Ethereum Classic (ETC) is a blockchain It had its origin thanks to the application of a hard fork sponsored by the Ethereum community. This hard fork was carried out, in order to solve a difficult situation that the community went through, related to the theft of several million ethers in 2016 and that were protected by the project, The dao. The application of this hard fork divided the Ethereum community among those who supported and detracted from it.
However, the majority approved of its execution, which ended up dividing Ethereum into two blockchain. One in which the stolen funds were returned to their owners, and is now known as Ethereum. The other, the original blockchain where the stolen funds were not removed and where the story simply ran its course. This last blockchain ended up receiving the name Ethereum Classic.
But despite the differences that exist between the principles of both projects, they point to the same purpose: become a powerful decentralized blockchain platform. Platforms that are capable of executing smart contracts, without any possibility of third-party interference, censorship, inactivity or fraud.
To achieve this, Ethereum Classic bases much of its technology on what is inherited from Ethereum, but also builds its own. All this under a community and open development, respecting the philosophical guidelines of the community. These guidelines are expressed in the Crypto-Decentralist Manifesto, its Declaration of Independence and the phrase: "The Code is the Law."
A little history
To understand the birth and raison d'être of Ethereum Classic, we must remember the events of May and June 2016 in the blockchain and Ethereum community. It was then that the events that led to the existence of Ethereum Classic occurred.
It all started with the existence of the project The dao, implemented as a Smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. This came to have a total of 11,5 million ether, valued at $ 150 million at the time. Thanks to this, The DAO was classified as the largest crowdfunding event in history.
But all this fame would change for the worse in a short time. On May 30, 2016, Dino mark, Vlad Zamfir y Contact Emin directly, published a report on certain vulnerabilities of The DAO. In it they warned of the possibility of exploiting at least nine vulnerabilities that the project had. All these vulnerabilities led to the situation of loss and theft of tokens. An extremely dangerous situation, but that little attention was captured by the developers of the project.
In addition to these vulnerabilities, the developers presented solutions to avoid them. However, his warnings were dismissed, an action that would later be regretted by those involved in The DAO. You can learn more about The DAO's interesting organization concept in this special article aimed at DAO.
The attack on The DAO
The terrible moment arrived and on June 16, 2016, an attack was detected on The DAO. A group of unknown hackers moved around 3,6 million Ether (equivalent to about $ 50 million) from The DAO. The impact on the Ethereum community and on the value of Ether was immediate. Ether price fell from $ 20 USD to less than $ 13 USD. However, not everything was lost in relation to the stolen funds. Due to the design of The DAO and the child DAO that the attacker used, the funds could not be withdrawn within 28 days. This gave the opportunity to recover the funds. However, the problem was finding a satisfactory solution for everyone to this problem.
In this situation, the Ethereum community discussed whether or not to return the funds to investors and how they would do it. After a few weeks of discussion, on July 20, 2016, a hard fork occurred on the Ethereum blockchain. This hard fork was made in order to reverse the hacking and return the stolen DAO funds to investors. This last point was something that not many people shared and caused friction within the community. This was so, because a group of people supported the idea that the blockchain should remain unchanged in any situation.
As a result of the hard fork, the Ethereum blockchain split in two. The new blockchain received the name of Ethereum, while the original was renamed Ethereum Classic. This project continued to operate as a DAO, while the new blockchain came under the tutelage of Vitalik Buterin.
Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic (Why Did They Split)
A close and simple explanation of the reasons that led to Ethereum's hard fork, and that resulted in the birth of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
The principles of Ethereum Classic
Shortly after Ethereum Classic was born, its community organized to lay the foundations for its operation and principles. Being a completely decentralized and community-driven project, Ethereum Classic had major organizational challenges. However, in a short time his community was able to specify everything related to its operation and community rules.
Among these rules we can highlight:
Immutability above all things
The Ethereum Classic community believes that the main value proposition of any blockchain is immutability. This means that valid transactions can never be deleted or forgotten. The individuals who interact in Ethereum Classic are governed by this reality and the phrase: "The Code is the Law."
This means that the code with which users interact voluntarily will govern such interactions at all times. Nothing and no one within Ethereum Classic can do anything to change it.
This was created with the sole purpose of avoiding situations such as those that occurred in DAO and the hard fork that led to the creation of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
Another point the Ethereum Classic community wants is for decentralized governance to be respected at all times. His vision in this regard is that only decentralization can guarantee the life of the project beyond time. Furthermore, they indicate that decentralization avoids cases such as corruption, irresponsibility, nepotism, inefficiency and stagnation. Therefore, Ethereum Classic manifests these values by renouncing control by a formalized central base. The only hierarchy is that of transparent meritocracy and mutual reputation.
At this point, the Ethereum Classic community is very clear: Third party interventions are not allowed. Decisions are made by the community for the benefit of the community. This point makes a big difference with Ethereum, where third parties have openly interfered with decisions or not.
The Crypto-Decentralist Manifesto
El 10 de julio de 2016, the Ethereum Classic community released its Crypto-Decentralist Manifesto. In it, they made clear their vision of the blockchain world, and how the actions of the founders of Ethereum attacked all that they believed in.
At this point, the manifesto made four important points that the community considered essential. Especially to maintain the original spirit that led to the design of blockchain technology by Satoshi Nakamoto.
