Ethereum Classic was started as a way to maintain the original Ethereum chain and the presumed social contract of “unstoppable applications.” Initially I saw it as a stable alternative to the Ethereum Edge (ETH) chain and agreed with Vitalik that ETH was more exciting.
More recently, however, I have become way more excited about the stable (ETC) version than the edge version (ETH).
Why so excited?
The first reason is the general excitement about decentralized governance and implementing it in the context of the ETC chain, the very reason that drew me to Ethereum in the first place. Despite Vitalik’s occasional mentions of organizing via a DAO-like structure, as far as I can tell the Ethereum Foundation has never taken any formal steps in this direction.
Another thing that has been a welcome surprise to me is the extremely supportive community around Ethereum Classic. This reminds me a lot of Ethereum in the early days when there were many people drawn by the pull of the larger decentralized vision and not quite as many of the folks looking for quick bucks.
One thing that supports this that is a benefit of decentralization in general is the sense of ownership that people have and the desire to engage in bottom up organization. People actually feel that they have a say in ETC and that their contributions are worth something.
“Exactly as programmed”
Supporting this is a very strong commitment to transparency from many of the community members. I believe that radical transparency is a key feature of blockchains and should also be a feature of blockchain governance.
Additionally, there is a lot of engagement from the Bitcoin community, which is very healthy and I think makes more sense to see ETC and BTC as in a complementary relationship rather than opposed.
Somewhat interestingly it seems like ETC may also be able to encompass larger vision. For example Charles Hoskinson discusses many ideas that might be integrated from other blockchain communities.
If I had to put it down to a single reason though. It is that ETC feels epic. That’s why I got involved in Ethereum in the first place, and so as long as that feeling persists that’s where I will be.
It may be that Ethereum has had its “Satoshi moment” where the bulk of people most committed to its original stated vision have decided that it is far better to own and create their own collective future than rely on a single founding father.
Let’s make this unstoppable after all!