Ethereum Classic is a decentralized smart contract-enabled network that aims to become a global payment system. Originating from the Ethereum network, Ethereum Classic uses the proof-of-work consensus mechanism and supports decentralized applications.
Ethereum Classic emerged after a split of the original Ethereum blockchain due to an attack on the first ever decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), dubbed The DAO. In June 2016, The DAO, a decentralized, autonomous organization based on Ethereum, suffered a major hack. The attacker exploited a flaw in The DAO's code and made off with $50 million worth of ETH at the time.
In the aftermath of the attack, 97% of the Ethereum community voted to create a hard fork to undo the malicious transactions and restore the blockchain to its pre-hack state. The hard fork, therefore, bailed out the victims of the attack.
Although a vast majority voted for the hard fork, a few community members disagreed due to philosophical and ideological differences. They argued that blockchains should be immutable, meaning that transactions cannot be reversed, upholding the "code is law" ethos.
After the hard fork, the old Ethereum chain was supposed to be phased out but instead, those who disagreed with the fork kept the network alive. This led to the genesis of Ethereum Classic, with ETC as its native token. Although ETH and ETC initially shared several similarities, the two networks have grown far apart regarding technological features.
Ethereum Classic utilizes the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism that Bitcoin first introduced. Proof-of-Work or PoW enables a miner-based validation and emission system where participants are incentivized to confirm that new transactions do not contradict or invalidate the data existing on the blockchain.
However, like Ethereum, the Ethereum Classic blockchain offers more functionalities than Bitcoin, as users can access smart contract-enabled applications.
Due to the availability of smart contracts on Ethereum Classic, it is possible to host tokens and build decentralized applications (DApps) on the ETC blockchain. In other words, applications launched on Ethereum Classic can issue and manage their native tokens. This system is similar to what we have on the Ethereum blockchain.
In addition to the peer-to-peer transactions that Ethereum Classic enables, it also offers smart contract functionality. As such, it facilitates an ecosystem where users can either deploy or access decentralized applications and tokens.
ETC functions as the payment currency of the blockchain. Users can transfer values denominated in ETC on Ethereum Classic. Additionally, it can be used to pay for fees, particularly when executing smart contract-enabled applications or transferring Ethereum Classic-based tokens.
ETC anchors the mining economy of the Ethereum Classic ecosystem. The network rewards miners with ETC whenever they add a block of transactions to the blockchain.
The price of ETC has historically been heavily correlated to ETH price movements, according to OKX's ETH and ETC charts.
Unlike most cryptocurrencies, ETC did not emerge via a public sale or other means of crypto funding like an ICO. Instead, it was created due to a changing Ethereum landscape that birthed two independent blockchains.
After the split, the Ethereum Classic decided to implement some core changes in the emission system of ETC as part of the plans to solidify its status as an independent blockchain. After reaching a consensus on implementing an ETC monetary policy, the development team launched the Gotham update in December 2017. This update put a cap on the supply of ETC.
While there was no official maximum limit for ETC's total supply before the Gotham update, its implementation restricted the number of ETC that can exist to 210.7 million tokens. Also, the emission rate of ETC was modified such that the block reward reduces by 20% every 5 million block intervals.
This move established ETC as a deflationary asset. The emission rate is designed to shrink over time in the hopes that its supply will gradually fall below the demand and boost the token's value.
On the same day the network deployed the Gotham update, the ETC emission reduction protocol implemented the first block reward slash. As a result, the block reward awarded to miners was reduced from 5 ETC to 4 ETC.
In March 2020, the second ETC reduction event slashed block reward by another 20% to 3.2 ETC. In April 2022, another 20% block reward slashing (from 3.2ETC to 2.56 ETC) was implemented. Based on the 5 million block emission schedule, the next reward reduction event will occur in 2024.
Unlike Ethereum, which has no limit on coin supply, ETC has adopted a deflationary policy and capped the token supply at 210.7 million.
Ethereum Classic is the sister blockchain to Ethereum, as they both originate from the Ethereum blockchain initially launched in 2015.
In 2016, following the establishment of Ethereum's smart contract functionality, a protocol named The DAO emerged as the first-ever decentralized autonomous organization. The DAO was supposed to allow participants to pool capital and jointly decide on the projects they would invest in.
Due to the novelty of The DAO and the perceived viability of its use case, it raised $150 million worth of ETH during its crowdsourcing campaign. But unfortunately, there was a vulnerability in The DAO's smart contract.
Following a security incident that threatened the reputation of the original Ethereum blockchain, a majority of Ethereum developers and stakeholders opted to move to a forked or upgraded blockchain where the hack's impact would be eliminated. However, the miners and users, aggrieved at this move, decided to stay on the original Ethereum blockchain, which later metamorphosed into the Ethereum Classic network.
Before you begin trading with OKX, you need to create an account. To buy ETC with your preferred fiat, click "Buy with card" under "Buy Crypto" on the top navigation bar. To trade ETC/USDT, ETC/USDC, ETC/BTC, ETC/ETH, or ETC/OKB, click "Basic Trading" under "Trade." Under the same tab, click "Convert" to convert crypto to ETC.
Alternatively, visit our new OKX Crypto Calculator. Select ETC and the desired fiat that you would like to convert to view the estimated live conversion price.