What does the future hold for the price of Ethereum Classic, and what factors affect the value of this popular digital currency?
When the decentralised autonomous organisation (The DAO), a venture capital fund built on the Ethereum platform, was hacked in June 2016, it caused a rift in the Ethereum community. Some wanted to perform a hard fork and roll the blockchain back to before the hack occurred; others argued that any outside interference with the blockchain goes against the core philosophy of cryptocurrency.
So, with the origin story out of the way, should you buy Ethereum Classic? To answer this question, you’ll first need to examine the factors that can have an impact on its price.
|Coin name||Ethereum Classic|
|Launch date||30 July 2015|
Ethereum Classic price prediction
Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatility and substantial price fluctuations, but it’s also important to be aware that they are also very complicated digital assets. An extensive range of internal and external factors can affect the price of any crypto coin or token, so you’ll need to assess all those factors before deciding whether or not you should buy.
Some of the issues that could have a bearing on the price of Ethereum Classic this year and beyond are detailed below.
What could drive Ethereum Classic’s growth?
- Supply and demand. According to CoinMarketCap, at the time of writing (15/03/2018) the circulating supply of ETC was 100,507,465. ETC is inflationary through block rewards until the year 2025, when its coin supply will be capped at 210 million.
- Availability. ETC is available on a wide range of cryptocurrency exchanges. This ease of access increases its credibility, and its availability in a variety of trading pairs allows new investors to buy into the cryptocurrency without too much hassle.
- All the benefits of Ethereum. Just like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic offers smart contracts and dapps, and can also host cryptocurrency ICOs. These features have seen Ethereum grow to the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap and demonstrates that Ethereum Classic is built on a solid foundation.
- Development team. ETCDEV Team is an independent team of software engineers and professionals in software development who work fulltime on developing and improving Ethereum Classic. They maintain a detailed roadmap to keep the community up to date and regularly provide information about the projects they’re working on.
- Strong community backing. ETC is also backed by a vibrant and active community committed to the core principles and philosophies of cryptocurrencies, including an immutable blockchain. This was a crucial factor in the creation of ETC and also contributes to its ongoing development.
What could hold Ethereum Classic back?
- Lack of uptake. In order for demand for ETC tokens to increase, the Ethereum Classic platform will need to achieve widespread adoption. Whether or not it can reach this goal remains to be seen.
- Competition. There are several other crypto projects devoted to dapps and smart contracts, including NEO, Qtum and Lisk. In particular, Ethereum Classic risks being overshadowed by its (currently) much bigger and better-known sibling.
- Confusion. Confusion among the general public about the differences between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic could also cause problems. It’s quite difficult for someone new to cryptocurrency to grasp the important differences between the two projects, and this could hamper public perception of Ethereum Classic’s credibility.
- Scalability problems. As Ethereum Classic grows, it will need to overcome the problem faced by many other blockchain projects – scalability. While the development team plans to use sidechains to improve scalability, and sharding is on the roadmap for 2019, the success (or otherwise) of these projects may have a big influence on the price of ETC.
Where to buy Ethereum Classic
What’s coming up in Ethereum Classic’s roadmap
Future tech upgrades, wallet releases and corporate partnerships can all impact the price of a cryptocurrency. The Ethereum Classic development team (ETCDEV Team) maintains a detailed roadmap on its website, outlining key goals and milestones to be achieved right up until 2020. Some of the important developments listed include:
- Remove Difficulty Bomb – April 2018. This will change ETC’s mining difficulty.
- Emerald Wallet for mobile – beta version in April 2018, full release in June 2018.
- Release dapp software development kit – July 2018. This toolkit will allow developers to build applications running on Ethereum Classic.
- Sidechains – architecture introduced in February 2018, working prototype in May 2018, support in Emerald Project July 2018. Sidechains are designed to add scalability and bring ETC to the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Enable new opcodes for compatibility with Ethereum – May 2018.
- SputnikVM optimisations and Just-in-Time Compilation – August 2018. SputnikVM is a next-generation Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) designed to be compatible with different types of Ethereum blockchains and with IoT.
- InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) integration to Emerald Project – October 2018.
The roadmap also features the following goals for 2019:
- Scalability improvement and sharding (towards 1,000+ transactions per second).
- Light client for IoT and Mobile.
- Interoperability with other blockchains.
- Improve cryptography on EVM (for zero knowledge proof, homomorphic encryption, etc).
Ethereum Classic’s competition
You’ll also need to consider how Ethereum Classic stacks up against its competitors, as this could have either a positive or negative effect on future price movements. Some of the other smart contract and dapp platforms you’ll need to consider include:
- Ethereum (ETH). The biggest smart contract platform of the lot, Ethereum is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency and hosts a huge range of dapps. When the hard fork occurred, the majority of the community sided with Ethereum over Ethereum Classic, and ETC’s success will always be measured (at least in part) by how it stacks up against its sibling.
- NEO (NEO). Commonly referred to as China’s Ethereum, NEO is a much-hyped platform for the creation of smart contracts and digital assets. It’s also a top 10 cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation.
- Qtum (QTUM). Combining bitcoin’s secure blockchain with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Qtum is a dapp platform designed for business.
- Cardano (ADA). Launched in 2017, Cardano is an open-source smart contract platform built in the Haskell programming language. It’s also one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Beyond 2018: What does the future hold for Ethereum Classic?
Looking towards the second half of 2018 and beyond, there are two main challenges facing Ethereum Classic: achieving widespread adoption and tackling the scalability problem.
Breaking into the mainstream will be a big hurdle. Not only is this a very crowded and competitive space, but ETC must also go up against its bigger and much more established older brother.
While Ethereum Classic is not yet facing the same volume of transactions as the Ethereum network, the development team is planning for the future with the introduction of sidechains. The team admits this will be a big and very challenging task, and whether or not it’s successfully achieved in 2018 could have a big impact on the price of ETC in future years.
The team’s focus on bringing Ethereum Classic to IoT should also be watched with interest. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from ETC to check how it’s tracking towards the goals outlined on its roadmap.
The bottom line with Ethereum Classic (and with any other cryptocurrency) is that you should always do thorough research before you buy. With a strong focus on development and a clear plan for the future, ETC definitely has potential. However, there are significant hurdles to be overcome before that potential can be realised, so carefully assess a wide range of ETC price factors before deciding whether or not you should buy any tokens.
At the time of writing, the author holds IOTA and XLM.