What Is Ethereum Classic? 

The last week has seen the Ethereum Classic (ETC) price skyrocket from around the $41 dollar mark on the 1st May to a massive $162 on the 6th May, almost a 400% increase. 

Many market commentators have speculated that this is due to beginner and novice investors spotting the increase in the price of Ethereum (ETH), and mistakenly buying Ethereum Classic. 

What Is Ethereum Classic When Compared To Ethereum? 

Ethereum Summary 

Before making the comparison between both cryptocurrencies, it’s important to understand the ultra-successful cryptocurrency, Ethereum. 

Ethereum works on a blockchain network, much like all other cryptocurrencies. Ethereum has been particularly successful as a platform on which the vast majority of other cryptocurrencies have been created. Cryptocurrencies that are created on Ethereum are known as ERC-20 tokens. 

Ethereum is also well known for its use of smart contracts that have multiple uses in the world of DeFi (decentralised finance). 

Currently Ethereum operates on a proof of work basis, but with the implementation of Ethereum 2.0 it will move to proof of stake that will bring a number of benefits. 

If you would like more detailed information, please visit our What Is Ethereum Guide .

Hard Fork 

In July 2016 the Ethereum Network hard forked in to Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. 

The two cryptocurrencies took completely routes after this point. After a major loss of client funds, due to vulnerabilities in the original Ethereum, Ethereum wanted to make sure that their network was secure for holders in the future. Have a look at this Verge article for more information on the stolen Ethereum. Ethereum Classic wanted to stay true to the fact that blockchains should never be changed.  

As mentioned above, Ethereum are now moving to proof of stake with Ethereum 2.0; Ethereum Classic on the other hand will remain in Proof of Work. 

This move by Vitalik Buterin and the team at Ethereum, to continuosly improve Ethereum has proved far more successful than Ethereum’s conservative stance. 

Fixed Supply 

Ethereum Classic decided to follow Bitcoin’s lead with a fixed supply of tokens. There are a total of 210,700,000 ETC tokens. 

Ethereum of the other hand is mintable and currently has 115,830,604 ETH circulating. 

Market Cap Comparison 

The stark difference in market capitalisation between the two cryptocurrencies highlights the success of Ethereum versus Ethereum Classic. 

As of May 2021 Ethereum Classic has a market cap of over $12 billion; whereas Ethereum eclipses this with a market cap of $463 billion! 

51% Attacks 

In 2020 Ethereum Classic was subjected to three separate 51% attacks in just one month. All cryptocurrencies that operate on a Proof of Work system are technically vulnerable to this type of hack. 

A 51% attack takes place when either one or multiple miners control more than 50% of a cryptocurrency network’s mining power. 

Hackers can use 51% attacks to reverse transactions. For example, a hacker could use Ethereum Classic to purchase a vehicle, once they had received the vehicle they could reverse the transaction, still being in possession of the vehicle and the ETC used to purchase it. 

The frequency of 51% attacks call in to question Ethereum Classic’s legitimacy as a cryptocurrency going forward. 

Key Statistics 

As of the 8th May 2021, the market capitalisation of Ethereum Classic is $13,625,995,842 with a maximum supply of 210,700,000 tokens, the current price per ETC is $117.11.  

Ethereum Classic’s all-time high price was $176.16 on May 6th 2021. 

Where Can You Buy Ethereum Classic? 

Ethereum Classic is available at many of the major cryptocurrency exchanges:  

Kraken 

Coinbase 

Binance 

Bittrex 

Bitifinex 

If you enjoyed our What Is Ethereum Classic Guide and are now interested in investing in Aave, have a look at our Best Crypto Exchanges page for more information.