Ethereum Classic

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is a decentralized, smart contract platform. The origins of ETC trace back to 2016, following a major security breach involving a protocol called The DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). 

The DAO was a notable Ethereum-based project, functioning as a decentralized venture capital fund. Unfortunately, due to vulnerabilities in its smart contract code, $60M in ETH were siphoned from the protocol.

The majority of the Ethereum community voted to reverse the effects of the hack through a hard fork, which involved altering the blockchain to refund the stolen Ether. However, a segment of the community opposed this decision, arguing that it violated the foundational principle of blockchain immutability and the “Code is Law” philosophy.

As a result, the blockchain split into two: the original chain, Ethereum Classic, and the new chain, which retained the Ethereum (ETH) name.

Ethereum Classic functions similarly to Ethereum, enabling smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps). However, the two have since diverged significantly, especially after Ethereum transitioned to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism in September 2022. Ethereum Classic has remained committed to the original proof-of-work model, which involves miners validating transactions. 

Ethereum Classic's adherence to the original Ethereum protocol means it does not incorporate the updates and changes made to the Ethereum blockchain post-fork. This stance has created distinct communities and philosophical underpinnings between ETC and ETH.