ChangeNOW AMA Recap With 5 Ethereum Classic Devs

By xqanxxx | xqanxxx | 14 Jul 2020

This article is a recap of the recent AMA session between the changeNOW Community and Ethereum Classic.  The session took place in ChangeNOW's Telegram Group on the 10th of July 2020. The ETC team was represented by Bob Summerwill (Executive Director at ETC Cooperative ), Elizabeth Kukka( Executive director at ETC Labs), Roy Zou (Chairman at ETC Consortium), Dexaran (Founder at Ethereum Commonwealth), and Classic Kevin (Community manager at ETC).

The following text are the essential points of the AMA session and have been edited for clarity

Background Information of ETC Team Members


Q: Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself: what are your interests and hobbies, how did you become familiar with crypto, and what was the impetus to start supporting ETC?

Elizabeth; Good Morning - Liz Kukka, ED at ETC Labs. Outside of work I like to read fantasy and popular-non fiction, spend a lot of time hiking, listening to music, and used to go to live shows prior to COVID. Found out about crypto in 2014, but watched on the sidelines for a couple of years. Found out about ETH/ ETC in 2016 and was interested in the smart contract aspect. Started hosting a panel on data ownership and security while working at Plug and Play Tech Center. And was super stoked to have an offer to join ETC Labs in 2018

Dexaran: I'm a security engineer and I was interested in crypto long before Ethereum came into existence. I was following Ethereum since its very beginning however I was not involved in the project that much. TheDAO hack was one of the most interesting events for me and it was what brought me into the ETC community. I still consider ETC as the "moral winner" and "the right chain" even though I understand that Ethereum Foundation could not make another decision to solve the problem of stolen funds rather than force the hard fork.

I had my own vision of ETC development so I decided to join the project and started to work on what I considered the most important parts to improve.

Bob: A1 - I am Bob Summerwill, Executive Director of the ETC Cooperative, a non-profit which supports ETC. I first got involved with crypto in 2014 and went full-time in 2015. I have been a professional software engineer since 1996, spending the majority of my career in video-games, working for EA Sports. I've got 3 boys, so have little time for hobbies, though I do enjoy gardening, travel and playing soccer. I previously worked for the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys, so had a front-row seat for the DAO. I always had a soft-spot for ETC and got the opportunity at ETC Coop after taking up the offer to speak at ETC Summit 2018 in Korea.

Kevin: Hey everyone! I first "got in" to bitcoin and crypto around 2014, while at school. I heard about it way earlier but thought it wasn't legitimate. Around 2014 is when I started to take it seriously, especially during the theDAO attack. After that resolution, I became more active in ETC as a volunteer. Then soon after I joined IOHK as a community manager, now I am working with the ETC Cooperative as their new manager.

Roy: Hi, my name is Roy, I am an engineer, engaged in Cryptocurrency community since 2011, doing some translating and educating jobs for the blockchain Chinese community. I am an organizer of the Chinese community of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic. Since Sept. 2016, I am leading Ethereum Classic Consortium(China) as an organization to promote the principles of Blockchain in China.
In 2020, I joined ECC(Ethereum Classic Cooperative).

My interests including reading, traveling, and watch movies.

Q: What are the most special features of ETC and what contribution has your team already made to the project?

Elizabeth: Some pretty cool features that can be utilized on ETC include OpenRPC

A second would be the communities commitment to client innovation, such as CoreGeth

Bob: To my mind, what is unique about ETC is that it has a hard-money native token, with a fixed emission schedule, like Bitcoin, but also has all the smart contract functionality of Ethereum.

Dexaran: I would say that I made a lot of research on alternative smart-contract development platforms including EOS, TRX, and some others. I would conclude that newer smart-contract platforms greatly outperform Ethereum-based platforms. As a result, I would call immutability the most important feature of ETC. If you want a truly immutable chain then you have no better choice than ETC. However, the capabilities of newer smart-contract platforms and DAPPs that could be developed on top of them are much wider.

I won't call Ethereum smart-contracts a big benefit as these are prone to be outclassed by newer platforms. The first smart-contract platforms are at a stage of 1980s computers. Imagine how far these are to what is needed to make smart-contracts actually usable.

Roy: For my take on ETC is decentralization and censorship-resistant. This is the only reason I joined Bitcoin in 2011, and ETC in 2016.

Kevin: I'd say its grassroots nature, true decentralization, and a high degree of focus on trust minimization. It's inherited everything from ETH. It doesn't have the crazy features like sharding, staking, or a treasury but that doesn't make it less of a quality blockchain. ETH tech with BTC philosophy.

