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Ethereum Classic: What it is and How to Buy Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Ethereum Classic: What it is and How to Buy Ethereum Classic (ETC)

This guide will cover Ethereum Classic, a hard fork of Ethereum that is a prevalent cryptocurrency in today’s landscape. This article aims to provide an overview of Ethereum Classic for both experienced digital asset traders and newcomers to the space.  

What is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum Classic is a hard fork of Ethereum (ETH) that came into existence in 2015. Since then, the cryptocurrency has garnered a sizeable following of its own. In the landscape today, Ethereum Classic serves as a separate cryptocurrency to Ethereum , despite being created from the same code.

Simply, Ethereum Classic is a version of Ethereum that was created as a result of a difference of opinion in the Ethereum community. To understand how it became its own cryptocurrency, it’s important to understand what the term ‘fork’ refers to in this context.

The creation of ETC; what it means for a cryptocurrency to ‘fork’

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others are decentralized. This means that there is no single person or authority that can make decisions for the currency as a whole.

Instead, it is up to the community and users of these cryptocurrencies to reach consensus on changes and updates in the ecosystem. They make decisions by adopting the version of the currency that they decide to use. When a cryptocurrency splits in two as the result of a difference of opinion or change of code, the ‘version’ – the fork – of the currency that has more users is generally accepted as the ‘official’ version from then on.

When this happened to Ethereum in 2015, the majority of users decided to commit to a change of code that kept all of Ethereum’s previous transactions, but made a few key changes. Users that stuck with the original version of Ethereum, however, chose not to make the change and the currency was instead rebranded as ‘Ethereum Classic.’

Why was Ethereum Classic created?

Around the time of the split in 2015, the landscape was introduced to a practical application of a concept known as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The most famous example of this, The Dao, was victim to a breach that resulted in a loss of millions of Ether (ETH) tokens.

The majority of the community at the time decided to revoke the breach by reverting the associated transactions. To make this change, they essentially created their own ‘branch’ of Ethereum. More people adopted this version of Ethereum than the original, and therefore it is now referred to plainly as Ethereum by the community at large.

The original version, on the other hand, still exists but is now called Ethereum Classic. Users that chose to stick with the original branch did so largely because they believe that the decision to revoke the effects of the DAO breach contradicts the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum Classic is now its own version of Ethereum where the breach was never revoked. No transactions that take place today on the Ethereum network exist in the Ethereum Classic branch, and vice versa. However, Ethereum Classic does contain all the Ethereum transactions that took place prior to the split in 2015.

How does Ethereum Classic work?

Ethereum Classic mostly works the same way as Ethereum, as it was built from the same code. However, there have been some changes made to Ethereum Classic that do not currently exist on the Ethereum network.

Most notably, Ethereum Classic has a maximum supply cap that works similarly to Bitcoin, meaning there is a limit to the amount of ETC that will ever exist. Ethereum, on the other hand, currently has no maximum cap on its total supply, but does have a maximum supply that can be issued each year.

Is Ethereum Classic legal?

It is completely legal to hold, mine, and trade Ethereum Classic in most jurisdictions around the world including Canada and the EU.  

While regulation can often seem like a looming threat for the cryptocurrency industry in many countries, this is largely not the case in Canada. Regulators in the country previously stated their intent not to stifle innovation. Instead, they hope to create sensible regulation that does not harm the burgeoning industry.

Why should I use Ethereum Classic?

Largely, decisions to use Ethereum Classic over Ethereum are individualistic. They can be for philosophical reasons, such as the belief that blockchains are supposed to be immutable and transactions should not be changed regardless of circumstance.

Other reasons include the fixed supply cap or a preference over Ethereum Classic to other cryptocurrencies on the market today. Further, many investors choose to hold several cryptocurrencies as they are often not seen to be directly competing with one another.

How do I buy and sell Ethereum Classic in Canada?

It is easier than ever to purchase cryptocurrencies like Ethereum Classic (ETC) in Canada.

Using an Online Exchange: Digital currency platforms like Coinsquare provide several methods of easily purchasing cryptocurrencies in Canada. These currencies can be readily purchased through fiat currency such as the Canadian Dollar, or with other cryptocurrencies.

Platforms must comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations. As a result, they require information that can be used to verify the identity of cryptocurrency holders. One of the main benefits of purchasing cryptocurrencies through this method is that users can simply place buy or sell orders in order to trade digital assets online.

Using a Bitcoin ATM: Another option that could prove useful is to purchase a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM. Once someone purchases Bitcoin from of these machines, they can then trade the cryptocurrency online in exchange for an asset such as Ethereum Classic.

While many choose to purchase cryptocurrencies through this method, it is more costly than other options due to ATM fees and trade fees when converting Bitcoin.

Using Gift Cards or Vouchers: Thousands of retail locations in Canada sell Flexepin vouchers which can be used to purchase cryptocurrencies on exchanges like Coinsquare. This method is associated with higher fees than using an exchange directly, but some favour this method due to convenience.

How do I store Ethereum Classic?

Cryptocurrencies must be stored on software or hardware known as cryptocurrency wallets. There are many wallets available for free on the market today, but it’s important to do your research to pick the safest option for your needs.

Alternatively, purchasing Ethereum Classic and other digital assets from platforms like Coinsquare comes with free access to a web-based wallet where you can store your funds. This saves you the hassle of having to find a wallet on your own, and you can rest easy knowing your digital assets are secure. You can even transfer your holdings to a different wallet should you choose.


Image credit: Ethereum Classic


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