Ethereum Classic has been surging in response to announcements of an official ‘monetary policy’, including a 230 million limit on ETC tokens to be released. In a recent blog post, the Ethereum Classic development team articulated the need “to adopt a monetary policy that balances the long-term interests of investors, developers, and business operators”. The block reward will be reduced by 20% with the release of block number 5,000,000, with a further 20% reduction being made with the release of 5,000,000 thereafter.

Ethereum Classic is currently testing resistance at approximately $1.50.

Ethereum Classic was born out of a commitment to immutability

The introduction of the ETC’s new monetary policy is motivated by the need to differentiate Ethereum Classic’s core protocol from that of Ethereum.

Ethereum Classic was created as a consequence of individuals refusing to validate the hard-forking of Ethereum following the DAO ‘hacking’ controversy. Many network participants saw the hard-fork as a direct contradiction to the core values of cryptocurrency, as the hard-fork sought to reverse the DAO hacker’s successful seizure of 3.6 million ETH tokens (valued at approximately $50 million) - which was conducted by manipulating a coding exploit, as opposed to comprising a true ‘hack’.

Many members of the community saw the hard-fork as comprising the Ethereum development team giving themselves a refund for their poor investments - as many of whom had invested heavily into the DAO network without providing adequate scrutiny of the core code.

As such, when the hard fork happened many stakeholders chose to maintain the original blockchain - citing that a hard-fork undermined the immutability of the Ethereum blockchain, which would contradict the core value proposition of the ETH project and comprise an effective bail-out for the Ethereum development team. The hard-fork went on as planned and the Ethereum blockchain split in two - thus creating Ethereum Classic, and Ethereum, as two separate blockchains.

Cryptocurrency in-fighting begins

The hard-fork polarized opinions and led to a lengthy period of bitter infighting between the ETH and ETC camps, which persists to this day.

Individuals who were in possession of ETH tokens at the time of the hard-fork were distributed a corresponding number of ETC tokens, leading an enormous dumping of ETC tokens on the markets as ETH devotees attempted to dump ETC into ground.

Several industry heavyweights (most notably Barry Silbert of Digital Currency Group) issued public support for Ethereum Classic, spurring a quick boom of over 500% during the first days of ETC’s lifespan.

Since the early boom, Ethereum Classic’s price has consistently slumped relative to the price of Bitcoin, with strong reversal signals only being made recently following the announcement that Chinese Bitcoin exchange CHBTC would be listing ETC markets. Uncertainty still sits hangs over the head of the ETC markets, however, as the ‘White Hat Group’ will be given access to millions of unclaimed tokens in the coming months.