Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 9, 2022

As new money floods the crypto space, an unexpected thing has happened. A hard fork of Ethereum known as Ethereum Classic has gained much attentio lately, despite having its network taken over by hackers 3 separate times so far.

It would seem that a blockchain as vulnerable and weak as Ethereum Classic’s should not be receiving this much hype from investors, but it is. In this edition of Benzinga Crypto, we’ll take a look at these 2 projects, and what past price action may mean for each token moving forward.

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What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a global computing network for building decentralized applications. 

In English, this means that new financial markets and products can be built and run by a massive group of incentivized individuals. Instead of paying Amazon to host your exchange and not secretly steal your data, you can pay the Ethereum miners and instead rely on the trustless nature of blockchain. 

To run your decentralized app (dApp) on the Ethereum chain, you’ll need to pay for the space you take up on this global computing network. This is called a gas fee in the Ethereum ecosystem, and is payable via the native token, Ether (ETH). 

If you’re an investor who believes in a democratized financial future powered by blockchain you can invest in ETH, and look to make gains as demand for space on the top smart contract blockchain continues to grow. With an increase in demand for the Ethereum network, there is an equal increase in demand for ETH (and willingness to pay more for it) as it’s needed to get access. 

What is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum classic is the original version of the Ethereum blockchain. After 3.6 million ETH were stolen in 2016, the developers made a controversial decision to hard fork and return the stolen funds. The hard fork with the returned funds became Ethereum, and the original chain with the hacked funds became Ethereum Classic. Development for Ethereum has grown exponentially since then, and it takes place on the Ethereum chain we know and love today. 

There is a niche group of people that think this is unfair, and claim that “code is law”. Their argument is that since the developers reverted the code, they broke the law. These people have decided to work on Ethereum Classic instead, with the goal of preserving the Ethereum (now, Classic) blockchain as they believe it should be.  

Not a whole lot of exciting things have happened on Ethereum classic as far as new developments or progress towards being the better Ethereum. They have however, been hacked and robbed 3 times so far in 2021. This should not come as a surprise, as the hashrate (combined computing power of the miners) for Ethereum Classic is much, much lower than Ethereum. It’s so low, in fact, that Dogecoin beats it by 10 times. Yikes. 

Similarities Between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic

Ethereum and Ethereum classic used to be 1 in the same. Now they have split and evolved new, separate aims. The main similarity between the 2 is that they are both still decentralized, open-source, computing platforms. Both platforms are based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which is an environment that enables smart contracts to be executed on the Ethereum network.

Here are a few additional similarities:

  • Same programming language: both blockchains use the same programming language, Solidity, which is a high-level computing language designed for creating smart contracts on the Ethereum platform.
  • Support of DeFi applications: both platforms are designed to support DeFi applications, which are financial apps that run on blockchain networks that allow users to trade digital assets.

Differences Between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic

Unlike Ethereum Classic, Ethereum recently transitioned to a a proof of stake (PoS) consensus model. Consensus is how blockchains separate real data from fake data across a global network of miners.

Proof of work requires the miners to compute some hard problem. This costs them money in energy, which decentivises fraudulent behavior. This system works well for Bitcoin, but much better, more eco friendly and more secure alternatives have been designed since then. Primarily proof of stake, which replaces miners with validators, who stake their crypto on the network in exchange for the right to authenticate activity and earn the network gas fee associated with it. 

While Ethereum has transitioned, Ethereum Classic has no such intentions at the time of writing.

Where to Buy Ethereum and Ethereum Classic

Ethereum is available on all everywhere including Coinbase, eToro, Robinhood and Gemini. If you haven’t made an account with any of these centralized exchanges, click the link below to get started. Since these companies are US-based you’ll have to follow SEC regulations, and provide basic information such as your name, date of birth, SSN and a photo of your diverse license. Ethereum Classic is available in most places where you can find Ethereum, including Voyager and Gemini

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Which Is Better: Ethereum or Ethereum Classic?

Most investors would agree the use cases of Ethereum far surpass Ethereum Classic. Ethereum can be used with the most decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, as well as for most NFT projects currently available. Also, Ethereum has far more developers building on its network than Ethereum Classic, which may make it a safer investment over the long-term. Regardless, make sure to do your own research before investing in any digital asset, as the investment class is far more volatile and risk-heavy when compared to traditional investments.

People Also Ask


What is Ethereum Classic?


Ethereum classic is the original version of Ethereum that was almost entirely abandoned after a hack in 2016 that led to 3.6 million ETH falling into the wrong hands. A hard fork returned the stolen money and continued forward as Ethereum, while the old version left the stolen money unreturned and became known as Ethereum Classic.


Is Ethereum Classic better than Ethereum?


Ethereum Classic has a much smaller and less active development team, as well as a smaller network of miners. This means that Ethereum Classic is much easier to hack, and has already been hacked 3 times this year.

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