Dexaran: The Ethereum Commonwealth was founded with the main goal of saving Ethereum CLassic ecosystem from deprecation. I had a different vision towards the project development compared to those of ETCDEV and IOHK. We independently raised funds and started working on identifying and solving problems that other teams did not pay attention to. During the first days of ETC we were improving the ecosystem by developing ClassicEtherWallet, python lang online compiler (which was not that widely used, however), and establishing a high bandwidth RPC node.

We keep the whole history of our financial activity in an open financial report which is still available to everyone.

Later, we focused on the most pressing issue of all smart contract-systems: (1) DAPPs are prone to hacks and (2) the root of this problem is not hackers being too smart but DAPP devs being too irresponsible. Our mission was focused around developing a security system that would significantly improve fault tolerance of DAPPs (mainly by forcing DAPP devs to be more attuned to security measures). We have a working prototype of the system at our second project Callisto Network: Security DAO.

However, the model of Callisto Network relies on the implementation of a governance system. We have proposed our ideas at ETC alongside the Treasury model proposed by Charles Hoskinson (we have a prototype of IOHK Treasury proposal implemented in a smart-contract layer). All the source codes are currently available and all the proposed features could be easily implemented if the community would reach the social agreement on this.

Q: How do you see the future of ETC? Can you share any info about the updates you plan to offer to the community?

Kevin: ETC has much more of a conservative development style, what it lacks in special features like treasury it makes up in its security and network safety

Elizabeth: Well, ETC will stay PoW despite some other trends that you see popping-off left and right.

And, by keeping with PoW the community can provide reliability to devs., miners, investors, etc... PoW is longterm viability

Dexaran: Although the proposed security auditing system is not the final result. I plan to modify the system, and I will come up with a new proposal if it will be possible to abstract the Security DAO from the implementation of the governance system. I would support any governance system proposal, however. I think that the on-chain governance system is what the industry needs but we don't have perfect implementations across nowadays projects yet.

For such a security auditing system it is important how the security audit reports are kept. Here comes the immutability property of ETC: if the reports (or even report hashes) are stored on a completely immutable blockchain then it is a reliable proof of the security audit validity. While ETC is not really a competitive smart-contract development platform compared to EOS or TRX it can still serve as a security ensurance platform in my opinion.

Elizabeth: For updates, there are plenty. Interoperability being one.

For example, POA Networks and token bridge

Bob: Or even more recent, Chainbridge

Many people within the ETC ecosystem see ETC as the long-term POW alternative to ETH 2.0, with a decreasing rate of change to the protocol itself. Lots can be done with L2 projects, and that is preferable to L1 changes.

Roy: I see ETC has a bright future! Don't forget it, we are still in the early stage of Cryptocurrency. ETC can be a smart contract network powering many fields like finance, IoT, governance, and even the entertainment industry.


Questions From The Live Session


Q: What is the structure of the company, is it a decentralized, open-sourced protocol where everybody can contribute? If so, how does the governance plan on being handled?

Dexaran: While ETC is a decentralized project the real power is the ability to push your changes to be implemented in a hard fork. This is up to the social layer of the project i.e. "community" and the willingness of exchanges to support the particular hard fork.

Even though I was an ETC developer at the early stage, not all my proposals were implemented.

Q: ETH vs ETC. What's the key difference? Why should I choose you?

Elizabeth: ETC has lower competition for transactions so it's easier to develop against ETC. A lot less bloat, and a dedicated + available community for support if you're going to start building on ETC

Q: How does Gödel Labs Blockchain incubator help in the development of ETC? Does Gödel Labs focus on ETC?

Roy: Gödel Labs is a blockchain venture studio based in China, it is also an incubator. We focus on the whole Blockchain ecosystem, but ETC is definitely our important part.

Q: For most of the new smart contract platforms, the ecology of Ethereum seems like a big mountain, whether it is a developer ecology or community ecology, it is very huge. What does Ethereum Classic think of the Ethereum ecosystem? What are your thoughts on absorbing and dealing with Ethereum ecology?

Kevin: ETH is much larger in many ways than ETC. You must remember for the first 3 years of ETC's life it was just surviving with no funds from a Premine, ICO, free ETC dumped on the market price. ETC is much like BTC in that it is volunteers just working on a project with no creator or leader. ETH is by no doubt the winning standard for smart contracts, unlike these eos types. ETC has a much smaller dev ecosystem, but over time it has grown and continues to grow in general. Ethereum cooperation isn't all bad. There are some really cool people over there but I don't think ETC will be migrating into ETH or becoming a shard of ETH or something. 

Q: Can you explain the relationship between Ethereum Classic and the Callisto Network project?

Dexaran: Callisto Network was started as an independent "prototype" project to implement the changes that were proposed for ETC.

