Ethereum Classic is an open-source blockchain network that is a result of the hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain that occurred in July 2016. The platform provides smart contract functionality and supports decentralised applications (dApps), just like the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.
While Ethereum Classic holds onto the philosophy of 'code is law', Ethereum has implemented several upgrades and is currently looking to transition from a Proof of Work (PoW) to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
The native coin for Ethereum Classic is "Ether Classic" (ETC), which trades widely across the world. In the market, the price of ETC has followed similar volatility patterns to other cryptocurrencies, recently establishing a new all-time high.
Ethereum Classic has been live since 2016, and the price movements of its native token ETC have often mirrored those of the broader crypto market. This means that certain global events and news have in the past influenced the coin's market value. In the sections below we highlight the key news and timeline of events that have so far shaped the history of Ethereum Classic.
In March 2018, with cryptocurrency commentators focused on the unfolding bearish market amid regulatory crackdowns in China and India, the price of Ethereum Classic tanked alongside that of ETH and other altcoins.
The crash followed comments made on 15 March by Stephanie Avakian, a director at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division. It was revealed that the SEC was investigating "dozens" of initial coin offerings (ICOs), resulting in a prolonged bear market that saw ETC price reach lows of $13.
In 2021, Tesla announced it had bought Bitcoin, starting a new bull market that saw most coins post gains not seen before in the crypto market. Ethereum Classic's price rose to a new all-time high and after a hard fork that changed its mining algorithm, sentiment has shifted and investor confidence has returned to a coin that has had perhaps the roughest ride since 2016.
The Ethereum hard fork leads to a split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Ethereum Classic follows the original chain and a community begins to rally around the coin as exchanges add ETC support. The pre-fork predictions of ETC's chain disappearing due to lack of miner support come to nought. The ether classic token trades on major exchanges, beginning with a listing on Poloniex. (ETC jumps from $0.62 to $2.25 on 25 July)
Millions of frozen ETC unlock on the chain as decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) funds are released to holders. (ETC's price holds above $1.00 throughout September, before sustained dumping sees it break below the dollar value on 26 October)
13 January 2017:
The Die Hard Upgrade activates on the mainnet as the team moves to address replay attacks. The community resolves to delay the difficulty bomb. (Less volatility in the market means ETC price movements are mostly limited to a range around $1.40 to $1.44)
1 March 2017:
Grayscale launches the ETCG Investment Fund, the first non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency fund. It allows investors to buy ETC as they would a traditional asset, increasing ETC exposure. (ETC price gains 100% over the month, from $1.40 to $2.80)
ETC Labs CEO Terry Culver unveils CoinGame, a prediction platform that is the first pilot programme in the Ethereum Classic incubator. On 1 October, Coinbase listed ETC. (Ethereum Classic price remains under a long-term horizontal line below $5.00)
Coinbase and other top exchanges halt ETC transactions after a reported 51% attack involving a double-spend of $1 million worth of ETC. (The price drops as the market reacts to the news, from $5.31 to $4.83)
Ethereum Classic is among the altcoins banned by the Thai securities regulator. The watchdog prohibits the use of altcoins ETC, BCH and LTC in ICOs, as well as on exchanges in trading pairs. (Minimal changes in the price of ETC, which is largely still in a bearish market)
The Atlantis hard fork successfully goes live on the Ethereum Classic mainnet, with the team noting the potential for increased compatibility between Ethereum Classic and Ethereum (ETH). (The ETC value is around $4.00)
Ethereum Classic implements another upgrade dubbed Agharta, which means that the ETC chain is now fully compatible with Ethereum after the Constantinople and Petersburg upgrades of the latter. (ETC trades higher through the month, doubling its value from $4.50 on 1 Jan to $10.36 on 27 Jan)
July to August 2020:
Ethereum Classic suffers a series of 51% attacks, with three such double-spend attacks decimating investor confidence in the coin's price. (ETC price remains range bound around $5.66-$7.34)
28 November 2020:
Ethereum Classic's team implements another upgrade, dubbed Thanos. The network upgrade changes the consensus algorithm from Ethash to Etchash, aimed at making it difficult for malicious actors to attack the network using rented hashing power. (Minimal price changes as ETC closes at $6.32)
Grayscale sells 28,382 ETC from its holdings to cut total ETC held from 12.54 million to 12.32 million coins. This comes after ETC/USD surpassed the Trust's prediction that ETC price would reach $125.40. (Profit taking has seen prices drop from $70.00 on 1 June to $58.10 by the end of the month)
The Magneto hard fork activates at block 13,189,133. The upgrade is expected to improve network security and lower gas fees. (ETC price rallies from $39.39 on 21 July to $51.78 on 31 July)
Investors looking to diversify their portfolios often want to know how assets compare. As we look at the price of Ethereum Classic, there is a need to see how this cryptocurrency stacks up against fiat currencies, commodities, and other digital assets.
