In a classic rivalry story, the tale of the two Ethereums is well known. In June 2016, about $50 million USD worth of Ether was stolen from various accounts.
It used certain vulnerabilities that had been raised in a research paper, just a month prior, that discussed a list of security concerns with the system. As a countermeasure, the Ethereum community voted in July to implement a hard fork in the Ethereum code.
This would move the Ether taken away to a new smart contract and would subsequently be restored to the original owners. The only problem, as some members pointed out, is that it violates the principle of immutability, the blockchain cannot be altered. Thus some in the community continued to use the unforked version, the Ethereum Classic.
These seeds of a dispute between the second and sixteenth largest cryptocurrency, stemming from the above mentioned DAO hack has ensured ongoing tensions in the crypto verse. The separate Ethereum networks have stayed mostly aloof of the other, apart from the occasional snide remark. However, recent comments and actions seem to suggest that this might be coming to a long-awaited end.
Ethereum Foundation recently made a comment: “The divorce was bitter, the narcissism of small differences will continue to raise its head within our two communities. But deep down, the ETC community will always be a part of us by both history and vision.”
This was in reaction to the news that the Ethereum foundation had discovered about 15000 ETC in a cold wallet. Of all the things they could have done, they chose the high moral ground. The platform announced that they will be donating all of the 15,000 ETC to their Ethereum Classic Cooperative counterparts.
The foundation feels it is time to move on and begin the healing process. To this end, investing in ETC will ensure the maintenance of a long-term positive-sum relationship. In addition, the Ethereum foundation acknowledged that the move could unite both the platforms or at least help “to bury the hatchet” to a certain degree.
The hope is that this will create an opportunity, to see the shared vision and technology that exists between these once unitary communities. Thus help foster the understanding that having a positive working relationship is in both their mutual interests.
This donation, according to sources is also because the Ethereum Foundation also implicitly acknowledges that Ethereum Classic has some quality engineering. Some of the new and exciting projects that are on the horizon such as SputnikVM and the Emerald Platform are of particular interest. SputnikVM is a more efficient virtual machine for a multitude of Ethereum-based blockchains. While the Emerald Platform allows developers to create tools for Decentralizes apps.
While the intentions seem genuine, however, it remains to be seen if this nascent step to reintegration is reciprocated or rebuffed. Any effort by the communities to collaborate will only help towards a better ecosystem. With the established power of ETH and the intriguing projects in ETCs pipeline, it will be interesting to see how this story pans out.