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The Difference Between Ethereum Classic and Ethereum

Written by Alexandra Perry
Posted June 2, 2017 at 3:20PM

It doesn't take a novice Ethereum investor long to start asking questions.

The digital currency tends to whip its followers into an "Ethereum fever." Shortly after buying the token, people find themselves reading up on blockchain technology and decentralized apps (dapps).

And then there is the big question: Why are there two Ethereums?

If you go onto CoinMarketCap, you will notice a digital currency called Ethereum Classic sitting a few spots below Ethereum. These tokens have a lot in common: strong development teams, long-term potential, and great tech.

These commonalities are because they are literally clones of each other.

For a majority of investors, Ethereum seems to be the winner. hasn't stopped Ethereum Classic from climbing — it's up 1,171% since the start of this year.

That hasn't stopped Ethereum Classic from climbing — it's up 1,171% since the start of this year.

But how did we get into the situation where we have parallel versions of Ethereum running around the digital currency market?

Like all good breakup stories, it starts with a crisis.

The Fork

A long time ago, in a blockchain far, far away... there was one Ethereum network.

And then something catastrophic happened.

This event was a digital attack. At the time, multiple investors had a financial investment (and hence, a stake) in the original Ethereum blockchain.

The attack took the form of one individual withdrawing these funds and moving them to a separate account. 

In a rush to remedy the situation, Ethereum developers proposed that the blockchain be modified in such a way that the money could be reclaimed.

This was met with some opposition and as a compromise, the blockchain was replicated so the original Ethereum could remain intact.

There were a few members of the Ethereum community who didn't agree with the change, insisting that for a blockchain to remain secure and tamper proof, it could not be altered.

So, the technology was forked into two parallel blockchains.

These members of the community continued to mine on the unmodified Ethereum blockchain and thus, our two Ethereums were born.

But I doubt many investors care about the technological intricacies of the two tokens. They want to know: Is Ethereum Classic going to make me money?

Is Ethereum Classic a Good Investment?

Truthfully, it is hard to make that call. Ethereum Classic has been benefiting from the buzz created by its prior, but no one knows whether that buzz will die out.

Right now, it could still go up. There's no promise of a future. 

It is worth noting that a similar thing happened to Bitcoin, with the development of Bitcoin Classic in 2016. Bitcoin Classic never beat out Bitcoin, but the concept of it is alive and well, tended to by a cult following on a Bitcoin subreddit.

Currently, Ethereum Classic is run by four developers, directed by leader Arvicco. Ethereum Classic does have a strong mining base, with many miners devoting computing power with hopes of a payday.

Many notable developers have also offered to help with Ethereum Classic, including original Ethereum CEO Charles Hoskinson.

All these factors speak to the currencies potential. But when it is competing against a larger, more well-known version of itself, progress will be stalled.

Out of the two, Ethereum is currently more profitable. Its massive corporate backing and beloved blockchain technology allowed it to leap ahead of its clone.

But If You Want To Invest...

Want to know something funny? Ethereum Classic has already made a handful of investors a boatload of money. 

When the fork happened, any current Ethereum fund holder had their money replicated. That means if you had $20 dollars on Ethereum, you will have $20 dollars on Ethereum Classic without paying more. Those investors have gone on to make money on both currencies simultaneously.

Sadly this opportunity is lost to new investors who will have to invest in the coins separately. But many still choose to invest in both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

Coinbase does not allow investors to invest in Ethereum Classic, but you can invest through Kraken and Poloniex. 

Best of luck. 

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