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April 25, 2022

What are the differences between Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Ethereum 2.0?

Welcome to the cryptohunt jam where we spend one minute a day to explain crypto. In plain english.

Today, let’s dig into the history of Ethereum and understand why there are several different versions of it.

At first, there was only one Ethereum - the original blockchain that is able to execute smart contracts. But it suffered a very costly hack in 2016: About $50m dollars worth of Ethereum were stolen by a single hacker.

The Ethereum community was looking at two paths forward at the time: Just move on and accept the hack, or roll back the blockchain to revert it. Think of it as going back in time in your bank account history, as if nothing new happened. 

Ultimately, both options happened simultaneously in a so-called “fork”. The original Ethereum lived on after rolling back and restoring the balances to before the hack, and a copy was split off that did not roll back. That copy is known as Ethereum Classic, and the modified original is today’s well-known Ethereum. They have operated completely separately since the split despite their shared origin.

That brings us to Ethereum 2. It is an upcoming, major update to Ethereum, which will bring much faster and more affordable transactions to the blockchain. And again, the blockchain will split in two - Ethereum and Ethereum 2. The creators assume though that most, if not all, participants will simply transition over to Ethereum 2, this time without fighting over the future.

And next time we take a brief look at the entire history of crypto.

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