Compare Ethereum Classic with Oil
Ethereum Classic is a well-known cryptocurrency project while Crude Oil is regarded as the "king" of commodities in the investment world. The cryptocurrency is widely supported on major exchanges and brokers across the globe, just as oil trades worldwide in both spot and derivatives markets. Like other assets such as gold or stocks, both ETC and oil have value that derives from supply and demand in the market. The degree to which their respective prices fluctuate varies, and thus offers varied exposure to risk and gain. As for Ethereum Classic, the risk is higher due to wild volatility but so are the potential gains.
Compare Ethereum Classic with Ethereum
Both ETC and ETH are largely traded for speculative purposes, with volatility playing a major role in price movements as seen during the 2017 and 2020/2021 bull markets. Although Ethereum's breakout to its all-time high of $4,900 in November 2021 maintains its high profile among cryptocurrencies, ETC's own spike to $167.09 illustrates potential future gains. The coin's value has grown from a measly $0.62 on 25 July 2016, to provide over 8,300% in returns from that low by August 2021.
Compare Ethereum Classic with the US dollar
Ethereum Classic (ETC) is currently ranked 37th among the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, while USD continues to hold its position as the most traded currency in the world. As with other fiat currencies, the dollar is centrally controlled and its relative value is largely swayed by the economic outlook of the US.
Investors seeking to trade the currency need to take into consideration the fundamental and technical picture as well as sentiment and geopolitical risks, similar to what an Ethereum Classic investor needs to do. While these factors cut across the two assets, the dollar's value does not fluctuate as much as ETC, which means investing in the cryptocurrency carries a greater risk of losses. However, both short-term and long-term gains for ETC have outpaced USD since 2016.
Ethereum Classic price predictions take into account several factors, including the coin's historical price performance, fundamental developments, and technical analysis. But even then, finding an accurate prognosis is not easy, especially given the nascent crypto market's volatile nature. This is where sentiment can shift abruptly in the wake of global economic and political events, flipping price direction at a moment’s notice.
From an investors' standpoint, it is thus necessary that due diligence also takes into account these different factors that might affect the value ETC.
At time of writing, ETC price is up almost 400% over the past year after trading around $7.84 on 1 August 2020. Although the crypto traded with a bearish backdrop in recent months, investors recorded impressive gains earlier on in 2021 as the market rallied alongside Bitcoin.
Starting the year at around $5.67, ETC/USD made triple digit gains to hit highs of $12.00 before surging towards $100 and testing a new all-time high of $167.09 on 6 May. According to a chart shared by crypto monitoring site TIE, Ethereum Classic is the second-best performing smart contracts platform year-to-date.
On 20 July, Ethereum Classic prices dipped to $39.39, but have since rallied higher to test resistance above $50.00.
The uptick follows the Magneto hard fork activated on 24 July, which sees Ethereum Classic projecting new upward pressure within a descending wedge pattern that might end with a breakout pushing prices higher. Bulls need to negotiate resistance at $57.53 and a 70% rally could beckon for a run to $80.00. If this happens, buyers can attempt to breach a supply wall likely to materialise at the 50% Fibonacci retracement level at $92.72.
