Difference between Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic

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Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:23 pm


Ethereum is a cryptocurrency utilizing a blockchain for the purpose of secure smart contract execution, using the Ether token as its ‘currency’.

What is Ethereum ?

Ethereum is a smart-contract platform, utilizing blockchain technology. Ethereum allows the execution of computer code for smart contracts across all of its nodes and recording the execution results in the blockchain. The idea is that a digital contract can be executed and is tamper-proof due to the consensus rules around the blockchain, provided at least 51% of the nodes are honest, tampering with the result cannot happen. It allows sending and receiving of funds in a functionally similar way to Bitcoin using public/private key pairs.

This has many potential uses, from basic smart contracts, to the area of being able to digitally vote in political elections, due to the tamper proof nature of the blockchain when secured to a high degree on separate nodes.

Ethereum has its own Turing-complete programming language for smart contracts.

Ethereum has gone through many developments over the course of its life since its introduction. A major development is the ‘forking’ of Ethereum into two currencies.

The Fork

Ethereum started out as a single token following the same consensus rules. There was a smart contract called the DAO which received large amounts of investment, and around 12% of all ether at the time was tied in this contract.

A hacker discovered a flaw in this contracts code to allow draining of the ether into a child contract, by which they would cash out after some time had elapsed.

Due to the substantial investment in the DAO running into the multi millions, all of which stood to be lost to a hacker, the community was divided on the solution. Some wanted to leave the network running as it was, their nodes would become the Ethereum Classic coin. The network had not malfunctioned and in their opinion, the blockchain should be left alone and not edited or altered in any way.

A note that most hashing power is run by very few nodes, as many people mine in mining pools, so a large proportion of miner’s mine on a single node.

Most full mining nodes chose the second option, where there was a divide in opinion. To update their nodes to ‘hard fork’ the block chain, that is change the consensus rules. These new consensus rules would prevent the hacker taking money out and move all the stolen funds to a ‘holding wallet’ to return them to the investors. This required most of the network nodes to agree to do this to allow the changing of events that had happened on the chain. This approach didn’t modify the blockchain much but made adjustments to the code of nodes to bar access to the hacker of the funds and to move them to the holding wallet.

Nodes forked at over 80% consensus, although the community and many investors are divided. Many feel it was the right thing, but others feel that modifying the blockchain in such a way so as to change a record of what happened damages the credibility of ether.

Ethereum Classic

Ethereum Classic maintains the original Ethereum blockchain and consensus rules. This was the unmodified blockchain, it allowed the hacker to withdraw their funds, but kept the immutable system which had no flaws running perfectly as it was. Ethereum Classic stands as of 02-09-2016 at $17.90 USD. It made up 10% of network hashing power at the time of the fork, but this increased afterwards, especially after a major Ether pool owner threatened to use his pool’s mining power to 51% attack the coin, the attack was foiled by the increase in honest hashing power.

This fork has received criticism for allowing the hacker to profit from his hack, but the divide on being able to modify a blockchain or not has created a rift in opinion between the two communities.


Ethereum is the forked Ethereum which modified the blockchain and consensus rules after the bug in the DAO contract resulted in the stolen funds. This was met with joy by some, but criticism by others due to the modifying the immutable record of what had happened and trying to reverse it, when the problem was in the poorly coded smart contract rather than Ethereum itself. The change penalized the attacker by preventing them withdrawing funds on this version.

The fork achieved at the time 90% hashing power consensus from major mining pools, although Ethereum classic increased in its power. Todays Price of Ethereum (ETH) is - $368.5279 (22/Nov/2017).
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Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:10 pm

The vast majority of crypto supporters have chosen to favor Ethereum. The above issues with ETH are only mentioned for the sake of fairness to both communities, but as a crypto enthusiast you should be aware of all the available information.

While Ethereum ETH may be looked at as a mutation and violation of the principles of immutability behind Ethereum, it also serves as a landmark victory for the Ethereum community being able to come together and handle the worst hack in cryptocurrency history.

An argument can be made that if not for the hard fork, Ethereum, the platform that allows countless innovative and spectacular Dapps to run, might not exist today.

The power of Ethereum lies in its community, since it is a platform that allows others to build projects that could revolutionize virtually any industry. Ethereum Classic, however, is stained with the unfortunate history of the DAO. The core idea behind the DAO could have made a substantial impact on the future of technology, and the core flaws in its security gave birth to a stronger platform.

The sheer market cap size and strong community behind Ethereum (ETH) foreshadows a bright future. ETC, on the other hand, appears to be slowly shrinking in market cap comparison to the rest of the crypto world and consists more of a combination of immutable blockchain loyalists, ETH antagonists, and general market speculators.
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