Another mission of Callisto is to enhance the overall security of the crypto industry and we provide security audits for smart-contracts. We were providing free fo charge security audits for ETC smart-contracts earlier but this feature is temporarily disabled. We will be happy to provide free security audits for ETC contracts once we finish the internal reorganization of the auditing system.   Most of our proposals that came from Callisto were rejected by ETC community which is mostly tied to the proposal of the governance system. It seems that no one is interested in one on ETC however this cuts down the rest of the opportunities.  

Q: What have you put in place for global expansion and partnerships?

Kevin: ETC has always been a global project with teams, devs, and volunteers from all over the world. It is not only focused on one market. Organizations in ETC have secured fantastic partnerships already like with WhiteBlock, ChainSafe, EEA, all Labs's startups, and Gitcoin as well. Slowly ETC will catch in in that respect. There are plenty of users and activity in this project's ecosystem. And much of it is a meaningful activity from dApps.

Advantages of holding it long term are IMO better than short. It will take time for some 2000 coins to fail completely, be shut down, or begin to stack up with secure base layer chains on the bottom and L2, L3, L4 on top.

Q: DeFi is one of the hottest topics in the blockchain space right now. Can $ETC share your opinions on DeFi with us? Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system? What is the Unification approach towards the DeFi sector?

Elizabeth: ETC can participate in DeFi by way of Chainbridge, right now. And a MakerDoa announcement will be coming out shortly. Making sure the community has access is always a good thing, having choices. When it comes to traditional financial systems, seems like change is already happening with JP Morgan Chase banking Coinbase + Gemini, and PayPal/Venmo providing buy/sell crypto within the coming months in the US.  

Q: What is the plan of ETC to SECURE its investors Against 51% attack or other attacks in the future? The Hashrate is far lower compared to ETH, so these attacks are still possible So what’s our resolution to this important point?

Dexaran: We have the implementation of PirlGuard at Callisto Network. We have far lower hash rate even compared to ETC even though Callisto is almost immune to 51% attacks and we have survived a lot of them and learned the hard way.

Our implementation can be copy&pasted to ETC. I'm ready to coordinate the process if necessary.  

Q: Every industry is severely affected by the egregious situation of the Covid-19 outbreak. Does it affect the growth of $ETC and its? What are your plans to turn challenges into opportunities for $ETC development?

Elizabeth: Great question! COVID has locked a lot of us down but it's also encouraged more global collaboration. For instance, I've seen more folks from across the world attend events, present their work, etc... because the can Zoom or Skype in, instead of flying to a conference paying for hotels, etc... So it's really helped us meet more people, and have great diversity. We also have a partnership with UNICEF and commitment to supporting projects that are impact-oriented in emerging markets, it's great to be able to support communities that are often overlooked, specifically during COVID.  

Q: ETC/ETH keeps growing and making more developments. What are your major priorities to achieve your main goals? What are the steps you've taken to keep these developments?

Elizabeth: Decentralized storage, interoperability, and scalability. We are working on all 3. Collaboration with Storm and a couple of other teams on storage, Chainbridge and TokenBridge for interoperability, and looking at different stateless client solutions for scalability

Q: What is the most innovative feature does makes ETC different from ETH?

Roy: On the technology side, they are almost the same! Yes, before ETH goes to ETH2.  

Q: How does Ethereum Classic provide privacy to user data?

Dexaran: From what I know ETC has no privacy protocol implementation. The user data is not available through the chain as you only use hex addresses on ETC. So if you don't know who owns the 0x01000b5fe61411c466b70631d7ff070187179bbf address then you have no way to gather any data. Transactions are transparently available however so if you know who owns the address (and in case of a large organization you do know it) then it is easy to track their transactions.

The problem can be solved by transaction mixers and zk-snarks in theory.    

Q: Will ETC ever have staking?

Dexaran: I have made a staking proposal alongside my governance system proposal. As it was rejected I think that the current ETC community does not want the staking feature. As soon as the community may change I'm ready to propose and implement the staking feature myself.

Q: How do I set up an Ethereum node on Raspberry Pi?

Elizabeth: Great question and perfect timing, we just posted this article on how to do that

Q: Can you tell us what Ethereum 2.0 means for the ETC ecosystem? Or should we expect Ethereum Classic 2.0 as well?

Kevin: ETH 2.0 is filled with a lot of complexity and unproven technology. With ETH 2 you can expect a lot of "fix-it" or "rescue" forks. But ETC is not competing with ETH 2.0.


Bob: Thanks, everyone! ETC Discord always a great place for ETC questions:

Elizabeth: Thanks @ChangeNOWio! Have a nice day, everyone!

Dexaran: Thanks everyone for the chance to share our ideas.


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