Not all Ethereum users have accepted the “hard fork”. This has resulted in the emergence of an altcoin in the Ethereum ecosystem, which is now being traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Ethereum Classic is the original version of the token in the Ethereum blockchain not subject to the “hard fork” implemented last week. It was preceded by a campaign launched by those Ethereum users who did not agree with the “hard fork”. They argued that such a move would undermine the Ethereum’s credibility, violate the basic principle of blockchain operation – its inalterability – and challenge the decentralised character of the entire ecosystem.
The capitalisation of Ethereum Classic, traded under the ETC ticker (as opposed to ETH — Ethereum updated protocol version token) has already reached $66 mln, which puts the news token to sixth place in terms of capitalisation. Ethereum altcoin has overtaken such cryptocurrencies as Emercoin, Nxt, Lisk and Dash in this regard.
In terms of daily trading volume, ETC ($18.8 mln) has started from the third line, giving the road only to bitcoin ($122.4 mln) and its main rival — the updated Ethereum token ($86.87 mln), significantly surpassing the figures for Litecoin, Lisk, Steem and Ripple.
ETC is supported by several mining pools: http://pool.ethereumclassic.com, http://ethc.epool.io and https://ethc.coin-miners.info.
ETC network hashrate keeps on increasing rapidly. It is estimated at 8.23% of the total Ethereum network as of 25 July morning. In has grown more than five times in 24 hours.
At the same time, ETC network produces about 200 blocks per hour, more than in the updated version of Ethereum, according to Alistair Milne, a bitcoin investor and Altana Digital Currency Fund founder. This will allow ETC blockchain to overtake ETH chain in terms of length in 24 hours.
$ETC blockchain is producing ~200 blocks per hour more than $ETH ... will be a longer chain in approx 20hours if this continues #ethereum— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) July 24, 2016
The exchanges keep up with the miners. Bitsquare was the first exchange platform to announce ETC tokens trade. ETC exchange operations are available there since 17 July. At that time, Ethereum altcoin capitalisation stood at $8.2 million, which put ETC on the 25th place in the cryptocurrency ranking in terms of capitalisation. Thus, the token managed to increase its capitalisation more than eightfold.
But the announcement that the largest exchange for Ethereum Poloniex began trading Ethereum Classic turned out to be ETC’s main driver of popularity. Cryptocurrency exchange platform announced ETC tokens early trading paired to ETH and bitcoins on Sunday, 24 July.
ETC/BTC and ETC/ETH #Ethereum Classic markets added. https://t.co/EpuSKkJ207— Poloniex Exchange (@Poloniex) July 24, 2016
Poloniex clients who did not apply the “hard fork” got ETC tokens to their accounts based on the start rate of 1 ETC = 1 ETH. In practice, the cost of ETC altcoin is almost 17 times lower than ETH.
ETC is likely to be supported by other exchanges as well: Bitfinex exchange product manager Zane Tackett confirmed that the platform is willing to include ETC token to its trade paired with ETH. This can happen if ETC hashrate exceeds 20% of Ethereum network. It is expected that ETC tokens trade in Bitfinex starts on Wednesday, 27 July.
Kraken cryptocurrency exchange does not turn its back to this option either. However, they are more cautious:
“While we haven’t ruled this possibility out, we do not at the present time intend to offer trading markets for the non-dominant chain. In our view it could possibly take several weeks or more before it would even be safe to do this.”
ShapeShift exchange is also ready to start trading ETC tokens. According to its CEO Eric Voorhees, it will depend on how the token proves itself in the following day.
Regarding ETC, @ShapeShift_io is considering adding it to the platform for trading. Will see how it progresses over next 24hrs. #ethereum— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) July 24, 2016
One of the Ethereum developers Gavin Wood also supported ETC, saying that he is ready to offer a Parity client to the new project.
Upcoming #parity #ethereum classic client... pic.twitter.com/Bw29T5JGXb— Gav Would (@gavofyork) July 24, 2016
During the first day of trading on Poloniex, ETC cost dropped by more than 80%. The conflict within the Ethereum ecosystem also pulled down the quotes of ETH main token: the cryptocurrency fell by almost 10% against the news of the opening of ETC altcoins trading, while last Friday it jumped in price to month highs following the successful “hard fork” implementation and the announcement of cooperation with Coinbase.
The dynamics slightly changed on Monday, 25 July. The main ETH cryptocurrency continued to fall (-8%, 0.02 BTC), while the ETC token rate started to adjust and rose more than 12% to 0.012 BTC as compared to 24 July.
Forecasts of the cryptocurrency market players regarding the future of ETC vary. Poloniex chat is full of messages declaring both prompt ETC disappearance and the birth of a new cryptocoin not subject to centralised management.
Some Ethereum users regarded the refusal the “hard fork” as a real betrayal. Chinese entrepreneur Chandler Go, who claims to control 98G of Ethereum hashrate, turned to threats saying that he is ready to carry out a 51% attack on Ethereum Classic.
I am Chandler Guo, a 51% attack on Ethereum Classic (ETC) is coming with my 98G hashrate https://t.co/9VM6vPa8CS— Chandler Guo (@ChandlerGuo) July 24, 2016
Such an attack would lead to the blocking of transactions confirmation in the network and temporary malfunction of the system. However, other Ethereum users doubt the Chinese businessman’s claims.
Some prefer to turn everything into a joke, like Charlie Lee, creator of litecoin and director of engineering at Coinbase, who tweeted:
BTC is digital gold. LTC is digital silver. ETH is digital oil controlled by OPEC. ETC is digital oil without OPEC.— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) July 25, 2016