Tomorrow Ethereum Classic marks its fourth anniversary.
In fact, four years have passed since the Ethereum fork that led, after the DAO bug, to the splitting of the two blockchains.
Considering that not everyone has been in this sector since the beginning, it is fitting to summarize the history before moving on to the events that led to the birth of this blockchain.
In 2015 the blockchain world was disrupted by Vitalik Buterin who created the Ethereum blockchain, which was the first blockchain to create Turing-complete smart contracts.
Developments on the Ethereum blockchain went on non-stop and in April 2016, precisely on April 5th, the Slock.it company founded by Stephan Tual, launched what would go down in history as The DAO.
The smart contract of the project was reviewed and audited by Deja Vu Security (now gone) and detected only minor but solvable problems.
At that point, at the end of the same month, the fundraising started and all those who interacted with the smart contract received DAO tokens.
To ensure the integrity of the system, The DAO proposed to use $1.5 million in ETH from the fund itself.
In a single month, The DAO raised $150 million and 16% of the entire supply at the time, but on the day the fundraiser closed, Vlad Zamfir pointed out that there were bugs.
At the beginning of June, after almost 2 weeks, Peter Vessenes revealed the existence of a criticality that was found in several smart contracts created using Solidity, through which the funds could be drained.
This risk was underestimated and Stephan Tual himself downplayed the problem by declaring that the funds were safe.
But on June 17th the ETH began to be withdrawn and Griff Green announced that The DAO had been hit by an attack, plummeting the price of ETH by almost half.
Thus, the countdown began immediately in order to find a solution and implement a soft fork. Meanwhile, a group of “white hats” had secured 70% of The DAOs funds, but the criminals managed to steal 30%.
Due to the hurry, a soft fork was deployed but it contained another vulnerability problem related to DoS (Denial of Service) and so it was decided not to use it.
Eventually, the last available option was considered: to fork the network, and so Ethereum Classic was born.
A few hours after the event, the Ethereum Foundation used a controversial system to determine the activation of the fork and so on July 20th, 2016, at the 1,920,000th block the DAO bailout took place, saving it and recovering all the funds that had been stolen.
When a fork of this type occurs, the initial chain tends to die within hours and days, but surprisingly, this chain was still supported by miners and, as if that wasn’t enough, these new tokens, renamed Ethereum Classic (ETC), were included in several order books.
In those weeks Ethereum maximalists publicly attacked this new blockchain and also agreed to create a mining pool, 51Pool.org, to destroy it through a 51% attack. The attempt failed.
Over time things improved for Ethereum Classic until, last year, it suffered a 51% attack that unfortunately was successful, but this didn’t stop the blockchain from continuing and strengthening. Only last month, the third fork of the network took place to upgrade it and align it with that of Ethereum.