What Is Ethereum Classic And Is It Worth Investing In Ethereum Classic In 2021?

Investing In Ethereum Classic Explained

Last Updated November 12th 2021
24 Min Read

What is Ethereum Classic? What is the difference between Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH)? Is it worth investing in ETC in 2021? We have the answers to all your financial questions.

Though Ethereum Classic is not one of the top 10 cryptos in terms of market cap, there’s no doubt that ETC is a coin worth watching this year.

2021 has been a bullish year so far for crypto investing and some experts believe that the bull run hasn’t fully run out of steam just yet.

But making your fortune trading Ethereum Classic won’t be possible without an in-depth understanding of the crypto sector.

You really need to know the ins and outs of ETC. To recognise when it’s weak and to recognise when it’s strong.

So, let’s kick off with a complete guide to Ethereum Classic investing!

If you want to buy or invest in ETC quickly and easily, check out eToro Exchange!

Contents

In this article, we will cover:

What Is Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum Classic is a decentralised blockchain-based platform used for the execution of smart contracts and decentralised applications (dApps).

Ethereum Classic was created after an ideological split within the Ethereum community in 2016 after the network was hacked and more than $50 million in Ether was stolen.

To return the stolen funds to users, Ethereum split into two parallel versions: Ethereum - a new version where the hack didn’t happen - and Ethereum Classic - the original version where the hack did happen.

The long story is that in 2016, a German start-up company launched a project called The DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) - a community-based funding platform for smart contracts and dApps - that raised more than $150 million in crowdfunding.

However, hackers found a loophole in its smart contract and stole a third of the funds they had acquired.

Supporters of Ethereum Classic simply didn’t agree with the split, claiming that returning the stolen funds would risk the platform’s immutable nature and go against one of the main principles of blockchain technology Code is Law.

Note that ETC is the ticker symbol of Ethereum Classic, while ETH the ticker symbol of Ethereum.

What Is The Point Of Ethereum Classic?

Since Ethereum Classic decided to preserve the old code of the blockchain, this unaltered version is often referred to as the original Ethereum and there are many benefits to this.

For blockchain diehards, Ethereum Classic holds an especially important place in the crypto community because it stood up for what blockchains were supposed to be.

In a sense, it is more democratic and decentralised because they do not believe in manipulating blockchains.

And in an era where cryptocurrency is trying to build a society that doesn’t need participants to trust each other, we must be able to believe the information we see in front of us as correct.

Because if we lose faith in a decentralised cryptocurrency - ETC or otherwise - will never work.

This belief was enough to win over Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, the parent company of Grayscale, a private investment company for digital currencies, which created the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust.

How Is Ethereum Classic Useful?

Ethereum Classic is useful to us because it provides traders and blockchain devs with an alternative, or a hedge, to Ethereum.

And at this point, with a high level of activity on the Ethereum platform, it is becoming harder for some people to use.

At several moments throughout 2021 already, Ethereum’s congested network has led transaction fees to skyrocket to extraordinary levels. Data collected by YCharts shows two dramatic upwards spikes in May 2021. 

And this instability is ridiculous to many people - it makes running a dApp virtually impossible. This has led people to leave Ethereum and create their projects elsewhere.

By swapping ETH for ETC, devs will have a less congested network to work with, that will be more like what Ethereum was originally.

But there’s more - if Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake fails, Ethereum Classic will be there ready to scoop up the pieces.

So, Ethereum Classic has a lot of potential as a backup plan if Ethereum fails!

How Does Ethereum Classic Work?

Now when we know what Ethereum Classic is and how it was created, we should look into its technicalities. So, how does ETC work?

Ethereum Classic is a decentralised and open-source computing platform. This means that anyone can join the network, with nodes being spread across the globe.

Both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic allow developers to use the open-source code to create smart contacts, tokens, and dApps.

For Ethereum Classic supporters, though, the Code is Law principle is particularly important to their philosophy.

It means that all transactions are final and immutable. It goes back to the original belief that blockchains are created to be immutable so data can’t be altered or erased, which can prevent fraud and guarantee transparency.

When we start manipulating blockchains as Ethereum did, even if it’s for a good reason, it opens the doors to more malicious changes, and we can no longer trust that what we see is real.

