Despite its formative years, there has already been a conflict in the Ethereum community and a divergence in the technical development of the Ethereum blockchain platform – more commonly known as a ‘hard fork’. This resulted in the creation of Ethereum Classic.
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Ethereum Classic (ETC) was an offshoot of the original Ethereum platform and its philosophy that the technology should operate in a way that was entirely democratic across the user-base. Following an attack on the platform in 2016, when vast amounts of money were syphoned off by a hacker, thereby, exposing a technical loophole, members of the Ethereum community were at loggerheads as to how they should react.
A lot of money was now at stake and for a large swathe of the Ethereum community, which forced the issue and changed the fundamental belief-system around how Ethereum could successfully grow.
One group in the community initiated a plan that was largely intended to refund the money that had been taken by introducing a certain ‘smart contract’ and integrate security measures so as to avoid similar attacks in the future. The proposal caused a lot of controversy and there was a split. Those against the proposal refused to move to the new blockchain and decided to remain in the old blockchain, changing its name to Ethereum Classic, or ETC.
Most people switched to the new blockchain, including many of the big players in the community and indeed founders Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood. Those that stayed with the original platform see the argument as a largely philosophical one, believing in Ethereum’s conceptual power to stand up against financial corruption and corporate greed. They are often labelled ‘Crypto- idealists’. Whether you consider the name to be negative or positive may indicate which of the two flavours of Ethereum you prefer the taste of.
While Ethereum Classic may lack the forward momentum of Ethereum, both in terms of increasing value and pace of technical advancement, it remains an area of interest for traders and investors, as well as developers. There are reportedly many scammers in the Ethereum Classic platform which has put a lot of people off but it still garners considerable attention purely because of its unique potential.
Will Ethereum Classic now fade away as Ethereum marches onwards, breaking new ground? Or will the champions of a true blockchain democracy find a way to revitalise Ethereum Classic, give it new life and prove the doubters wrong?
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