The points explained in the document were:
Openness as a necessity.
Neutrality as a necessity.
A universally accepted version of history, an immutable sequence of events.
Under these four points, the community began to mobilize and converge to start and continue the project. Later these, four points would be taken up and clarified by the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence
On July 20, 2016, Ethereum Classic declared its independence from the original Ethereum project worldwide. To be more exact, independence was declared in the 1.920.000 block.
The objective behind this statement was to allow the project to become a fully community one. With this, it is enabled to create clear rules and according to the future vision of the project. Among the main reasons for such an act was the creation of a truly free community. One in which there was no censorship, fraud or interference from third parties.
In addition, the community took the opportunity to publicize various risky situations that were happening in Ethereum. These situations include:
The creation of a "Soft fork", which consisted of a small change to the Ethereum code. This in order to allow the creation of blacklists and give way to censorship.
For the creation of a non-representative voting mechanism called "Carbon Vote". This was intended to provide a solution to the Ethereum ice age problem (a period of low or no mining rewards).
The deployment of "Hard fork" which gave birth to Ethereum Classic and the new Ethereum blockchain. In this sense, the Ethereum Classic community claimed that the immutability, fungibility, and sanctity of the ledger.
Have voluntarily decided not to include replay protection in the hard fork. An action that has resulted in unnecessary and very harsh consequences. Among them, the realization of replay attacks that meant the loss of tokens by users.
Ethereum Classic technical characteristics
Ethereum Classic has a lot of technology inherited and transferred from Ethereum. The two projects are very similar, and to some extent have a code base compatible with each other.
For example, their consensus protocol is that of Proof of Work (PoW) using the algorithm Ethash. It also has the ability to use Ethereum EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). This means that Ethereum Classic can deploy smart contracts, DApps and enjoy all its possibilities. In addition to this, it also has the ability to issue tokens compatible with the standard ERC-20 from Ethereum. A utility that allows creating a complex economic system to support ETC DApps.
But there are other marked differences between the two projects. One of them is your coin issuance limit. In Ethereum Classic, the maximum emission is 230 million, but in Ethereum this is infinite. Another different point is the mining reward management, which is higher in Ethereum Classic, reaching 4 Ethers per block.
However, this situation can change a lot given the recent roadmap of the project. It highlights the following projects designed to enhance the functionality of this blockchain:
This is one of the projects that it maintains ETC Labs Core, in order to enable multired support in Geth. This support is essential for the proper functioning of Ethereum, using a known and proven infrastructure such as geth. Among the capabilities that are currently being implemented in Multi-Geth we can mention:
Improvements in the capacity and processing of the system cache thanks to a new implementation on StateDB.
Removal of the difficulty pump in order to adapt Geth's operation to ETC's economic policy.
Add new support OP_CODES Ethereum, maintaining close compatibility between projects.
Improvements in the synchronization protocol to streamline this process for new clients.
SputnikVM is an EVM reimplementation, focused on improving interoperability capabilities between blockchains. In addition, it seeks to be highly efficient and capable of running on less powerful devices. SputnikVM's goal is to bring ETC to the IoT and other low-power devices.
To achieve this, SputnikVM will make use of a small but concise code base created for this purpose. Along with this, developers will create a JIT interface that will further speed up VM code processing. On the other hand, SputnikVM will also take advantage of various work being done on the LLVM compiler. These improvements seek to improve the efficiency of the VM and the code of the smart contracts. Features that would allow to implement blockchain functions in IoT devices or gadgets of different types.
Among the outstanding features of SputnikVM we can mention:
Independent. This means that it can be started as a standalone process or integrated into other applications, unlike EVM.
Universal. SputnikVM has the ability to work on different Ethereum compatible blockchain, like ETC, ETH or other private blockchain.
Quick. It is implemented to be fast and offer excellent performance.
IoT compatible. This means that it can be integrated to be used in very low power devices. This seeks to diversify and expand the reach of Ethereum Classic on different devices.
Written in Rust. It uses a language thought about security, so its base implementation is designed to offer a high level of it.
Emerald is the integration of all parts of Ethereum Classic to facilitate the development of applications on this blockchain. With this tool, the ETC community seeks to facilitate the development of DApps that work on their blockchain. Among the parts included in Emerald, we can highlight:
A client for creating DApp from the command line.
A wallet that is easily integrated into the development of the DApp and that serves to verify the operation of it.
A block explorer to review DApp transactions under development.
Tools and programming resources for the work logic (backend) and the user interface (frontend) of the DApp.
Certainly all of them tools that facilitate the task of programming DApp for this blockchain.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethereum Classic
It has a lot of technology inherited from the Ethereum project. This enables you to have a powerful infrastructure for smart contracts and DApps that has been extensively tested.
It is a completely community project. This means that it does not respond to business or private interests, guaranteeing its decentralization and autonomy.
They are faithful followers of the premises of immutability, non-censorship and respect for the privacy of users.
They have a well-defined development path that can drive adoption of their blockchain. Although it is a young project and has had a bumpy start, Ethereum Classic stands out for its solutions.
They lack human resources, a situation that has repeatedly suffered from the level of development of the blockchain.
The migration of online mining power in favor of Ethereum has jeopardized the security of Ethereum Classic. Many analysts comment that if this trend continues, Ethereum Classic will be even more vulnerable to 51% attacks like those that have already lived.