From a technical point of view, we see the daily RSI and MACD indicators supporting a bullish outlook. But if sentiment flips negative, a pullback for Ethereum Classic price could extend below the 50 SMA. There's a possibility such a move will invite selling pressure towards $32.39 and $21.91.
The short-term bearish possibility will be highlighted more if Bitcoin turns negative. As the crypto trader and technical analyst Michaël van de Poppe predicts, such a move will see "the bears come out in full force".
What does such a scenario mean for ETC prognosis in the next five months? Here is a sample of what different analysts say about Ethereum Classic price for 2021.
One crypto analyst gives Ethereum Classic a bullish outlook for 2021, projecting that the price will close the year at around $98.91, which would mean ETC would have made gains of about 1,640% since the end of 2020.
A different analyst is unconvinced about Ethereum Classic, with their algorithm predicting that buyers will struggle to break above $55.00 short term. The platform thinks an 8.2% downswing in December will see ETC close the year at around $47.10. A similar outlook is given in analysis from another analyst, which suggests a 2021 target of $55.57.
The projections put ETC/USD in a range between $47.10 and $98.91 for 2021. Factors likely to come into play include sentiment around crypto regulation and adoption and how governments negotiate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The technical outlook above and the predictions appear to suggest that Ethereum Classic price might oscillate in a tight range around current levels, or break higher and then decrease towards the end of the year.
Whatever the market direction, price drivers in 2022 are likely to revolve around overall market sentiment (bearish cycle) or continued economic struggle amid a slow post-pandemic recovery period.
According to one analyst, ETC price will reach $143.42 in the first half of 2022, before rallying to $186.45 by 31 December to provide returns of 258% on the current price. Another notes that ETC price could increase throughout 2022, hitting prices around $108.96 by 31 December.
Another site suggests the price of ether classic will increase in the first four months of 2022, potentially reaching $85.10 by the end of April. However, the platform's view is that a gradual decline could pull ETC/USD lower to a close of $62.00 — about 20% higher than current levels.
Note that these prices take into account the prevailing sentiment and market outlook, which means the projections might change dramatically if news or some other factor influences market behaviour.
Looking beyond 2022, most projections see the price of Ethereum Classic going up long term. While these predictions are a little more speculative due to the fact that the market works in cycles, it is important to note that an injection of volatility from whatever source will almost certainly invalidate the forecast.
As noted above, price drivers will vary over time, and with no calendar for potential new price factors, it remains extremely difficult to make a definitive prognosis. Nonetheless, let's see what various analysts think of ETC's long-term price movements.
One analyst has a positive projection for Ethereum Classic, with the altcoin's value predicted to increase to $248.76 in mid-2023 before ending the year around $225.51. A different site gives ETC price a positive outlook up to 2025, with the forecast suggesting the crypto will continue to increase to reach $238 by the end of 2025. However, a more cautious analyst gives ETC a bearish outlook beyond 2022. The platform's prospects for Ethereum Classic have its price at around $34.50 in 2024.
For more detailed predictions, read our Ethereum Classic price prediction guide here.
Ethereum Classic's price has fluctuated wildly since its trading debut in 2016, with the price history suggesting periods of massive volatility that coincide with the overall market performance.
In most cases, the price action has been punctuated by the market's reaction to external news and events. In other times, there have been fundamental developments and uncertainty following security breaches, like in early 2020.
Although the cryptocurrency has yet to spike to levels seen in Ethereum or other top altcoins, its trajectory is likely to mirror the popular ETH as upgrades and updates improve its interoperability. Ethereum 2.0's eventual launch could also see many miners move to Ethereum Classic to boost its security and potentially its price.
In the long term, adoption and favourable regulatory changes will be crucial to price movement. As seen from the above projections, ETC price is likely to set a new all-time high in the next one or two years. In this case, ETC at around $25, as it is today, might be a very good investment.
If you feel you have taken all steps to understand the Ethereum Classic market, you can proceed to buy ETC from one of the recommended exchanges or brokers at the beginning of this article.