Coinbase’s decision to list Ethereum Classic (ETC) in mid-June blindsided the crypto community; the immediate reaction sent ETC up from around $11 to $16. As the rest of crypto suffered in a month-long bear market, Ethereum Classic bucked the trend; its total value increased by nearly $800m.
Crypto Briefing looked into how the listing had effected Ethereum Classic, a month after the initial announcement. The coin received a higher profile, with ETCDEV’s Igor Artamonov giving two interviews in a week; two more than he’d given in the past year.
Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission approving ETC as a coin to be used in domestic ICOs; ETCDEV reaffirmed their commitment to mining; the community looked at implementing a sidechain infrastructure to address scalability concerns.
But what has the listing meant for the community? Have there been any noticeable changes coming off the back of the news?
‘A set of ideals’.
Anthony Lusardi is the Director of the Ethereum Classic Cooperative (ECC), a body which oversees and directs received capital into various individuals and projects contributing to the community.
Lusardi explains how he was an enthusiast for Ethereum (ETH) long before the community split into two separate projects. Following the hard fork, Lusardi says he started out by volunteering for ETC. “What drew me to Ethereum Classic was it wanted to stay true to the ideology: it had a set of ideals”, Lusardi explained.
Following the split in 2016, Lusardi says the beginning of Ethereum Classic was “very exciting”, but it became hard. Interest began to wane and because it was initially voluntary, work commitments soon got in the way.
Although a lot of people still agreed with the principles of Ethereum Classic, there was a constant stream of people moving over to Ethereum, which at the time was going from strength to strength. “The year after [the hard fork] was quite demoralizing,” says Lusardi. “It seemed as if we were the only ones shouting from the rooftops; no one seemed to care about what we stood for”.
After becoming ECC Director in February, part of Lusardi’s role is now to increase the public’s awareness of Ethereum Classic and showcase its benefits. As well as online initiatives, he’s also organizing the second annual ETC summit (taking place in Seoul in mid-September) which aims to bring the community together to work on existing ideas as well as explore new uses for the ecosystem.
He admits the Ethereum Classic Coinbase listing has done much to increase the project’s exposure, with a noticeable uptick in newcomers joining the community over the past few months. However, as someone who’s stayed with the project through thick and thin, Lusardi’s happy that he’s seeing returning faces. “People are returning back to Ethereum Classic and [we’re seeing] a revitalization of many long-time ETC community members”, Lusardi adds.
Vindication: Ethereum Classic Coinbase Listing
Just last week, the crypto management company Grayscale Investments – part of the Digital Currency Group (DCG) – disclosed its second largest holding was ETC, worth $90m. The firm originally started investing back in April 2017 (when ETC was averaging at around $3) because it believed the market underappreciated Ethereum Classic.
Lusardi says being listed on Coinbase will make Ethereum Classic far more accessible. With 20m users, he hopes it will be an opportunity to attract people directly into the ETC ecosystem.
The listing means more at a deeper level, though; Lusardi feels like it has been a vindication for the Ethereum Classic community. Sticking to the founding principles hasn’t always been easy, but he hopes the increased exposure will help spread ETC’s message.
“Blockchain gives us a set of rules that we all agree to,” Lusardi says. “If we start tampering with an immutable ledger, then what’s the point? There are already plenty of solutions out there for this, we don’t need the blockchain.”
Being listed on Coinbase is a boost for any project. The exchange has a strict new asset policy where a coin has to pass through a series of risk and legal assessments before a decision can be taken by Coinbase’s executive board. These assessments take into consideration a coin’s legitimacy and security, as well as its long-term viability and use-cases.
Ethereum Classic now has a (Coin)base to work on; but for a project so ideologically committed to the decentralized agenda, it’s ironic that their long-term future may have been secured by a centralized institution.
The author is invested in ETH, which is mentioned in this article.