An Interview: Terry Culver and Igor Artamonov on Ethereum Classic Labs

Terry, could you give us a brief introduction on the incubator?

Ethereum Classic Labs is one of the first incubators to support innovative projects on the Ethereum Classic Blockchain, helping to accelerate development of the Ethereum Classic community & ecosystem. We began preparing the incubator at the beginning of 2018, and we just recently opened for applications.

Why do you think ETC is a promising ecosystem?

First, we think that the current price of ETC is undervalued. Second, ETC provides a distinct advantage over other ecosystems as it is highly compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT). Last but not least, ETC is cultivating a thriving developer community.

ETC Labs stated that annually there will be three batches of programs. Who is going to be in your first batch?

We announced the launch of Ethereum Classic Labs on the 15th of May during Consensus 2018. We have received applications from a lot of startups and we’re in the process of reviewing all submissions. We have picked out some promising projects, and will make a public announcement soon. Please stay tuned.

Are there any other incubators focusing on Ethereum Classic?

There are several incubators targeting the blockchain industry, but currently we are the only incubator focused on Ethereum Classic.

What is going to make Ethereum Classic Labs successful?

Ethereum Classic Labs is backed by DCG, an active investing company which strongly supports blockchain based companies; DFG, a leading investment company with a diversified portfolio in both blockchain tech companies & digital assets; and Jack Lee from HCM Foxconn (founded by Honghai Group, one of the world’s top 500 companies).

We have the benefit technical support from the ETCDEV team, IOHK, and we recently received support from Bloq, the popular enterprise grade blockchain solution provider. From a business perspective, we have considerable investment experience and have assisted many startups to develop their products.

About the Ecosystem

What factors are important in creating an ecosystem for ETC?

Our mission is to attract talented developers and blockchain and crypto innovators to join us in growing the community. We are also actively searching for promising projects and ideas so we can help them to evolve into industry leaders.

Can you tell us a little more about the office space? How many teams can the offices hold? 
The selected teams have the opportunity to move into our office, located in downtown San Francisco with 6000+ square feet of open space. The office has a modern, open format, with furniture and chill-out areas for the teams to exchange ideas in. As for the number of teams to be selected, it depends entirely on the size of the teams of each startup.

What changes will the incubator bring to Ethereum Classic?

The incubator will help many different applications grow and mature through support, advice, collaboration, and investment, which is the core function of any blockchain ecosystem. Our incubator program is certain to bring in innovative developers to the ETC community. Turning these projects into a reality will create more use cases for Ethereum Classic, and drive demand and wider adoption.

On your website you have mentioned about providing ideas for the startups being one of the unique benefits of your incubator, what kind of factors do startups usually lack?

Startups often lack a network that can support he growth of the business, or provide perspective and advice. However, we have a ready-made network and connections within the industry which startups can take advantage of. We also provide opportunities for the startups to work collaboratively with blockchain industry leaders which allows them to shape their business models under expert guidance.

Igor, can you tell us about the development of the ETC ecosystem?

Ethereum Classic technology & code is continuously being developed by several independent parties and community developers; however, the ecosystem has other benefactors who contribute in other ways, such as the ETC Cooperative, which assists with marketing, external communications, organizing events, and providing support to critical infrastructure. The inception of Ethereum Classic Labs provides another major boon and is likely to be a catalyst which accelerates development of the ETC ecosystem through the funding and expertise provided to emerging talent.

Compared with ETH, what are the biggest advantages of ETC?

Having multiple dedicated sources of research, development & support from organizations such as IOHK & the ETCDEV team are certainly one of the largest advantages for ETC. Unlike ETH, which rallies around a single individual, ETC has nobody dictating the rules or the future of the platform, and instead relies on democratic and decentralized decision making.

The vision of ETC has diverged from ETH and considers smart contracts the ideal protocol to communicate and make agreements between machines. The ETCDEV team in particular is focusing on ensuring that Ethereum Classic will be the ideal platform for the IoT & other systems which require a decentralized base to avoid having a central point of failure.

As the two platforms’ code bases have not yet diverged to a large degree, it is incredibly easy for projects to migrate to the Ethereum Classic blockchain in order to take advantage of the many benefits of the ETC ecosystem.

What’s the plan for the ETCDEV team next year?

The current focus is on improving the scalability of the network through sharding and sidechains. They are just finishing the first Proof of Concept of ETC sidechains and are in the process of creating a pilot project in collaboration with a third party.

As previously mentioned, IoT is one of the main focuses for the ETCDEV development, they have plans to run the Ethereum Classic blockchain on embedded devices and create a fully functional side chain network for connected devices in late 2018/early 2019.

They are simultaneously providing tools to third party developers, to help them integrate their systems and build new software on top of ETC. (Summary of the ETCDEV plans: