What is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum Classic is a decentralized blockchain platform that lets anyone build and use decentralized applications that run on blockchain technology. Like Bitcoin, no one controls or owns Ethereum Classic – it is an open-source project built by people around the world. Unlike the Bitcoin protocol, Ethereum Classic was designed to be adaptable and flexible. It is easy to create new applications on the Ethereum Classic platform.

In 2014, Ethereum founders Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke began work on a next-generation blockchain that had the ambitions to implement a general, fully trustless smart contract platform. What is Ethereum?

In 2016, after a controversial hard fork, Ethereum mainline spawned a new network with new consensus rules. Ethereum Classic continued following the original network rules and has maintained the original Ethereum vision ever since.

Ethereum Classic terminology

  • Ethereum Classic is an open source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It supports a modified version of Nakamoto consensus via transaction-based state transitions executed on a public Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The Ethereum Classic network consists of developers, miners, businesses, and end user.

  • Ether is Ethereum Classic's native token is a cryptocurrency traded on digital currency exchanges under the ticker symbol ETC. Ether is created as a reward to network nodes for a process known as mining, which validates computations performed on Ethereum Classic's EVM.

  • Gas, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.

How do I get ETC?

Purchase ETC

The easiest way to get ETC is to buy some. There are many cryptocurrency exchanges that will allow you to buy ETC, but the one you should use will depend on where you live and how you want to pay.

For more information on where to buy ETC check this non-exhaustive list of exchanges.

If you want to trustlessly verify the ownership of your ETC, you can run one of the Ethereum Classic clients.

Mine ETC

More technically advanced users may acquire ETC by allocating computer resources to support the Ethereum Classic network. This method is commonly referred to as "mining" for block rewards. Mining is competitive and requires advanced knowledge that we will not cover here, but here is a list of mining resources.

Earn ETC

You can also exchange goods or services for ETC. One way of earning ETC is to become a developer and build your very own Ethereum Classic applications.

Ethereum Classic Monetary Policy

On 11 December 2017, the total supply of Ether (ETC) on Ethereum Classic was hard capped at 210,700,000 ETC via the Gotham hard fork upgrade. This added a Bitcoin inspired deflationary emission schedule that is documented in Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal (ECIP) 1017. The emission schedule, also known as 5M20, reduces the block reward by 20% every 5,000,000 blocks. Socially, this block reward reduction event has taken the moniker of "The Fifthening."

Date5M20 EraBlockBlock RewardTotal Era Emission
2015-07-30Era 115 ETC25,000,000 ETC
2017-12-11Era 25,000,0014 ETC20,000,000 ETC
2020-03-17Era 310,000,0013.2 ETC16,000,000 ETC
2022-04-15Era 415,000,0012.56 ETC12,800,000 ETC
2024-05-07Era 520,000,0012.048 ETC10,240,000 ETC