Written by Nick Dimondi
In the ever-evolving world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, few stories are as intriguing as the tale of Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Often referred to as a 'zombie' blockchain, Ethereum Classic has shown an ability to survive that flies in the face of convention even though it is by all standards, irrelevant in the crypto space.
But in early January of 2024 ETC saw a gigantic 67% price pump which came out of investor confusion about a Blackrock Ethereum ETF. So what’s going on with ETH Classic?
And, more importantly, is it worth your money?
A Fork In The Path: Ethereum Classic's Origin
The genesis of Ethereum Classic dates back to 2016, following a divisive event in the Ethereum community.
After a major hacking incident known as the DAO attack, where $50 million worth of Ether was stolen due to a vulnerability, the Ethereum community faced a critical decision.
The majority chose to perform a hard fork to reverse the transaction history and restore the stolen funds. This move was controversial, as it went against the principle of immutability that many in the blockchain world hold dear.
A segment of the community, prioritizing immutability over practicality, refused to adopt the new chain. This group continued on the original blockchain, which came to be known as Ethereum Classic.
This split is a typical example of ideological divergence in the crypto world, with Ethereum Classic upholding the original vision of an unchangeable blockchain.
Charles Hoskinson and Ethereum Classic
Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum, played a significant role in the development of Ethereum Classic.
After departing from the Ethereum project before the DAO incident, Hoskinson became a prominent supporter of Ethereum Classic, seeing it as a truer representation of the original Ethereum ethos.
Some say that support was due in part to his on again off again feud with fellow Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, but that doesn’t take away from Charles' influence and guidance over Ethereum Classic in its early days, lending credibility and direction to the project.
Ethereum Classic as a 'Zombie' Blockchain
But despite the guidance that Charles brought the ETH Classic team, it has struggled to find any kind of footing to make it relevant. In fact, the early days of ETC were so fraught with 51% attacks that ETC became the butt of many jokes in the cryptoverse.
After years of nearly zero improvements, meaningful community engagement or real business development ETC gained the ignominious title of “Zombie Chain”.
It wouldn’t be the first Zombie Chain and it certainly won’t be the last, but the status of being a blockchain without a purpose, a carcass to be used for shilling, scamming or subterfuge, is a hard label to shake.
And while the few Ethereum Classic developers that are still active are probably shaking their fists in rage at the assertion, it’s hard to find anything truly innovative happening on the project.
The One Thing
And yet ETC persists. It is listed on every major exchange and many points of entry for normies as they look at crypto on Venmo or Robinhood.
The close association in name to Ethereum 2.0 makes for pumps and dumps that echo the moves of it’s bigger, but younger brother.
So the price action is alluring for inexperienced traders who see it as a “cheaper” Ethereum 2.0.
And while the zombie chain title is deserved, the network hash rate boasts very robust numbers, albeit still heavily weighted to Chinese super pool F2Pool.
The bottom line is there isn’t much going on for Ethereum Classic and neither the network nor the token deserve any of your time and money.
But the history of the network and it’s ardent fan base mean that there could be a revival that springs up out of nowhere, so checking in every few months is the kind of due diligence any savvy crypto investor should partake in.