Ethereum Classic Dips in Wake of Successful Network Upgrade

Ethereum Classic underwent a successful fork Tuesday, as developers diffused a “difficulty bomb” that would have eventually made the cryptocurrency unprofitable to mine. Less than 24 hours later, ETC was trading in the general direction of the market with prices down slightly compared with the previous close.

ETC/USD Price Levels

The value of Ethereum Classic (ETC/USD) peaked at $15.49 in the wake of the fork, according to data from CoinMarketCap. It has since tumbled to $14.93, having declined 2.5% over the previous day.

More than $134 million worth of ETC exchanged hands on Wednesday, down from as much as $196 million last week. OKEx was by far the biggest market, accounting for more than half of all ETC trades. Huobi processed roughly 6% of total transactions in terms of volume.

Ranked 17th by total market cap, Ethereum Classic is valued at $1.5 billion. Its market cap peaked near $4.6 billion during the height of the bull market back in January. The coin’s value has since declined by more than 67%.

The broader cryptocurrency market experienced a similar downtrend on Wednesday, with most major coins falling 2% or more.

Ethereum Classic Gets an Upgrade

The ETC blockchain underwent a successful upgrade at block 5,900,000, according to the latest network data. According to Gas Tracker, the upgrade was timestamped at 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday.

The now diffused code feature was part of the original Ethereum codebase, which later gave rise to both ETC and Ethereum.  Ethereum Classic was itself a fork of Ethereum as developers clashed over loss of funds following the hack of a high-profile smart contract project.

Had the “difficulty bomb” not been dealt with, mining Ethereum Classic would have been rendered unprofitable. Developers had previously identified block 6,100,000 as the absolute latest for implementing the upgrade.

Despite their similar names and common ancestry, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic differ in their technical specifications. Backers of Ethereum are committed to transitioning to a proof-of-stake consensus, something the ETC community is resisting. Electing to stick with proof-of-work, Ethereum Classic advocates say their system better promotes decentralization.  This is tied to the idea that proof-of-work systems require continuous buy-in from validators, who must continuously invest in hardware and thus the project itself.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder, first released the implementation guide for proof-of-stake back in May 2017.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi