Ethereum Classic is a cryptocurrency with a special focus on immutability, popularly expressed as “code is law.”
What is Ethereum Classic (ETC)?
In July 2016, the Ethereum network experienced a hard fork, creating two separate blockchains: Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Though it’s sometimes confused with Ethereum, Ethereum Classic is now a totally different cryptocurrency with different technological and philosophical goals, specifically a special focus on immutability, popularly expressed as “code is law.”
Like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic is a decentralized computing system that can run a wide variety of applications. ETC is Ethereum Classic’s native currency, which is used to power transactions and smart contracts on its network.
How does Ethereum Classic work?
Similar to Ethereum and its native unit ETH, Ethereum Classic users pay fees in ETC to execute smart contracts, and you can think of it as the fuel that keeps the whole thing running (which is why those fees are called “gas”). Gas fees pay miners which solve “proof of work” puzzles using sophisticated computers to help verify the network.
A key distinction, however, is that Ethereum is planning to migrate from “proof of work” mining to a new system called “proof of stake.” Ethereum Classic has no such plans, and intends to keep traditional mining on its own blockchain after Ethereum migrates.
Like ETH, new ETC is issued to the circulating supply as a reward for miners as new blocks of transactions are added to the blockchain. Unlike ETH, which doesn’t have a fixed supply, ETC has a maximum supply of 210,700,000 coins.
How is ETC mined?
Powerful computers mine ETC, adding it to the circulating supply. While Ethereum Classic can be mined using widely-available graphics processors, it’s most likely not profitable unless you use an ASIC, a specialized device designed for crypto mining.
After Ethereum Classic’s fork from Ethereum in 2016, Ethereum Classic has struggled to compete in terms of market capitalization, developers, and network security as measured by total mining power. Over its history, Ethereum Classic has been subject to numerous “51% attacks” in which malicious actors control a majority of the mining power and were thus able to spend coins they didn’t actually own (also known as a double spend attack).
How do I buy ETC?
You can buy, send, and receive ETC via exchanges like Coinbase.