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Frequently asked questions by various stakeholders
Why Classic?
Start here to get the lowdown on Ethereum Classic's reason for being and unique value proposition
Further reading on the foundations that underpin ETC
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Researcher FAQs

Can't find an answer to your question here? Try asking in the ETC community discord server.

If you have just heard about Ethereum Classic and want to learn more, or already hold ETC but want a deeper understanding of its reason for being, this page is for you.

What is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum Classic is a Proof of Work Smart Contract Blockchain that allows anyone to permissionlessly build, deploy, and use decentralized applications. Ethereum Classic is a grassroots open-source project built by people all over the world without a central organizing committee.

Philosophically, ETC is similar to Bitcoin, valuing the ideals of decentralization, censorship resistance and sound money. Technologically, it is similar to Ethereum, operating an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).

Combining these two approaches puts Ethereum Classic in a unique position, providing a strong decentralist foundation rooted in cypherpunk ideals along with the flexibility and innovation of Smart Contracts.

Is Ethereum Classic a rip-off of Ethereum?

No. In fact, Ethereum is a fork of Ethereum Classic.

In 2014, Ethereum founders began work on a next-generation blockchain that had the ambitions to implement a general, trust-minimized smart contract platform.

In 2016, following a controversial hard fork, a new version of the protocol (now known as Ethereum) was launched by spawning a new network with new consensus rules. Ethereum Classic continued following the non-forked protocol with the mission to continue the Original Ethereum Vision of "Build Unstoppable Applications".

What is the difference between Ethereum Classic and Ethereum?

Ethereum Classic and Ethereum were once the same project, but due to a difference in philosophy, the communities split in 2016. In 2022, Ethereum switched to Proof of Stake, with Classic remaining on Proof of Work. This marked the first major technological difference between the two chains.

Apart from their consensus mechanisms, ETC and ETH remain very similar technologically, and ETC maintains EVM compatibility so that contracts deployed to Ethereum can also be easily deployed to Ethereum Classic.

You can learn more about the split between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic in the history and geneis sections.

Does Ethereum Classic have a whitepaper?

Because Ethereum is a fork of Ethereum Classic, both projects share the same history up until 2016, including preceding documents such as the Ethereum Whitepaper and Yellowpaper.

After the split with Ethereum, ETC supporters published a number of documents detailing differences in philosophy, which became part of the Ethereum Classic project's DNA. You can read more about Ethereum Classic's founding documents in the foundation section.

Where can I find Ethereum Classic's roadmap?

Similar to Bitcoin, as a decentralized project without top-down leadership, there is no formal executive road map. The protocol is continuously improved through grassroots collaboration through the Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal (ECIP) process.

You can find more about potential upgrades in the future section.

Why does Ethereum Classic exist?

The mission of Ethereum Classic is to continue the original Ethereum vision of "Build Unstoppable Applications" embodied in the ideal of "Code is Law".

On a technical level, Ethereum Classic exists as a continuation of Ethereum, which split away from ETC in 2016 and by stopping the execution of an application running on it. You can learn about the details of this event in geneis section.

What does "Code is Law" mean?

"Code is Law" is an ideal whereby no authority has the ability to interfere with the operations of valid contracts and transactions on-chain, enabling many promising benefits that have the potential to vastly improve the state of the world.

The alternative, "Code isn't Law", has been the standard state of affairs before the dawn of blockchain technology, whereby corruptible off-chain decision making processes determine the result of contracts and transactions.

You can learn more about the nuance of this concept in the Code is Law section.

Why should I care about decentralization?

Decentralization is a pre-requisite for "Code is Law". It allows participants to operate on a level playing field, and is what unlocks the fundamental value of blockchain technology. Many blockchain projects, despite their claims, are not sufficiently decentralized, making them susceptible to capture and censorship.

You can learn more about this in the decentralism section.

Who is in charge of the Ethereum Classic Project?

Similar to Bitcoin, no single entity is in charge of the Ethereum Classic Project. Instead, individuals and teams following a common set of principles contribute in a permissionless grassroots do-ocracy. While this organizational structure has some drawbacks, it also makes the project immune to certain types of capture and therefore enhances long-term survival.

There is therefore no top-down leadership and "no official anything" in ETC, including this website and even the Ethereum Classic client software. Nonetheless, there are prominent teams that operate within the ecosystem, gaining informal influence based on their reputation, track record, and contributions.

You can learn more about Ethereum Classic's self-organizing community in the community and foundation sections.

Why doesn't Ethereum Classic use Proof of Stake?

As Ethereum Classic puts a high priority on censorship resistance, it's community decided to remain on the tried and true Proof of Work consensus mechanism. There are many reasons why the various flavors of Proof of Stake are not able to match the same security guarantees as PoW, but in short, they all involve security or decentralization trade-offs that make them more susceptible to censorship.

You can learn more about the decision for Ethereum Classic no to switch to Proof of Stake in the Proof of Work section.

How can I find out about Ethereum Classic's network status?

You can find information about the health and state of ETC in the network monitors and blockchain explorer sections, as well as price information on various exchanges.

Notably, the website etc-network.info maintains a number of monitoring services.

How can I keep up to date on ETC happenings?

The News section is regularly updated with important news and community blog posts, where you can also find an RSS feed.

There are also many sources of updates available from community Social Channels. Notably, the Ethereum Classic community Discord Server and /r/ethereumclassic.

You can also follow development updates in the Ethereum Classic Github and ETC Labs Github organizations.

Continue Reading

If you would like to contribute by adding or correcting information to this page, please drop a message on Discord or create an issue on GitHub

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The content on this website is user-generated and solely for informational purposes. Do not interpret any content as an endorsement of any product or service. There's "no official anything" in Ethereum Classic. Always do your own research, and remember: don't trust, verify!