In a way, Ethereum Classic has become like the Ark of the original Ethereum network.

Ethers are mined. Ethereum Classic relies on a proof-of-work algorithm to create new coins. Ethereum Classic Ether is created as a reward for miners. Users can also pay gas fees with Ether to reduce spam and allocate resources. 

ETC coins are capped at 210 million, which gives Ethereum Classic a level of scarcity that Ethereum doesn’t have (ETH is not capped). And it’s predicted that 99% of ETC will be in circulation by 2065.

And with Ethereum transitioning to proof-of-stake this year, you could say that Ethereum Classic has more similarities with Bitcoin than Ethereum.

Plus, just like with Bitcoin, ETC mining rewards are reduced - they are decreased by 20% every five million blocks.

To understand Ethereum Classic further, we must clarify two main terms that are often used in the cryptocurrency sector:

  1. Smart contracts: A smart contract is defined as an agreement between two parties with conditions and rules being written in code. Once all the conditions are met, the contract is executed without any third parties. In other words, a smart contract is a self-executing block that operates on predefined conditions. Note that ETC can run Turing-complete smart contracts.
  2. dApps: dApps are software applications that are not controlled by a single entity but run on a distributed computing system. From dApps to track goods to dApp games, these applications have gained a lot of popularity across different businesses and industries.

Though Ethereum has had a more substantial growth of smart contracts and dApps compared to Ethereum Classic, Ethereum Classic has its special space in the crypto universe.

Who Uses Ethereum Classic?

As a smart contracts platform, Ethereum is primarily used by devs to build dApps. While it is a fair bit behind Ethereum, it offers a less congested network to work on.

Traders who want a hedge against Ethereum may also want a piece of Ethereum Classic, particularly at this moment in time when there is uncertainty around transaction fees and Ethereum 2.0 (ETH’s transition to proof-of-stake).

There are also many old school Ethereum enthusiasts who believe that ETC is the correct Ethereum. They might not use ETC, but just hold it to show support to the idea (and maybe hope that others will see their point of view).

And finally, some likely hold ETC because they believe that the crypto market is nowhere near its real valuation and that even if ETC is not as popular as ETH, it still stands to gain significantly.

In the end, it’s not about ETC vs ETH really. There will not be one smart contracts platform in the future, there will likely be several and both ETC and ETH will likely still be around.

What Applications Run On Ethereum Classic?

Ethereum Classic is primarily used for gaming, identity, interoperability and finance-related applications, according to Ethereum Classic’s website.

At the time of writing, 20 apps and protocols are running on Ethereum Classic, and they are:

  • Arena Racing (gaming)
  • Aqua Bank (gaming)
  • Commonwealth Tribes (gaming)
  • ETCOdyssey (gaming)
  • Luckygames (gaming)
  • OriginalMy (identity)
  • Stampery (identity)
  • BTC-to-wBTC (interoperability)
  • ETC-to-wETC (interoperability)
  • EVM-to-BNC Bridge (interoperability)
  • Token Bridge (interoperability)
  • Celius Network (finance)
  • Commonwealth (finance)
  • GitCoin (finance)
  • ONEX Network (finance)
  • Cryptwerk (other)
  • Dapp Direct (other)
  • Grayscale® Ethereum Classic Trust (other)
  • Portal.Network (other)
  • XAR Network (other)

What Is ETC Currency?

‘ETC’ is the ticker symbol of Ethereum Classic and represents the coin, though you will see Ethereum Classic and ETC used interchangeably (like in this article).

As explained above, ETC has a limited supply of 210,700,000 coins, with 116,313,299 ETC coins currently in circulation.

When trading Ethereum Classic, you will usually see the ETC ticker symbol next to another ticker.

For example, ‘USD’, which means US dollar, and will look like this: ‘ETC/USD’. In that order, it would mean that you are using the ETC to buy US dollars. If we reverse it, ‘USD/ETC’, we are using US dollars to buy ETC.

ETC can be a good investment for blockchain enthusiasts who believe that blockchains are immutable. Investing in ETC is also popular among day traders and crypto investors who believe in ETC in both the short and long term.

Adding ETC to your watchlist is also a great way to diversify your portfolio and minimise risks.

Let’s not forget that crypto assets have become highly popular amidst the ongoing pandemic as they are often seen as a hedge against recession and inflation.

