Yesterday, someone sent out a tweet to the effect that Ethereum Classic (ETC) should rebrand to avoid getting confused for Ethereum. To this Charles Hoskinson replied that,
“Ethereum is free to change its name at any time.”
But does the name really matter? Is it a source of confusion? Well, it might have caused confusion in the early days, but at this point, there really is no confusion between ETC and ETH. Even a simple google search for Ethereum Classic (ETC) vs Ethereum (ETH) brings up tons of content, explaining the differences between the two. As such even for a crypto newbie, there really is no way that someone can confuse them. With all the information available online today, and for free, one would have to willfully ignorant, not to tell the difference between the two.
Besides, by looking at the details of each of them, it becomes even clearer that Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) have very different core fundamentals and philosophies. Ethereum Classic has held on to its core strength as an immutable blockchain. Unlike Ethereum, Ethereum Classic (ETC) maintains the code is law rule, which means that transactions cannot be reversed. This is a fundamental difference between the two chains that make it easy to distinguish them, even though they share a name.
The two are also quite different in the sense that Ethereum is looking to move to Proof-of-Stake mining, while Ethereum Classic (ETC) intends to retain Proof-of-work mining. While POS is more efficient in terms of energy consumption, POW still remains the most secure mining algorithm in the market, and also better positioned to maintain decentralization in the long-haul. That’s a fundamental difference between the two chains that will completely set them apart going into the long-run.
However, if there are people who still can’t tell the two Ethereum’s apart, the best way to deal with it is not to think of a name change, but to market ETC more aggressively, and make it more visible in the market, and it seems to be getting it right on this front. For instance, the listing on Coinbase gave it an increased presence in the market. Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the market, and their listing of Ethereum Classic (ETC) gave it an elevated standing in the market. There are lots of people who didn’t know about ETC and its core strengths that got to know about it during the Coinbase listing hype.
Such high profile listings and other ETC projects will lead to an increase in awareness for ETC. Other strategies include community-driven projects, and ETC seems to be doing well on this front too. The ETC has been engaging in lots of community meetups lately. The community has lately been organizing a host of community meetups all over the world. Such meetups are playing a huge role in creating grassroots support for ETC. Going by the growth that the ETC community has had in the recent past, it’s clear that the community is getting bigger. As it gets bigger, any kind of confusion between the two will disappear.
Besides, even if it’s about the name as a branding tool, Ethereum Classic (ETC) is the original Ethereum. As such, it is the ones that came later that can would need to change their names. Charles is actually right, if Ethereum wants to change its name, it can go ahead and do it. Though as things stand, the two blockchains are co-existing together quite well. The Dapps market is still in its infancy and will be large enough to accommodate both and many more.