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When the original smart contracts blockchain was launched in 2015, Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH) were one and the same chain.
Then, in 2016, there was a hack of a dapp called “TheDAO” and a large portion of the community decided to violate immutability to steal back the funds from the hacker.
The hard fork to reverse the chain was done on July 20 2016. At that moment, the few community members who opposed the breach of the principles of the network decided to keep running the original, untampered chain and they called it “Ethereum Classic”.
Ever since, Ethereum Classic and Ethereum have been two distinct blockchains with two very different philosophies.
At the root of these differences is why ETC smart contracts are better than ETH smart contracts.
But, before we explain why ETC smart contracts are better than ETH smart contracts let us explain what are smart contracts in the first place.
Smart contracts are software programs inside blockchains that can be used to move cryptocurrencies and other assets from address to address depending on instruction sent to them.
Smart contracts work in exactly the same way both in Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
When a dapp developer sends a software program to ETC or ETH, it gets replicated in all the nodes of the system worldwide.
This replication is what makes the dapps decentralized, because they are redundant in many computers around the world making them very difficult to destroy or be interfered by nature or man.
Once smart contracts are deployed in ETH and ETC, users can send transactions to them to use whatever their services are.
Smart contracts may be used for decentralized exchanges, domain name services, property registries, NFT marketplaces, etc.
However, the great difference between Ethereum Classic and Ethereum is that the networks use different consensus mechanism.
A consensus mechanism is a method for all the computers in the network globally to be on the same page at the same time. This was the component that was missing before the invention of Bitcoin.
As ETH and ETC were the same originally, but then they split and they adopted different philosophies, one of them, Ethereum, decided to change its consensus mechanism.
ETC uses the original “proof of work (POW)” system, but ETH migrated to a different one called “proof of stake (POS)”.
Ethereum’s philosophy is called “Social Consensus” and the whole design of the system is being geared toward this principle.
Social consensus means that whenever there is a system failure or anything that is not agreeable by the controlling elites of the system, that they will gather and by majority voting decide how to fix problems or change the rules of the system.
This applies to accounts and balances of people they don’t like, dapps they deem inappropriate, the monetary policy, or any other element or feature.
POS favours this because it is a system prone to centralization.
Social Consensus is unavoidable in POS and an open door to capture because by default it establishes a group of people who will decide the resolution of problems, chain splits, and future changes, just as how they decided to reverse the funds in the TheDAO event!
By contrast, Ethereum Classic’s philosophy is “Code Is Law” which is not only an ideal but a physical reality because the design of the system follows the ideal.
POW is truly decentralized, secure and complete because it enables consensus without the need to depend on trusted third parties.
This makes each node and miner in the system absolutely independent and free and there is no way that any elite group may arbitrarily change anything in the blockchain.
This means that accounts, balances, and dapps are immutable and impossible to tamper with, hence the term “code is law”.
If the whole point of blockchain technology is to reduce as much as possible the dependency on trusted third parties; POS is subject to the will of trusted thirds parties who can change things at will; but POW is unchangeable; then, it logically follows that smart contracts in Ethereum Classic must be better than smart contracts in Ethereum.
In ETC dapps are immutable, in ETH they are mutable.
In ETC the monetary policy is fixed and capped, in ETH the monetary policy may be changed at any time.
In ETC accounts and balances may only be changed by its owners with their private keys, in ETH the controlling elites can confiscate and control addresses and funds.
Moreover, Ethereum Classic is the environment where the most secure applications in the world will exist.
This is because it is a proof of work blockchain, it has a fixed monetary policy, and it is programmable with smart contracts.
These components combined in the same system, and the fact that it is the largest blockchain in the world with this design, provide the highest level of decentralization, thus trust minimization, thus security, for any dapp or the Web3.
Thank you for reading this article!
To learn more about ETC please go to: https://ethereumclassic.org