ETC Went to EDCON

Or rather, The ETC Cooperative went, here’s what happened

A few weeks ago Virgil Griffith of Ethereum Foundation reached out to see if anyone from the ETC community wanted to attend EDCON. Some people might find this a bit odd, thinking that Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) are very different; or perhaps enemies.

However, if you look at ETH and ETC from a technical perspective we’re quite similar. We may be choosing different directions, solutions, and ideologies but our tech stacks are highly interoperable.

I hope I don’t need to explain this meme

What I Expected

Those that know me in the ETC community know I’m a pretty positive guy so I didn’t personally expect any insults that’s become common on the Internet. I just expected to go, chat a lot about Ethereum’s software, a bit about ETC, make some connections, have some disagreements, give a small talk, and head home. Nothing big, just an important step in healing the fracture between our communities.

Talking Tech

I felt very welcomed by the attendees, many were curious to hear about what ETC has been up to. I was more than happy to tell them about Emerald SDK, SputnikVM, and our Sidechains. We also talked about Ethereum, Plasma, Sharding, Casper, and it was great to see so much passion in blockchain with very few trying to sell me on their ICO.

I pleasantly surprised to hear that there’s several projects considering or using SputnikVM. One developer told me it was a “beautiful piece of code”. The developers at ETCDEV were quite happy to hear this.

“SputnikVM is a beautiful piece of code”

Talking Ideology

Often, without prompting, the conversation would steer towards ideology. Surprisingly I found about 3 out of every 4 people agreed with ETC’s immutability stance but felt there simply was more opportunity on the ETH side. The paths to Fiat are shorter, and there’s much more funding available. While we’re working hard to fix this on the ETC side it’s certainly true today. Although we do have our Ecosystem proposals :)

I also spoke with lots of Ethereum Foundation members, here about half of them agreed generally with immutability, but felt that forking is sometimes necessary. I disagree, obviously, but it was very nice to be able to discuss such things in a reasoned and open way. I even came away with a new perspective on what exactly I’m supporting when I talk about immutability; but I’ll save that for a different article.

Presenting on ETH + ETC

I talked about where ETC is now, and how the two chains can better work together in the future. It went great, even better than expected. Vitalik Buterin, Karl, Phil, and a lot of what I’d consider the “Ethereum crew” showed up to watch. I’m very happy they showed up. I also saw quite a few nods of agreement from Karl.

I spoke about the similarity of our current networks, the minor friction points we’re starting to see as a result of a lack of collaboration, and how both chains can benefit and complement each other in the future. I’ll be sure to share the link once the talk is up.

Cooperation

A lot of mutually beneficial things came out of EDCON. Most notably:

  1. We’re getting PeaceRelay ready for mainnet deployment. PeaceRelay is a way to move ETH and ETC across networks and back. This will be a joint effort between Ethereum Foundation and ETC Cooperative.
  2. Different ETC groups will be sending representatives to other Ethereum/Blockchain conferences and meetups. This is long overdue.
  3. Members of the Ethereum Foundation will be attending the ETC Cooperative Summit in Seoul, South Korea on September 12–13th. If ETC is welcome at ETH conferences then ETH is certainly welcome at ours. More details to follow on etcsummit.com.

Final Thoughts

Ethereum technology has existed for 3 years now, and ETH / ETC became a separate community almost exactly 2 years back. At the time of the split Ethereum’s mainnet was just a year old. We all have a very long journey ahead of us. We have not existed for long.

Blockchain itself is just shy of 10 years old. We’ll do better if we move forward together, sharing ideas and technology, rather than as insulated silos. Otherwise we risk losing the decentralization of blockchains altogether.