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We believe in decentralized, censorship-resistant, permissionless blockchains. We believe in the original vision of Ethereum as a world computer you can't shut down, running irreversible smart contracts. We believe in a strong separation of concerns, where system forks are only possible in order to correct actual platform bugs, not to bail out failed contracts and special interests. We believe in censorship-resistant platform that can be actually trusted - by anyone.
Ethereum Foundation responded to DAO debacle in the worst way possible. Special interests controlling the Foundation are ramming through DAO bailout hardfork against principled opposition of a significant economic minority of Ethereum stakeholders. According to (diligently hidden, pro-fork) coin vote on Carbonvote, 19% of ETH holders oppose this hardfork. Also, about 22% of Ethereum miners voted against the previous 'DAO softfork' and would logically oppose hardfork as well. Such a significant minority of stakeholders should not be silenced or intimidated into submission - they should be given a clear choice.
If we want to continue to move forward and guarantee survival of the original Ethereum vision, we must fork Ethereum. This will lay the foundation to build secure decentralized applications that are actually censorship resistant.
The main goal of the project is to ensure survival of the original Ethereum blockchain. We will strive to provide alternative for people who strongly disagree with DAO bailout and the direction Ethereum Foundation is taking their project. Anyone opting to remain on the original chain should have such opportunity.
We fork Ethereum and maintain upstream patches similar to the relation between Redhat and CentOS, until a community can form around the project and create a road map. Until this happens we can fork multiple existing clients to help prevent a monoculture of clients. We plan to follow https://github.com/ethereum development except for any features they introduce into existing clients that violate the key principles of openness, neutrality and immutability.
Please help us spread the word about this project in Ethereum community!
If you feel strongly about the cause, please get involved. With just days before the planned hardfork, we need your support to ensure original Ethereum survival. We need more developers, website designers, people who can write and advocate the need for Ethereum Classic. Please let us know what are your skills and how you would like to contribute. Redditors, please reply here. Github users, please open new issue.
In order to remain on the original Ethereum chain, just don't upgrade to hardfork client version pushed by Ethereum Foundation. We will maintain non-fork versions of all major Ethereum clients (as well as other key software), so going forwards all the improvements will be available to you.
Fun fact. If you keep ETH under your direct control (not in a 3rd party wallet or exchange account), you will have two sets of coins instead of one post-fork. You could then install a forked Ethereum client in addition to Ethereum Classic, copy your private keys there and use your coins on both chains! You won't be so lucky if your ETH are locked with 3rd party going into the fork - some exchanges already announced that they will only return one type of coin post-fork to its users.
Miners supporting the original chain should just keep mining with current version of software for now, without upgrading to client version introducing the hardfork code. It will be always possible to download and build latest non-fork version from https://github.com/ethereumclassic.
The difficulty of the original chain will be quite high post-fork, but it will adjust to actual hashrate shortly (just 2048 blocks, a few hours). Since it is expected that most hashrate will move to hardfoked chain, post-adjustment it will be possible to obtain decent mining rewards in classic ethers even with solo mining.
Mining pool supporting the original chain is currently under development, please check here in a couple of days.
Most important question for traders is 'will ETC have market price'? There are all reasons to believe that it will. Essentially, ETC is an Ethereum 'spinoff coin' with a wide user base of all current ETH users. Some of them will see the value of transacting on a censorship-resistant chain, some won't. This creates interesting arbitrage opportunities for smart traders. Additional reasoning why ETC is very unlikely to be 'worthless'.
One exchange agreed to carry ETC already. It's Bitsquare which is planning to add ETC trading right after the fork. Other trading venues will follow. We are in talks with several exchanges to add ETC to their platforms (or re-introduce trading for the exchanges that previously traded ethers).
<3for the original Ethereum vision