One of the best known stories in the crypto-community is that of the Ethereum split. Faced with a very difficult decision, Ethereum enthusiasts had to make a choice which resulted in a ‘house divided’, and Ethereum Classic was born. But what are the differences, and which variant of the currency is better? Let’s get back to the roots.
The original fork that separated Ethereum Classic from Ethereum proper was the consequence of a massive hack. It all started with the DAO (Distributed Anonymous Organisation) – a capital venture of a kind that gave ether-holders an opportunity to purchase DAO tokens. Those were used to determine the investment strategy of the fund. The investors could leave at any point, but would have to wait 28 days to withdraw their ether.
Unfortunately, hackers have found a way to exploit the weakness in the system and stolen more than $50 million in ether. This nearly killed Ethereum. Needless to say, something had to be done. And the clock was ticking – the hacker would be able to get away with investor’s money in 28 days.
The debate that took place was more philosophical than practical. While the majority agreed to reverse the hack and transfer the funds back, a part of the community felt that this betrayed the very idea of the blockchain. It should have been an unassailable monolith, and not even this hack was cause enough to change that in their eyes.
This was an irreconcilable difference that caused the hard fork. Most have moved on with Ethereum (including the developers of the platform – Gavin Wood and Vitalik Buterin), but select few remained loyal to their principles and named the resulting currency Ethereum Classic.
So, which one is better? Ethereum has certainly found success, not only recovering from the devastating loss, but moving on to become the cryptocurrency with the second biggest market cap after bitcoin. Rising as high as $700, it has outshined its sibling, but both currencies have their zealots.
While Ethereum seems to be a much safer bet with a clear path forward, many believe that the choice between the Ethereum and Ethereum Classic has a lot more to say about the personal’s ideology than their business acumen.