What is Ethereum Classic (ETC)? All you need to know

Ethereum Classic is a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. Ethereum Classic should not be confused with Ethereum because it functions independently. Ethereum Classic operates on the blockchain and consensus rules that were originally used in Ethereum. Although Ethereum Classic is among the top cryptocurrencies by market cap, its market capitalization is much smaller than Ethereum. 

Keep reading to find out how Ethereum Classic works, how it differs from Ethereum, and whether it would be a good addition to your cryptocurrency portfolio. Ethereum Classic, like any other cryptocurrency, may or may not work for you. 

What is Ethereum Classic? 

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is a cryptocurrency launched in 2016 as a hard fork of Ethereum (ETH). The Ethereum Classic blockchain, like the Ethereum network, is capable of supporting smart contracts and decentralized applications. The solution works with native Ethereum Classic tokens. 

Ethereum Classic forked from Ethereum in response to a major hacking incident that was a rare occurrence for cryptocurrency blockchains. As a result of the hack, 3.6 million Ethereum tokens were lost. The Ethereum blockchain responded by updating the blockchain to remove invalid transactions. Many members of the original Ethereum community disagreed with this approach that led to the fork. Ethereum Classic was created using the unaltered Ethereum blockchain, which contained transactions after being hacked.

Features of Ethereum Classic 

Ethereum Classic differs retains the original Ethereum blockchain. To verify transactions, the Ethereum Classic blockchain uses the Proof of Work protocol, which requires huge computing resources to mine ETC. While both Ethereum Classic and Ethereum are currently using Proof of Work, Ethereum is also using a different consensus mechanism known as Proof of Stake and is gradually moving towards using only this protocol.

Mining Ethereum Classic

The process of mining Ethereum Classic is the same as the process of mining other cryptocurrencies. A network of computers controlled by cryptocurrency miners compete with each other to validate Ethereum Classic transaction blocks and mine new ETC.

Ethereum Classic miners receive rewards in Ethereum Classic currency. These rewards are generated in the form of transaction and network fees that are charged to users who transact on Ethereum Classic or use the Ethereum Classic blockchain.

Total supply of ETC 

As of June 9, 2022, the current circulating supply of Ethereum Classic already accounts for more than 64% of the total available supply of 210.7 million ETC. Once all Ethereum Classic has been mined, no new ETC will be received. Miners will continue to get rewards, but only in the form of transaction fees.

ETC mining time 

Analytics firm Blockscout reports in real-time how long it takes to mine a new Ethereum Classic block. This number fluctuates constantly. And for now, the average mining time was 11.6 seconds.

How to buy Ethereum Classic 

You can buy Ethereum Classic on many popular cryptocurrency exchanges and some retail brokers. You can also use your cryptocurrency wallet to buy crypto through a decentralized exchange like Exodus.

ETC wallets 

Buying Ethereum Classic requires an Ethereum Classic compatible cryptocurrency wallet.

ETC transaction time 

The time it takes to process an Ethereum Classic transaction may vary depending on how busy or congested the Ethereum Classic network is. Cryptocurrency transaction time is roughly the time it takes for a newly submitted transaction to be registered on the Ethereum Classic blockchain.

Fees for ETC 

Like transaction time, network usage and transaction processing fees may differ depending on the load on the Ethereum Classic network. The fees also depend on the platform or exchange used to purchase Ethereum Classic.

Notable events related to Ethereum Classic 

The creation of Ethereum Classic caused controversy among the Ethereum developer community because, as we mentioned above, Ethereum Classic was developed in response to a major hack on the Ethereum blockchain. TheDAO, a smart contract that uses the Ethereum blockchain, was corrupted when a hacker exploited a vulnerability in the DAO software. Since TheDAO accounted for a significant portion of all Ethereum in circulation in 2016, the Ethereum developer community discussed and eventually decided to create Ethereum Classic as a hard fork to completely separate from Ethereum. The hard fork was successfully completed in July 2016.

In January 2019, a group of hackers took control of the Ethereum Classic blockchain. It was called a “51% attack”. The group eventually returned the funds. In July and August 2020, the Ethereum Classic network again became the victim of a “51% attack”.

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