The coin of the original ether blockchain, Ethereum Classic (ETC), which saw strong growth in March, has witnessed April as a month of decline.
Today (22 April) the price is down 4% to $35.37 meaning it has lost 32% of the value it had at the end of March. In contrast March saw it leap 94% in value.
Its sister coin ether (ETH) has followed a similar, if less dramatic, pattern over the last two months showing strong (42%) growth in March and a decline (15%) in April
This new price brings ETC's market capitalisation down to $4.76bn and dropping it to 32nd place in the league of cryptocurrencies.
It maybe that as ETH gets closer to its transfer to a proof of stake mining algorithm from proof of work while the classic ETC maintains the proof of work status, that the latter is proving to be a more popular - that is cheaper - as a store of value.
What are the substantive differences between ETC and ETH? What has been driving the price of ethereum classic?
This article looks at the latest news and developments from ETC, reviews some up to date ETC coin price predictions and analysis, and seeks to understand what is a realistic target price for the near future and expectations for the longer term.
Original Ethereum blockchain diverges after split
The Ethereum blockchain was launched in 2015 after two years of development by co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood along with Charles Hoskinson and Anthony Di Iorio.
Ethereum Classic was created from a hard fork, or split, in the Ethereum blockchain in July 2016 when the blockchain’s participants disagreed over how to respond to a hack of the decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) that resulted in the theft of 3.6 million ether coins.
Ethereum Classic is a continuation of the original blockchain, as it did not revert the blockchain to cancel out the impact of the hack. The participants held to the principle that “code is law”, while what is now the Ethereum blockchain was created by the split. Miners and exchanges supported both the blockchains, allowing the Ethereum Classic legacy network to continue with ETC as its native coin.
The two blockchains have diverged as the Ethereum blockchain moves towards a series of updates to create Ethereum 2.0, including a shift from the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm to proof-of-stake (PoS) mining algorithm.
There are no plans for Ethereum Classic to convert to PoS. There is also no official development team for Ethereum Classic, instead several development groups are working on updates to the open-source code. Recent attacks have affected the ecosystem, prompting blockchain infrastructure research and engineering company IOHK, which was founded by Charles Hoskinson, to launch the Mantis project to roll out upgrades and support the community.
Ethereum Classic operates as a smart contract network and can host decentralised applications (dApps). As the ETC price rises, the rewards miners receive for verifying blocks increases, incentivising more miners to join the network and increase its network security.
As activity on the Ethereum Classic blockchain fell, it became more vulnerable to attack. In January 2019, there was a double spend of $1m in ETC on the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange in a 51% attack, which can only occur if one entity or collective owns at least 51% of the network. Coinbase and several other exchanges paused ETC transactions, and the price dropped in response.
Last year the Cooperative started to support work on the Hyperledger Besu client and recruited key developers for the ETC Core Team. On 22 December it announced that development work on the Core-Geth client will be funded by the ETC Cooperative.
ETC price hikes to fresh high in 2021
One ETC was worth $2.08 when the blockchain split in July 2016. The price had fallen to $0.75 by November 2016, where it bottomed out. It then trended higher, accelerating to reach $46 by December 2017. The subsequent crash took the price back down to $3.76 by December 2018.
After the 51% attack in January 2019, ETC rose steadily to reach $9.33 by June, then it dropped back to $3.54 at the end of that year. The price climbed to $12.34 in February 2020, its highest level since 2018. A broad sell-off in cryptocurrencies saw the price drop to $4.51 in March 2020, and ETC traded in a range between $4-$6 for the rest of the year.
Rallying cryptocurrency prices and the renewed development activity on the Ethereum Classic blockchain have lifted the ETC price sharply since the beginning of 2021. Emergency upgrades by the Core-Geth protocol provider and the relaunch of the Mantis Client have increased confidence in the stability of the blockchain. On 26 April, the NOWPayments cryptocurrency payments gateway added ETC.
What is your sentiment on ETC/USD?
The upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain offered opportunities for Ethereum Classic to pick up users that may prefer the previous version. The Mantis IOHK Twitter account tweeted ahead of the Ethereum hard fork on 5 August: “Ethereum's move to PoS and Sharding may disrupt many in the community who prefer PoW and a strong base-layer approach to blockchain security. This is where #EthereumClassic becomes a viable alternative for #Ethereum projects to migrate to.”
Ethereum's move to PoS and Sharding may disrupt many in the community who prefer PoW and a strong base-layer approach to blockchain security. This is where #EthereumClassic becomes a viable alternative for #Ethereum projects to migrate to.#ETC @InputOutputHK #blockchain pic.twitter.com/CPKtGQbFzx— Mantis IOHK (@Mantis_IO) July 30, 2021
On 24 July, Ethereum Classic executed a hard fork called Magneto to implement a series of features from the Berlin hard fork on the Ethereum blockchain that happened earlier in the year, as these features offered network security enhancements.
On the price chart the ethereum classic line peaked at an all-time high of $176.16 on 6 May in 2021, then dropped back sharply as the cryptocurrency rally ran out of steam and prices crashed. As with other crypto prices, the market bottomed out on 22 June, dropping to a low of $32.51.
The ETC price rebounded to $62.01 on 30 June but dropped back to a low of $37.95 before starting a new rally. ETC reached $76.94 on 15 August, its highest level since the retreat from the May highs. October was a tough month with the price shedding 12% after an earlier surge in the month. At $25.3 on 15 March, it is 85% down from its $134 peak in May.
So, what is the outlook for the ethereum classic price?
Ethereum classic price prediction: will the price rebound?
CoinCodex’s short-term ethereum classic coin price prediction suggested the price will fall to $33.6 by 27 April. At the time of writing (22 April) the site’s technical analysis showed that with the ETC had first support level at $34.05 and resistance at $37.11. Its sentiment was bearish with eight bullish technical indicators against 23 bearish.
For a longer-term outlook, the ETC crypto price prediction from algorithm-based forecasting site WalletInvestor showed the price rising strongly to $63.1 this time next year. It goes on to make an ETC prediction of $169 by April of 2027.
In its ethereum classic crypto coin prediction DigitalCoin suggested the ETC price will average $46.62 in 2022. Its ETC forecast estimated the price could rise to reach $66 by 2025. Over the longer term, the coin’s value was forecast to average $161 in 2030.
The ETC price prediction from Gov Capital put the price of the coin at $65 this time next year, rising to $243 in five years.
The ethereum classic prediction from Coin Price Forecast was also bullish, more than doubling from $43 at the end of 2022 to $51 at the end of 2024 and $63 by 2030.
It’s important to keep in mind that cryptocurrency markets remain extremely volatile, making accurate predictions of what a coin’s price will be in a few hours very difficult, and even harder to give long-term estimates. As such, analysts and online forecasting sites can get their predictions wrong.
We recommend that you always do your own research, and consider the latest market trends, news, technical and fundamental analysis, and expert opinion before making any investment decisions. And never invest more than you can afford to lose.
Will the ETC price go up or down?
The direction of the ethereum classic price will depend on the way the protocol develops and further adoption, as well as the direction of prices across cryptocurrency markets. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets, making them riskier than other forms of investment. Whether ETC is a good investment for you depends on your personal circumstances. You should evaluate the level of risk you are prepared to accept before investing and never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
What will ethereum classic be worth in 2025 and 2030?
Predictions for the ETC price by 2025 vary, with some forecasters indicating the price will climb above $200, while others expect it to make smaller gains. Coin Price Forecast is bullish for the long term, predicting the price will exceed $100 by the end of the decade. Note that forecasts can and do get their predictions wrong. You should do your own due diligence before investing.