Ethereum Classic (ETC), regardless of what you may think of it, is not going away anytime soon. While it is no longer steadily rising, it has the hash power and marketcap to ensure enough people have an interest in keeping the thing going, and maybe even help it thrive.
What the hacker got away with is immaterial at this point.
Early on, things didn’t seem so secure. Most of the Ethereum community: miners, merchants and exchanges, seemed on board with the hardfork. Immediately after, media outlets called the fork a resounding success. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Ethereum Classic emerged.
That is a bit of a misnomer. Classic never really emerged from anywhere. As the unmodified chain, it would be more accurate to say Core emerged from Classic. But Classic didn’t have the support, or critically, the hashing power to gain much attention. After a few Reddit announcements and a post literally titled a Declaration of Independence, it caught the ire of Ethereum Core supporters.
Chandler Guo, a well-known Ethereum Miner and an angel investor in cryptocurrency startups, initially pledged an attack on Ethereum Classic. Armed with nearly 100GH/s of hashing power, Guo promised a 51% attack on the rebellious chain.
That resulted in increased attention from the media and public for Ethereum Classic. Those who opposed a “censored” blockchain moved to support it and its network power soared. Soon after, Guo abandoned his support for Ethereum Core and announced that his hashing power (now over 100GH/s) would instead be used to support the unmodified chain.
What is unclear is why. Why did he plan to attack Ethereum Classic and why did he change his mind? We caught up with Guo, and put these questions to him.
Guo is Chinese and there was a bit of a language barrier, the first time we asked him why he originally opposed classic, he didn’t seem to understand the question, but eventually we got to it.
Ian DeMartino: At first you said you were going to attack Ethereum Classic, what went into your decision-making at that time?
Chandler Guo: Only one reason: Don’t do evil.
I know the Ethereum Hardfork is wrong. [You shouldn’t] change a blockchain’s history.
I hope to do the right thing. [People should] never change the blockchain.
[After some explaining that I am asking about his initial plan to attack Classic, not his later decision to defend it.]
DeMartino: Can you tell me about this tweet?
I am Chandler Guo, a 51% attack on Ethereum Classic (ETC) is coming with my 98G hashrate https://t.co/9VM6vPa8CS
— Chandler Guo (@ChandlerGuo) July 24, 2016
Guo: Vitalik Buterin is my friend. So the Hardfork originally got my support. I attacked the hacker to help Vitalik Buterin, but later I thought maybe he made a huge mistake. Changing the blockchain is very wrong. Then, I thought I made a mistake too in supporting the hardfork. I want to fix that. So now I am supporting ETC.
DeMartino: How much did the increase in hashing power affect your decision to support Ethereum Classic? Did it demonstrate to you that people were supporting it and therefore it had value?
Guo: I told bw and f2pool to get on board Ethereum Classic pool and today Chinese miners combined have more than 400GH to support Ethereum Classic.
DeMartino: What do you think the future holds for Ethereum Classic and Ethereum Core? Can they coexist? Or do you think Ethereum Classic will eventually replace Ethereum Core?
Guo: Ethereum Classic will replace Ethereum Core. We have a group of people who want to support an immutable blockchain. A [pure] blockchain is AAAA, but Ethereum is CCCC.
When Vitalik Buterin said he is 100% on Ethereum Core, I said I am 100% on Ethereum Classic. I hope all Chinese support the immutable blockchain.
DeMartino: Do you feel that has a particular importance in China as opposed to elsewhere?
Guo: It should be that the entire world supports immutable blockchains.
DeMartino: Is it an anti-censorship issue to you?
Guo: Ethereum Core’s decision to change blockchain is very wrong. I supported the hardfork and I was very, very wrong. I made a huge mistake. I will never make that mistake again. So, I will 100% only support ETC. I hope Vitalik Buterin will do the same. Wrong is wrong. [He should] fix it and do the right thing. Right is 100% on the side of Ethereum Classic.
Right now, Chinese developers are preparing Proof-of-Work in case Proof-of-Stake does not work.
DeMartino: Assuming both coins continue, do you think ETC will stay Proof-of-Work Or change to POS as Core is planning?
Guo: Ethereum Core is [now the] testing network for Ethereum Classic. Poof-of-Stake has risks. If it works and is safe, I think Ethereum Classic will take it. If it does not work and is not safe, then Ethereum Classic will stay Proof-of-Work. Classic is safer than Core.
DeMartino: Do you have anything else you want to say about Ethereum Classic or changing the blockchain or hardforks or anything else?
Guo: I hope Vitalik Buterin comes back to Ethereum Classic and becomes a good leader for Ethereum Classic.
We would like to thank Chandler Guo for taking the time to speak with us. We will continue to cover the Ethereum Classic/Core split as it develops.