Ethereum’s Two Ethereums Explained

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What started as an attempt to rescue investor funds in a high-profile project has resulted in a schism that has effectively split the community on the second-largest public blockchain.

The split is not only psychological. Thanks to the design of public blockchain systems, it is also technical, with competing visions manifesting in two very real blockchains, or versions of the project’s transaction history.

As of this weekend, there are now two groups working on two competing versions of a project called ethereum, a blockchain-based platform designed to enable decentralized application development.

If bitcoin envisioned how a distributed group of users could create and manage a currency, ethereum sought to allow a distributed group of users to create and manage a decentralized, uncensorable app store. (You can learn more in our latest CoinDesk Research report).

However, there are now two slightly different versions of this platform available to users – ethereum, the ‘official’ version of the blockchain maintained by its original developers, and ethereum classic, an ‘alternative’ blockchain maintained by a wholly new team.

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