Ethereum Classic (ETC) vs. GDAX Digital Asset Framework

On June 11th 2018, Coinbase announced its intent to add full support for Ethereum Classic (“ETC”) to all but one of its products, with the possibility of supporting it across all products given healthy market conditions. Coinbase had previously enabled withdrawal support for ETC in 2016, but only for users who would have had an ETC balance as a result of the hard fork.

This article examines ETC’s performance against the GDAX Digital Asset Framework provided by Coinbase.

📝 The Scorecard

💯 Scoring System

I will keep the category format consistent with that of the GDAX Digital Asset Framework and analyze each category on a point system:

  • 0— Negative. Does not satisfy requirement. No points earned.
  • 1 — Positive. Satisfies requirement. One point earned.

Each category will be worth one point and the final score will be expressed as a ratio of points scored/total possible points.

❗ Disclosures

  • This article is for educational purposes only.
  • I am not a licensed Financial Advisor, Attorney, or anything else.
  • I own a small amount of ETC acquired as a result of the hard fork.

🤔 Conclusion

ETC scored 22/39 points (56.4%) on the GDAX Digital Asset Framework.

👍 Strengths

ETC earned perfect scores in the Legal & Compliance and Crypto Economics sections. It scored 6/7 in the Market Supply section. This is consistent with recent remarks made by Dan Romero (Vice President and General Manager of Coinbase) to CCN:

Dan Romero, the vice president and general manager at Coinbase, acknowledged that the cryptocurrency community generally responded to the ETC integration with astonishment. He emphasized that Coinbase’s decision to integrate ETC was mainly fueled by its compliance with local regulations. (CCN)

It is noteworthy to point out that Coinbase’s announcement of its full support of ETC came just three days prior to the SEC’s announcement that it does not consider Bitcoin or Ethereum to be securities.

👎 Weaknesses

ETC scored 5/14 in the Technology section and 2/7 in the Market Demand section, with particularly poor performance in Network Standards. Specifically, EtherMine controls nearly 50% of the global ETC hash rate (and has in recent times controlled over 50% of the hash rate), which significantly reduces the security and decentralization of the network. Additionally, there is no evidence of a growing developer base for ETC and the ETC GitHub is relatively inactive.

ETC lacks two key infrastructure elements necessary for a healthy ETC blockchain ecosystem — a browser interface (MetaMask) and decentralized exchanges. Note that ETC is currently incompatible with the growing number of decentralized exchanges on the Ethereum network, although advancements in blockchain interoperability may change this in the future.

🙏 Thanks

Thanks to Anthony Lusardi (Director of the ETC Cooperative and moderator of the Ethereum Classic subreddit) for providing valuable information and fact-checking parts of my analysis.

Bitcoin Compliance Professional