Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic

Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are two different versions of the blockchain platform, resulting from a split (fork) in July 2016. This fork occurred after the DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) incident, which resulted in the theft of around $50 million in Ethereum. The community split into two camps: some wanted to change the blockchain to recover the stolen funds (which led to the creation of Ethereum), while others insisted that the blockchain remain unchanged and continue to operate on the original version, which became known as Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum (ETH) has been growing rapidly ever since and is one of the leading platforms for creating decentralised applications (DApps) and smart contracts. It supports updates and innovations, such as the move to the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism as part of the Ethereum 2.0 update. These changes are aimed at improving scalability, security, and resilience of the network.

Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Ethereum Classic (ETC), on the other hand, adheres to the principle of blockchain immutability and the philosophy that “code is law”. It continues to use the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism and remains less popular than Ethereum, although it retains an active community and some development.

Key similarities between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic 

Common Origin: Both platforms shared a common blockchain prior to the July 2016 fork, which means they share historical transaction data and certain aspects of code prior to that point of separation.

Smart Contracts: Both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic offer support for smart contracts, allowing users to create complex decentralised applications using their blockchains.

Solidity programming language: Both platforms use Solidity as the main programming language for writing smart contracts. This means that developers can easily switch between creating decentralised applications on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

Tokens and Decentralised Finance (DeFi): Both systems support the creation and use of tokens, including ERC-20 standard tokens and others, enabling the development of various financial services and applications on both blockchains.

Decentralisation: Both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic aim to support the decentralised nature of the blockchain, albeit to different degrees and with different approaches to governance and updates.

Community and Ecosystem: Despite the separation, both networks retain active communities of developers, users, investors, and enthusiasts that contribute to their growth and development.

Blockchain Technology: Both projects are based on blockchain technology, providing the same basic structure for transactions, data recording and decentralisation.

The main differences between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic

  • Philosophy: Ethereum Classic retains the original philosophy of blockchain immutability, while Ethereum is focused on innovation and adapting to new conditions and requirements.
  • Technological development: Ethereum is actively developing and adopting new technologies, such as Ethereum 2.0 and the transition to PoS. Ethereum Classic is developing more conservatively.
  • Security and sustainability: As a result of greater community support and activism, Ethereum is considered a more secure and sustainable option compared to Ethereum Classic.
  • Value and Recognition: Ethereum has a much larger market capitalisation and is widely recognised in the cryptocurrency industry, while Ethereum Classic has a more niche position.

Transactions and processing speed in Ethereum and Ethereum Classic 

Ethereum (ETH)

  • Transactions: Ethereum processes transactions using a mechanism called "gas", which measures and limits the amount of work done on the network. This includes computation, memory usage, and data storage. Gas is used to prevent spam on the network and ensure that resources are allocated fairly.
  • Transaction Processing Speed: The transaction processing speed in Ethereum typically hovers around 15–30 transactions per second (TPS), although this can vary depending on the current network load. 

Ethereum Classic (ETC)

  • Transactions: Ethereum Classic also uses a gas system to process transactions similar to Ethereum. However, since ETC adheres to the original Ethereum code before the fork, any technological improvements or changes adopted by Ethereum after the fork do not apply to ETC unless their community decides to implement similar changes independently.
  • Transaction Processing Speed: Ethereum Classic typically processes transactions slower than Ethereum, with rates around 15 TPS. However, this figure can vary depending on updates and changes to the network.

Supply and distribution of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic 


  1. Ethereum has now upgraded its system to a Proof of Stake mechanism. Participants involved in verifying transactions delegate their tokens to participate in the block creation process. This allows them to add new blocks to the blockchain and receive additional tokens as a reward.
  2. No hard cap: Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum does not have a hard cap on the total number of coins. However, there is a limit on the annual issuance of new coins, which creates some deflationary tendency.

Ethereum Classic

  1. Fixed reward per block: Ethereum Classic has maintained a fixed reward per block, which is 3.2 ETC. This amount will gradually decrease over time according to the principle of the deflationary model.
  2. Limited supply: Unlike Ethereum, Ethereum Classic has introduced a fixed limit on the number of coins. The maximum number of ETCs is strictly limited to 210-230 million coins, making it similar to Bitcoin in this aspect.
  3. Maintaining the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism: Ethereum Classic continues to operate on a PoW basis, and there are no plans to transition to PoS. This means that the coin mining and distribution mechanics remain relatively stable and predictable.

The choice between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic depends on individual user preferences: those who value innovation and active development are likely to be attracted to Ethereum, while supporters of immutability and original philosophy may favour Ethereum Classic. Either way, both projects remain important players in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.



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