Is It Worth Investing In Ethereum Classic In 2021?

With a market cap of $5,816,894,103, Ethereum Classic is definitely worth considering in 2021. Note that Ethereum Classic currently ranks 19th, as per Coin Market Cap.

Though Ethereum Classic can’t compare to Ethereum in terms of market cap, trading volume, and market sentiment, Ethereum Classic is considered by many the original Ethereum - and there is great value in that to some.

Ethereum Classic is also trying to establish itself as a major player in the Decentralised Finance (DeFi) space, which is one of the faster-growing sectors today. 

Note that Ethereum Classic released Wrapped ETC, a token to allow ETC holders to participate in Ethereum-based DeFi services.

As James Wo, founder of Ethereum Classic Labs, said:

“We wanted to make sure ETC could go to a different ecosystem and use different applications on top of that ecosystem [...] I expect at least 10% of ETC holders will want to participate and use WETC”.

That said, ETC still lags behind Ethereum and other smart contract giants, such as EOS, NEO, and Polkadot in terms of market value and institutional interest.

Thus, always consider the risk-reward profile of ETC before you start buying or trading ETC. And do not forget that cryptos can be also highly volatile and risky, so never invest more than you can afford to lose!

What’s The Future Of Ethereum Classic?

Upgrades will keep coming and big investors will likely keep pouring money in, especially after the Digital Currency Group purchased $50 million worth of shares in Grayscales Ethereum Classic Trust.

The future of Ethereum Classic looks promising. Ethereum Classic’s roadmap says the following for 2021:

“With the long-term capture of healthy, decentralized hashrate via the Thanos update, the risk of 51% attacks is mitigated. The ETC participants [SIC] shifts focus on network adoption. The development and mining communities engage in [SIC] a thoughtful discussions about Ethereum Classic’s risk to self-sovereignty via the development wing of the project. Various proposals are drafted by teams and discussed in the ecosystem while the Ethereum Classic project moves into 2021”.

From the above, we can assume the following will happen in 2021:

  • 2021 may be the year Ethereum Classic’s security woes are buried, and we might not see much action here in terms of development. (Let’s hope no attacks happen or this could be pretty embarrassing.)
  • They plan to focus more on network adoption, which could mean ETC will plan to increase its marketing presence. Increased users will also mean a more secure blockchain.
  • Discussions between the development and mining communities could either turn out fruitful or sour.
  • We will likely see more development proposals in 2021, which could result in innovative new ideas.

Of course, though, this is no guarantee of what to expect. Plans will likely change as things internally and externally will affect the team. So far, they have not released a breakdown of what they plan to do for 2021. (They still have the road map of 2020 up.)

Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), who are also behind Cardano, will probably continue to work on enhancing Mantis which will strengthen Ethereum Classic’s security and prevent future 51% attacks.

This might not impact price much but staving off 51% attacks will prevent people from leaving the project.

It should also be pointed out that Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, is also one of Ethereum’s co-founders. So, he knows a lot about how Ethereum Classic likely works.

We might also see continued efforts towards interoperability and probably not just with Ethereum, but the whole crypto market, which could lead more people to buy ETC.

Ethereum Classic will also likely remain proof of work and not follow Ethereum’s footsteps. They might not yet have the resources to make such a big change (this also makes ETC a good hedge against ETH this year).

Remember that their team is smaller than other major projects and so it might take them more time to upgrade.

Read Also: Will Ethereum Classic Make Me Rich in 10 Years?

How Much Will Ethereum Classic Be Worth?

If you decide to invest in Ethereum Classic this year, then you may be wondering how ETC is currently performing.

Well, at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Ethereum Classic has a fully diluted market cap of $11,577,276,314 and a 24-hour volume of $1,019,771,131.

It dominates approximately 0.26% of the market. At its current price of $54.98, ETC is 68.77% down from its all-time high of $176.16 and up 12,057.92% from its all-time low of $0.4524 (five years ago). So far, ETC has provided a 7,211.55% ROI.

But to more clearly understand ETC’s potential price, always stay up-to-date with crypto news and announcements and both fundamental and technical analysis data. 

If you decide to invest in ETC, do not forget that cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile and risky. So, never put more than 1% of your funds on a single trade!

