Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic: What is the Difference?

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, is an open-source blockchain system with its own native currency known as Ether. The Ethereum (ETH) blockchain works as a crypto platform for various currencies and facilitates the execution of Decentralised Smart Contracts. 

The Ethereum cryptocurrency’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, announced Ethereum in a white paper in 2013 and gathered funding for it in a public crowd sale in 2014. On July 30, 2015, the Ethereum blockchain was officially released. It has had numerous updates since its initial release, the most recent of which was the London Hard Fork update. 

Ethereum’s major goal is to become the worldwide platform for decentralized applications (Ethereum Dapps), allowing programmers and coders all around the world to run and build software that is free of censorship, fraud, and downtime. It was the first to adopt the term “smart contracts,” which is now often used in the blockchain industry. Ethereum’s main intention was to enable the execution of smart contracts via blockchain. Ethereum was intended to become “one computer for the entire planet,” according to co-founder Gavin Wood. 

It is now in the process of transitioning from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. It will happen through a process known as Ethereum Merge, in which the PoS-enabled Beacon Chain will merge with the main net.

The unique features of the Ethereum crypto are:

  • Ethereum is the pioneer of the smart contract concept.
  • Ethereum blockchain is able to host various other cryptos using its ERC-20 standard.
  • Ethereum’s latest update, London Hard Fork was implemented to reduce the high transaction fees and enhance its scalability.

Latest News on Ethereum:

Since 2020, the Ethereum blockchain has been preparing for the Merge. However, due to the delays experienced by ETH blockchain developers, the majority of the steps were finally carried out in 2022. Among the steps taken this year are:

  • Sepolia Testnet
  • 10th Shadow Fork
  • Goerli Testnet

With the third testnet going live, the Ethereum developers have commented on the Merge being completed by September 2022. 

What is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum Classic was created as a result of a hard fork on the main Ethereum blockchain following the hacking of a DAO on the network in 2016. The older, original chain recording the history of the DAO hack was called Ethereum Classic, while the new one recovered from the hack was named Ethereum.

In a nutshell, Ethereum Classic will adhere to the fundamentals of the previous generation of Ethereum, notably the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism, whilst the new one, the Ethereum blockchain following the Merge, will adhere to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The possibility to switch to other compatible proof-of-work (PoW) networks, such as Ethereum Classic (ETC), will be one of the most significant benefits for Ethereum miners today.

Because Ethereum Classic uses the same consensus algorithm as Ethereum (Et-hash algorithm), it is more capable of continuing to cater to the previous Ethereum’s workings. In contrast, Bitcoin employs the SHA-256 algorithm, which is incompatible with GPUs designed for Ethereum network mining. Instead of being heaped up as rubbish, those mining machines will essentially be put to work on another network that functions similarly to Ethereum before the Merge.

The unique feature of Ethereum Classic crypto is:

  • Ethereum Classic makes use of smart contracts, which are stored on a distributed ledger. This allows the blockchain to host dApps and transact value while also providing a decentralized blockchain network.

Latest News on Ethereum Classic:

The ETC Price increased its total value locked amount by more than 100% as additional liquidity was poured into the project in preparation for the Ethereum Merge. 

Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic: Comparative Analysis

Coin NameEthereum Ethereum Classic 
Launch Date20142016
FounderVitalik Buterin and Gavin WoodVitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood
Blockchain ProtocolEthereum BlockchainEthereum Blockchain
Native Token  ETHETC
Market Cap*$187,213,740,848$4,521,648,540
Token TypeNativeNative
Circulating Supply*122,165,313.69 ETH136,598,082.03 ETC
Max Supply*NA210,700,000
Consensus MethodProof of Stake (after the Merge)Proof of Work

Pros and Cons of ETH vs ETC


Ethereum Ethereum Classic
Ethereum(ETH) has the biggest developer support Running on PoW consensus allows miners to switch to ETC while remaining on the same Ethereum blockchain.
With Ethereum Blockchain transitioning to a PoS of consensus, it will be much more energy efficientIt is a smart contract capable
It is a smart contract capableEthereum Classic, as a hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain, has a large dedicated, and passionate community.
Ethereum has one of the biggest and most loyal communitiesIt is much cheaper than ETH


Ethereum Ethereum Classic
Extremely high transaction costs due to gas feesThe usage of Pow consensus makes it energy intensive
Hub centralization issues – but that might be done away with with the ETH 2.0Ethereum Classic(ETC) has suffered various 51% attacks