Ethereum Classic surges after support from Buterin and AntPool

Vote of confidence from Vitalik Buterin buoys breakaway crypto

Ethereum Classic receives $10m in investment from AntPool – Photo: Shutterstock

Ethereum Classic – the six year-old hard fork of Ethereum – has seen its market capitalisation jump more than 87% from $2.02bn on 1 July to $3.79bn today.

Although partly a consequence of a moderate recovery in the wider cryptocurrency market, the recent momentum behind ETC has been driven by two specific factors.

Promise of Ethereum 2.0 launch

Amid the turmoil of the recent crypto winter, such as the collapses of crypto lender Celsius, the original Terra LUNA cryptocurrency and the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, one source of optimism recently has been the impending launch of Ethereum 2.0. 

The shift in the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake (PoS) system is expected to be completed on 19 September. However, there are still critics of PoS, which validates blocks through users who hold and stake tokens instead of mining blocks by solving complex mathematical problems.

This week, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said that those who want to stick to proof-of-work had many options including Ethereum Classic. He added: “It’s not even a joke. If you like proof-of-work you should go use Ethereum Classic. It’s a perfectly fine chain.” 

While some may doubt whether being described as “perfectly fine” really amounts to an endorsement, Buterin’s comments drove ETC’s price higher. 

AntPool invests $10m in ETC ecosystem 

This momentum was kept alive on 26 July when the AntPool announced it had invested $10m to support the Ethereum Classic ecosystem, reported CoinDesk

Speaking at Bitmain’s World Digital Mining Summit, Lv Lei, the CEO of AntPool, which is affiliated with mining rig giant Bitmain, said that the company planned to continue to invest in the ETC ecosystem for the foreseeable future. 

As of 27 July, ETC was trading at $27.92, up by 68.37% in the past 30 days, according to CoinMarketCap.

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