Ethereum Classic is the original version of the celebrated ETH currency, formed into a new shape after a massive fork in 2016. Following that fork, the Ethereum network was divided into the new Ethereum and the Ethereum Classic. It wasn’t a particularly harsh breakup – most users agree that it was a necessary fork.
There are still differences, and ETC introduced several unique features, although most were carried on from the pre-fork era. All that molded Ethereum Classic into a distinct system with its own advantages and disadvantages. Exploring these is the sole purpose of this article.
Ethereum Classic Definition
ETC is not technically a fork of ETH, contrary to what most believe. The latter is the fork of the original, and ETC simply took the pre-existing protocol and continues to utilize it. As such, the Classic offers an exciting glimpse into the Ethereum experience as it was in its fledgling years.
The development team of Ethereum itself has moved on since then and brought many changes both to the protocol and the marketing aspects of their currency. ETC, however, did not. The only few changes they introduced only affected the quality of life. The principles are the same, and that includes:
- It is a transparent and uncensored way of handling money.
- ‘Code is Law’: the system uses applications that allow people to transfer money automatically precisely as they requested by creating smart contracts.
- The system is fully decentralized and doesn’t require banking services to work.
In some ways, it’s like Bitcoin, except you can customize your own way of handling money if you know how to tinker with codes.
There are several key upsides that make working with Ethereum Classic a beneficial and comfortable experience. These advantages aren’t drawn in comparison to other cryptocurrencies or protocols.
- Smart contracts
Smart contracts are applications that support the entire ETC Blockchain. The transactions between the users are not possible without these. Their main quality is versatility. Since the code is open and Turing-complete, anyone with sufficient coding knowledge can create a sequence of their own.
The sequences usually have requirements which, if met, proceed to execute the contract, the contents of which can also be specified right there. You basically leave it and wait for the other party to make their own move. If they meet the requirements, the transaction will happen automatically and without involving any third party at all.
Basically, you have an extremely versatile and decentralized method of transferring money. It has a definitive edge over Bitcoin in terms of potential. That being said, you need to know a thing or two about coding.
- Ease of mining
It’s especially apparent in comparison to Ethereum. Where Ethereum has increased the difficulty of mining for its users, ETC has removed most of the obstacles and stuck to the Proof-of-Work method of block creation. All of that means that it’s much easier to create blocks and mine coins on ETC than on many other networks.
You should note that it can also be a bad thing. ETC is a valuable coin, but because it’s easier to mine, it also means that it will be less useful in the long run. Basically, its value is projected to grow slower than you’d want.
- Freedom and decentralization
All cryptocurrencies are decentralized, at least mostly. ETC is completely decentralized, and even the development team itself doesn’t interfere with the transactions and most other processes that happen on the Blockchain. It’s not just a good policy, it’s a principle.
The existence of ETC is due to the principle of not interfering with the transactions at all. Furthermore, it was basically inherited from the previous developers by the group of dedicated users. So, they are by no means supposed to exert some sort of control apart from decisions agreed upon by all ETC users.
There are a few downsides that can be clearly pinpointed. These don’t just include the technical problems, but also issues related to the market.
- Worse market situation
Although ETC is still a valuable coin ($60 in summer 2021), it’s obviously much less valuable in comparison to ETH. It’s not really that big of a deal on its own, but it also means that there’s less demand, less trade volume, less liquidity, and more volatility. Basically, it’s riskier to invest in ETC than in ETH or BTC.
Not by much, mind you – Classic is still considered a promising coin, and it isn’t that risky to play around with, just riskier than top currencies.
- Fewer updates than ETH
If you compare it to ETH, you’ll see that ETC has way fewer updates and new content than its cousin. It’s not surprising, nor is it a big deal if you don’t want a lot of new content arriving on a regular basis. However, it’s still a valid complaint for some, and a lot of people would want major updates more often than once a year.