Ethereum Classic Price History

Though past performance is not a reliable indicator, observing past price movements can help give us an understanding of what will likely happen.

After the Ethereum network split, Ethereum Classic had an opening price of $0.6024 on the 25th of July 2016.

In 2017, ETC showed remarkable growth: ETC opened the year at $1.45 but reached $22 in early September. Ethereum Classic then reached higher levels in December 2017, with prices hitting $47.77.

After that, however, 2018 was pretty disappointing with ETC closing the year at $5.50. 2019 was more balanced for ETC and it closed the year at $4.80.

The beginning of 2020 was a positive one for Ethereum Classic, but a major pullback across industries led to a decrease in ETC prices. Yet, ETC managed to increase to $7.80 on the 24th of November 2020.

2021 has been a fantastic year so far for ETC. Though it started quite slowly, continuing to hover around $7, that started to change around February, where it got close to reaching $17.

Then in April, the magic started to happen - the 2021 bull run. It went up and up and up, eventually hitting $44.92. And then after a minor decline shot up to its all-time high of $176.16 on the 6th of May.

Though a steep decline then followed, Ethereum Classic is trading at a much higher price than at the start of the year, suggesting that it might sustain its current price.

Ethereum Classic Price Prediction 2021

Ethereum Classic will likely cost between $43.811 at the lowest and $85.76 at the highest for 2021, according to several price forecasters.

Let’s look at what they think 2021 has in store:

Ethereum Classic Price Prediction in 2021 

Price Forecaster Lowest Price Highest Price
Trading Beasts $43.811 $64.428
Gov Capital $47.4062 $65.1705
WalletInvestor $49.001 $75.931
The Economy Forecast Agency $47.4 $70.4
Coin Price Forecast $57.55 $66.55
Cryptocurrency Price Prediction $53.2 $83.08
DigitalCoin $77.87 $85.76

 

Do note that some forecasters are clearly more bullish than others.

How Much Will Ethereum Classic Be Worth In 2025?

By 2025, Ethereum Classic could be valued anywhere between $37.2 and $880.40 according to experts.

Ethereum Classic Price Prediction in 2025 

Price Forecaster Lowest Price Highest Price
WalletInvestor $184.721 $315.560
The Economy Forecast Agency $37.2 $63.3
DigitalCoin $140.44 $188.56
Gov Capital $129.2935 $220.943
Coin Price Forecast $121.12 $129.42
Cryptocurrency Price Prediction $551.80 $880.40

 

Note that some price forecasters are very bullish, and some are very bearish on the Ethereum Classic’s future price.

Ethereum Classic Price Prediction 2030

Ethereum Classic could be valued as much as $2,480 by 2030! 

Ethereum Classic Price Prediction in 2030

Price Forecaster Lowest Price Highest Price
Coin Price Forecast $212.11 $222.16
Cryptocurrency Price Prediction $1,891 $2,480

 

Remember that 2030 is still a long way away and most price forecasters do not make predictions for this far ahead. So, don’t take these predictions too seriously!

Don't Miss: Ethereum Classic Price Prediction

Should I Invest In Ethereum Classic?

With different advantages, such as its unaltered nature and limited supply that can enhance scarcity and demand, Ethereum Classic can be a good investment in 2021.

That said, Ethereum Classic is lagging compared to Ethereum in terms of user adoption, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and DeFi growth. 

Even ETC Google searches lag behind compared to other coins. Google searches for Ethereum, on the other hand, are on the rise, “eclipsing search interest during the height of the last Ether (ETH) bull run”, explained Cointelegraph’s Cyrus McNally in January 2021.

Search interest in Ethereum and Ethereum Classic chart

Search interest in Ethereum (blue) and Ethereum Classic (red) in the last five years. Source: trends.google.com

Ethereum Classic is also a major target of online attacks, which has damaged ETC’s image. Many believe that unless Ethereum Classic switches to proof-of-stake the attacks may continue.

But hey, investing in ETC in 2021 is not a bad idea at all. All you must do is analyse its risk-reward potential and decide for yourself if you should add ETC to your portfolio!

In the end, it’s only up to you to decide if you should invest in Ethereum Classic. Remember that apart from holding, you can also start trading ETC and take advantage of both upward and downward price changes.

