Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic

Ethereum Classic (ETC) came into existence in July 2016, when members of the community rejected the latest hard fork, and decided to continue using the unforked version. The new fork was named Ethereum (ETH). Both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are decentralised programmable blockchains, which offer the same function when it comes to building smart contracts and decentralized apps (dApps). So what exactly is the difference between the two? We’ll be taking a look at Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic in order to understand what makes each network distinct.

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Differences between Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic 

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic Ethereum (ETH) Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Supply Ethereum still has an uncapped total supply of ETH, its cryptocurrency. However, it does have a fixed yearly supply of 18 million ETH – something which Ethereum Classic does not.  Ethereum Classic has changed from an uncapped total supply to a total supply of somewhere between 210 million ETC and 230 million ETC. 


This change in and of itself is a massive difference between the two networks and will have varying impacts on the future of the projects. 

The DAO Hard Fork Following the DAO hack in 2016, Ethereum split into two blockchains – Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. 


Ethereum was the result of the hard fork, which reversed the $50 million (at the time) USD theft. 


The hard fork made the hack transaction invalid, so investors in DAO could make up their losses. 

Supporters of Ethereum Classic opted not to move to the new Ethereum blockchain following the DAO attack.


However, they were in the minority (only about 10% of users remained on the Ethereum Classic blockchain), and therefore they never regained the $50 million USD lost in the theft. 

ICOs and Investor Confidence Ethereum is the leading blockchain for ICOs, holding over 80% of the market share. The ICO tokens are generally based on the ERC-20 token model. 


Ethereum is also constantly expanding its functionalities, and has better developer support than Ethereum Classic. 


Overall, Ethereum seems to enjoy vastly more investor confidence, and it remains the second-largest blockchain (at the time of writing). 

While Ethereum Classic still works with smart contracts and dApps, it is a far less popular choice for ICOs than Ethereum. 


Ethereum has greater support from investors, and all round functionality is better on the new blockchain. 

Consensus Algorithm  Ethereum is in the process of moving to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. This will make the blockchain faster, safer, and more democratic.  Ethereum Classic functions using a Proof of Work consensus algorithm, and has no plans to switch to PoS. 
Market Cap At the time of writing, Ethereum has a market cap of $19 billion USD.  At the time of writing, Ethereum Classic has a market cap of $531 million USD. 


There are some pretty huge disparities between Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic, all as a result of the hard fork that occurred after the DAO hack. However, Ethereum has gone on to become more successful than Ethereum Classic (at this stage), and has the backing of the original blockchain’s lead developers (Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin etc). 

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Winner takes all

When we look at the differences between Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic, it’s pretty clear that Ethereum has somewhat of an upper hand. It has more backing from developers, and a much larger market cap. With that being said, we’re still very much in the early days of crypto, so we don’t really know what could happen in the future. Who knows, maybe the 10% of users who stayed with Ethereum Classic (ETC) were right.

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Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.