash rate at the time of writing was at 84.0 Mh/s. Etash mining algorithm is the same algorithm that is used in mining Ethereum Classic. The hardware specifications required for mining ETC could be any advanced GPU machine, but specifically, Nvidia graphics of 1080 and 1080i are great choices. Choose any computer with at least 8gb RAM, and combining many computers as a mining rig increases your chances of mining blocks across the network.

On the other hand, the software programs suitable for mining Ethereum Classic are Ethminer and Claymore Dual Ethereum, among the lot that you can come across the cryptosphere. You can decide to set up your own mining rig, which might be quite expensive and less profitable other than joining some credible mining pool, which increases your chances of mining blocks to get rewarded. Nanopool.org is one of the industry’s mining pools for a very long time, with good records void of any attempts to scammer its users. A 1% mining pool fee is deducted to support the platform and keep it running, and everyone in the mining pool pays this.

Where to buy Ethereum Classic

If Ethereum Classic looks like a good asset to invest in, you can head over to the following exchanges and purchase it. It’s likely to get pairs of ETH and BTC; hence it’s safer depositing unto the exchanges of these. Binance, Kucoin, Bittrex. Crypto noobs are advised to use Over-the-Counter platforms like Coinbase to purchase theirs.

How to Store Ethereum Classic

Don’t be deceived; Ethereum Classic is different from Ethereum hence don’t make the mistake of sending ETC to any ERC-20 wallet, or else you will lose your funds and would not be able to recover it again. You can choose to store your ETC on software wallets like Atomic wallet, Coinomi wallet, and hardware wallets. Still, I highly recommend using any of the series of Nano, Trezor, Ellipal, and Keepkey.

How much is Ethereum Classic worth?

ETC’s price per the time writing is $7.82, as it had declined about 6.17 percent due to the recent dump of bitcoin. Most major altcoins, just like ETC, all fall under the dominance of Bitcoin. Unlike Ethereum, which has not capped its supply, Ethereum Classic has a total supply of 210 M, and currently, over 116M are in circulation. This has yielded it a market cap of USD 910,120,323. The 24-hour volume of ETC is over 2 Million USD, which shows the growing community of this coin.

The Benefits of using Ethereum Classic

Ethereum Classic offers faster transaction speed than its sister network Ethereum. It also hosts several decentralized applications on its network. Aside from using ETC on its platform and decentralized marketplace, there are not many places where you can spend this cryptocurrency, but if you are looking to pay someone as soon as possible, it’s one of the coins you should go for instead of Bitcoin.

The Risks of using Ethereum Classic

This cryptocurrency is susceptible to the security issues facing any other cryptocurrency in this industry, and these are Volatility and breach of security. So if you are looking to invest in it, then be ready to have the heart to see your cryptocurrency fall and rise in value from time to time. This is not regulated as the market’s price is generally determined, which falls prey to the release of news, updates, and other economic news in the world. Unfortunately, Ethereum Classic has been hacked once and can be hacked again though lead developers claim the network is secured after all the network updates.

Final Thoughts

Ethereum Classic upheld blockchain technology’s integrity by keeping the original blockchain distributed ledger unaltered while its sister chain forked away. It has undergone several updates ever since this hack making the network secured and safe to use. A smart contract deployable network and a hub for decentralized applications, Ethereum Classic, can boast of a vibrant and growing community.

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Holds a degree in BSc. Nursing from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana yet an addict to the blockchain technology and the cryptosphere. He combines the promotion of crypto projects and also the making of professional contents all to get innovative projects to the real world. He is a passionate Community manager and a Marketing Advisor for blockchain startups.