Read Also: Pros And Cons Of Investing In Ethereum Classic

What Is The Best Way To Buy Ethereum Classic?

If you decide to buy or trade Ethereum Classic, you’ll be pleased to know that with our partner eToro, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies and trade CFDs of up to 90+ crypto pairs.

You can buy Ethereum Classic with eToro in four simple steps.

Step 1. Sign up to eToro. Go to eToro’s website, click ‘Join Now’, and fill out the registration form.

Step 2. KYC. Your information will need to be verified by providing proof of identity and address. This is to prevent fraud and to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

Step 3. Make a deposit. The minimum deposit is $200 in most countries, $50 in the USA. Though several countries have a much higher minimum deposit. You’ll need to deposit money to buy ETC.

Step 4. Buy ETC. Go to ‘Trade Markets’ → ‘Crypto’ → ‘ETC’. You’ll then be able to choose how you buy your ETC.

Ta-dah! Now you have ETC!

Key Points

If you remember anything from What Is Ethereum Classic And Is It Worth Investing In Ethereum Classic In 2021, make it these key points.

  • Ethereum Classic is not Ethereum. Ethereum Classic was created after the Ethereum network split because of the DAO hack in 2016.
  • Just like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic is also decentralised and capable of running smart contracts and dApps.
  • There are various ideological differences between ETC and ETH. Its supporters believe in the Code is Law principle, which dictates that blockchains should not be modified.
  • Ethereum Classic relies on proof-of-work, which makes it available to individual miners.
  • ETC is the ticker symbol of Ethereum Classic.
  • Currently, ETC rank’s 29th and has a market cap of $7,165,032,147 and a 24-hour trading volume of $1,010,207,563.

If you want to learn more about Ethereum Classic and its place in the crypto market, we at Trading Education can help you access different learning resources and interactive courses.

We can also help you sign up with our partner eToro. With eToro, one can buy different assets and trade CFDs of up to 90+ cryptocurrency pairs.

Do you think that investing in 2021 is worth it? Let us know in the comments below.

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FAQs

Still have questions on Ethereum Classic? Maybe these frequently asked questions can help?

How Much Is ETC Worth?

It's worth $54.72 per ETC coin at the time of writing, with a 24-hour low of $54.62 and a 24-hour high of $57.70.

Is Ethereum Classic better than Ethereum? 

Though Ethereum Classic is often considered the original Ethereum, Ethereum is much more popular for ICOs and DeFi projects than Ethereum Classic. After all, Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap and adoption. 

How Many ETC Are Left?

79,760,234.52 ETC are left from the max supply of 210,700,000 with 130,939,765.48 currently in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap at the time of writing.

What Is ETC’s Max Supply?

ETC’s max supply is 210,700,000. In contrast to Ethereum which has no max supply. In some ways, this makes ETC more like Bitcoin than Ethereum.

How To Trade The Ethereum Classic Investment Trust

To trade The Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, you must be an Accredited Investor able to cover the $25,000 minimum investment, 3% annual sponsor fee, and invest at the specific times in the year it is open.

If you’re unlucky, you might land on Grayscale’s website and get the following popup:

“Grayscale® Ethereum Classic Trust private placement is offered on a periodic basis throughout the year and is currently closed”.

Grayscale also explains that Accredited Investors are “as defined in Rule 501(a) of Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933,” and that they must earn more than $200,000 ($300,000 with a spouse) and have a net worth over $1 million.

When Did Ethereum Classic Fork Occur?

The Ethereum Classic fork took place on 20th July 2016. It was from that point that there were two Ethereums - Ethereum Classic, the unaltered version, and Ethereum, the newer, altered version.

Where Is ETC Used?

According to Cryptwerk, ETC can be accepted as a payment method at 914 shops/markets, internet providers, offline services, tourism/travelling/renting services, crypto services, businesses, web marketing/development, gambling, and gaming companies.

Some of the top companies accepting ETC include:

  • WPSec. An online security scanner for WordPress.
  • MonsterMegs. A web hosting company.
  • CoinPayments. A crypto payments company.
  • Impreza Host. A web hosting company for Tor users.

How To Tell What dApps Are On Ethereum Classic?

You can check Ethereum Classic’s website to see a list of what dApps are currently running on their network. So far, there are currently 20 apps and protocols.

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