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The Depths of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic




Before there were two…

The major project that helped save all user funds and investments also effectively split the Ethereum community into two chains. ETH is currently the second-largest public blockchain.

Yes, the split saved tons of investments, but in turn it also created an emotional split amongst its loyal traders. Before we even touch the argument of which chain to follow, it’s important for Ethereum followers to understand how we even got there.

It all began with The DAO. The DAO is the “first Decentralized Autonomous Organization on the Ethereum blockchain,” which came together and raised $150m in ether (the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform) to fund future projects depending on a unanimous vote from those who invested. Since it was all available online, anyone with the ether currency could join the party.

After the money was raised The DAO was then hacked or attacked. More specifically, or from a different perspective, a glitch in the system’s code was found and exploited. An unknown user, or users, used an action in the code to withdraw funds to another DAO which they could only control. According to the platform, all of this was legal and valid in the contract terms. The downside? All participants needed a way to get the funds back to the rightful investor.

Welcome ETH (Ethereum) and ETC (Ethereum Classic)…

The Ethereum community brainstormed and eventually decided by vote that they wanted to change Ethereum’s code. Changing the code would result in the return of their funds.

Of course there were those who felt they needed to remain loyal to the code and did not agree with the change. However, majority vote always wins. Still disagreeing with the change, the minority continued on the original chain, ETC.

Ethereum Classic is mainly an exact version of the blockchain where the lost funds where never returned to the people. Ethereum is the blockchain that decided to move the funds to another address (by changing the code).

Although it appeared to be a small disagreement, the minority continued to vocalize their standpoint.

“We believe in decentralized, censorship-resistant, permissionless blockchains. We believe in the original vision of Ethereum as a world computer you can't shut down, running irreversible smart contracts,” The Ethereum Classic’s official website states“We believe in a strong separation of concerns, where system forks are only possible in order to correct actual platform bugs, not to bail out failed contracts and special interests. We believe in censorship-resistant platform that can be actually trusted - by anyone.”

According to the ETC lead organizer, Arvicco (his true identity hasn’t been revealed), the ETC community currently stands with four developers with the ability of more being able to join. Because it is supported by an open-source community (like ETH), distinguished developers have shown interest in helping ETC, such as Charles Hoskinson.

Who is impacted by the split and where does this leave the two chains?

Technically speaking, currency holders on either blockchain (ETH/ETC) could be affected. Whether the impact comes from “replay attacks” or if they simply don’t “separate” their addresses separating them on each blockchain, the process is complex and must be executed carefully.

Right now, it’s speculated that the attention Ethereum Classic is receiving could dwindle… or not. Ethereum is currently seeing some fallback since some of its users and miners have decided to stay with Ethereum Classic. It’s hard to be certain, but it’s also possible there could be two successful Ethereum blockchains.

The fact of the matter is it happened and they both exist. It’s still unclear if the fork is a negative thing for the technology itself.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Michelle Back

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