Whether you’re new to crypto or have been in the game for a while, you’re likely to have come across these two cryptocurrencies. While they sound very similar there are some ideological differences between the two. Before we begin comparing Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic, we’ll give you a look into the two cryptocurrencies and how they both came about. 

The Ethereum Foundations

Both Ethereums offer a blockchain network on top of which developers can build their own applications (known as decentralized applications, or dapps, more commonly). They also both support smart contract functionality, which basically runs the entire Ethereum ecosystem. Smart contracts are digital agreements that execute when various conditions are met without the need for a third party. Both dapps and smart contracts are useful to a wide range of industries, contributing to Ethereum’s versatility. 

Ethereum Classic is a hard fork of Ethereum, but before we get to that let’s cover how it all began. First introduced to the world in a white paper released by Vitalik Buterin in 2013, the platform was designed to offer users an opportunity to build dapps. Vitalik Buterin along with Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio, Amir Chetrit and Mihai Alisie are considered to be the original five founders. Later they were joined by Gavin Wood, Joseph Lubin, and Jeffrey Wilcke in early 2014. 

The team worked to develop this blockchain network, at the time looking to compliment Bitcoin’s. Over time, Ethereum proved to have an entirely different use case, and flourished in that realm. In 2014, Ethereum underwent a crowd sale raising 25,000 BTC (the largest at the time). When it launched in 2015, the network already had a market cap of $17 million. Today, Ethereum has a market cap of $47.5 billion while Ethereum Cash has $900 million

The DAO

Arguably one of the biggest events to take place in the crypto world is the DAO incident. In 2016, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) was created using smart contracts from the Ethereum network, designed as a decentralized venture fund that would invest in dapps and provide returns. In just under a month the DAO raised $150 million in ETH. Taking advantage of a vulnerability in the system, a hacker stole $50 million worth of ETH a few months after launch. Due to the nature of withdrawals, the hacker had to wait 28 days in order to reclaim his funds. 

During this time the developers and community voted on what best to do. Majority (87%) voted on implementing a hard fork which would essentially reverse the hack, while many disagreed saying that the fault was with DAO and the network should remain as is. The hard fork was implemented onto the block prior to the DAO attack (block 1,920,000), and the new blockchain was called Ethereum while the original was renamed to Ethereum Classic. On the new Ethereum chain, a smart contract was created to return all the funds ($150 million) back to investors. Something that the Ethereum Classic community strongly disputed.

Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic

Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s take a look at how these two networks differ. Currently, Ethereum sits at number 2 on the list of top cryptocurrencies based on market cap while Ethereum Classic is ranking at number 52. After the split, the two followed similar trading patterns however in the Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic debate it is worth noting that Ethereum was typically worth more. 

Following the split, Ethereum implemented a number of improvements and fundamental changes including confidential transactions and mining changes. The wide range and popularity of various dapps built on the Ethereum chain as well as ICOs have further driven Ethereum’s adoption. 

While Ethereum Classic stayed true to the immutable nature that Ethereum was originally designed with, since splitting it is no longer part of the updates that Ethereum is constantly working on. These updates reflect the changes in the entire crypto landscape and are implemented to keep the network relevant and performing at its best. 

Ethereum on the other hand has a majority of the original founders working on the network, offers a powerful example of what the crypto and blockchain space can achieve when solving problems, and receives strong support from the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (an organisation of over 200 large corporations). The DeFi industry is also built on top of the “new” chain, generating a large amount of network activity. 

Another key difference is the move from a Proof of Work consensus to a Proof of Stake. Ethereum Classic chose not to go ahead with this while the Ethereum network has begun implementing changes leading to PoS. This move is designed to make the network more cost effective and improve scalability. 

The Decision Is Yours

When it comes to deciding which one is better in the Ethereum vs Ethereum Cash debate, the choice is yours. While Ethereum has better metric measurements (with an average of over 560,000 more transactions a day and 20x higher hash rates), Ethereum Classic stayed true to the ideological fundamentals. Whichever you’re behind, you can buy as little as $20 of either through Oobit.com easily with a credit card, debit card, or bank account.