Ethereum Classic World Computer Transactions Explained

The Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain makes possible an unstoppable, reliable, auditable, trustless and secure world computer. It exists to serve people. For this reason, it will turn out the system requires payments leading to transactions and receipts. These enable people to: send data, send funds, install programs, and, execute programs. All data, funds and programs are associated with accounts.


People initiate all activity. (Internet devices may also interact with ETC, but, they are always doing so on behalf of humans.) Therefore, an access control system is necessary. The ETC access control system relies on payments. These are made with transactions.


Transactions are data structures containing six elements: an address, datum, gift, offer, nonce and signature.


All transactions are sent to and from accounts. Accounts are specified by addresses. Transactions contain receiving account addresses. These are not used in program installation transactions as they require the creation of new accounts.


Transactions send data to accounts. Account programs (smart contracts) operate on the data they receive. In program installation transactions, the data are the program constructors. Constructors allow additional flexibility in program installation like programs that vary with block numbers.


Transactions can send monetary gifts to accounts. The amounts are denoted in units of aETC (10⁻¹⁸ ETC) or weis.


Resource requirements to execute transactions are measured in gas. Execution gas requirements may be unknowable beforehand, and, the required mining fees can vary. Therefore, transactions contain offers. These specify prices willing to pay per gas unit, and, the maximum gas units willing to purchase.


Accounts have counters denoting the number of transactions they have written to the blockchain. These counters are referred to as nonces. Nonces are included in transactions partially to protect against replay attacks.


For security reasons, sending accounts must digitally sign all transactions. Digital signatures are specified with three values using the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). The sending addresses of transactions can be determined from the digital signatures.


Transaction execution details are available in data structures referred to as receipts. Receipts are used by search engines and other applications.


Transactions are foundational to ETC. They allow humans to interact with it in a usable manner. Understanding transactions will help you become an ETC guru.


Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. You can also contact me by clicking any of these icons:


I would like to thank IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) for funding this effort.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Christian Seberino, Ph.D.

Written by

My goal is to serve the Ethereum Classic, Ethereum and related blockchain communities with educational materials including writings, podcasts, talks and videos.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade