Ethereum Classic (ETC) was a copy of Ethereum (ETH) code that originated from a split in the Ethereum network following the infamous DAO hack in July 2016. While most Ethereum communities chose to create a new blockchain (Ethereum, or ETH) to reverse the hack and return the stolen funds, a smaller group decided to continue with the original chain, prioritising the principle of immutability. This unaltered version of Ethereum became Ethereum Classic.
The Ethereum Classic network operates using a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, similar to its sibling Ethereum (before Ethereum 2.0's shift to Proof-of-Stake). This PoW system allows miners to validate transactions and maintain the network's security. Despite its lower market cap and less active developer community than Ethereum, Ethereum Classic still supports creating and deploying smart contracts and decentralised applications (dApps).
ETC is the native token of the Ethereum Classic network and is used to pay transaction fees, execute smart contracts, and incentivise miners to maintain network security. Although Ethereum Classic may not have gained the same level of attention and adoption as Ethereum, its commitment to blockchain immutability and its distinct community make it a noteworthy project in the ever-expanding world of cryptocurrencies.
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