I am quitting Ethereum Classic.

My name is david. I have also sometimes gone by the handle “keepdoing”. I own the social media presence ETCisComing. This includes the website, twitter, facebook, slack and reddit presences. As a person who has been heavily involved in Ethereum Classic since day one of its existence, I have finally come to the conclusion that Ethereum Classic has no future, nor should it. Therefore I am shutting down the EtcIsComing Twitter and website, and have already at the time of writing liquidated most of my holdings into other, more sensible projects.

Nevertheless I feel that I owe it to the community to write this page, not only as a rationale for my actions, but as a warning to anyone invested in Ethereum-based assets.

I will start by saying that Ethereum Classic has not delivered on its (already questionable) value proposition. From the moment ETC was created, the community has tried to brand it as a more responsible and decentralized version of Ethereum. A lot of people had ideological issues with the way the DAO incident was handled, but more generally the community was concerned with the reckless and irresponsible actions of the Ethereum developers. This was a legitimate and noble purpose, as poor coding and negligence with regards to security by Ethereum developers has already resulted in millions and millions and millions worth of damage for individuals and businesses. Ethereum Classic's value proposition was that it was Ethereum, but (a) truly decentralized – not controlled by the Ethereum Foundation, and (b) minus the “move fast and break things” modus operandi.

The problem is that it has become apparent to me that Ethereum Classic is not, in fact, a responsible, long-term-oriented Ethereum – it is a crippled, sad wannabe Ethereum. It's a sour grapes version of Ethereum – and all the ideology is mainly just a show.

Let's talk about development, shall we? Ethereum Classic supposedly has three development teams. But who are these people?

1. The “Ethereum Commonwealth”. Ooh, sounds impressive, who are these guys?  "They" are actually just one guy – Dexaran – an anonymous guy from the Internet. Occasionally he's gotten some people (volunteers? Paid contract workers?) to help him, but mainly it's just him running the whole show. And this is something a lot of people kind of know but will not admit – there is a high probability that Dexaran is the one who “hacked” the DAO in the first place. Evidence:

A – He is probably one of a handful of highly competent Ethereum developers and security experts who could have pulled off the DAO incident at the time. He's also posted publicly on the record that he is very sympathetic to the DAO Attacker.  Nobody has any clue who he is either.

BThis post where he explains that his reason for developing on ETC is because he is concerned the chain will fade into obsolescence. If you're such a skilled Ethereum developer, why care? Why not just develop on Ethereum and leave ETC alone then? That is, unless you have a lot of money tied up on ETC.

Point is, if Dexaran is actually the DAO attacker (quite likely) then he has no incentive to support ETC long-term. If his plan is to develop a decentralized exchange, and also anonymity protocols on ETC – perfect for being able to liquidate the currently “tainted” ETC in the DAO attacker's address, perhaps? If that is the case then the so-called “Ethereum Commonwealth” is only here until the coins can be dumped on the market.

2. IOHK. The only real, professional company working on ETC development. But let's face it – IOHK's main project is not ETC, it's Cardano – a newer blockchain system also aiming to lead in the smart contract space. For every one developer IOHK has assigned to ETC, they have five working on Cardano – which is set to become a major competitor to ETC and Ethereum. What can ETC be but a testnet / playground for their main project? Charles Hoskinson (head of IOHK) is one of the most respected members of the ETC community and clearly one of the most competent developers alongside Dexaran. But although he will obviously never admit it to the public, he is already one foot out the door with Cardano, whose success is already becoming apparent.

3. ETCDEV. Considered the “main” development team for ETC. But they barely DO ANYTHING. It has taken them over a whole year to deliver on a simple monetary policy change (reducing the block reward and establishing a supply cap of ~210 M coins). This should be simple, but has taken from last October until now (the next December). Meanwhile their developers, mainly Splix, would continually stir up division and conflict within the community and alienate the other two dev teams. They have shot down very good proposals from IOHK on grounds of “decentralization” and “need for consensus” while in reality they do whatever they want without any regard for the community. Let us not forget that they are privately funded by an anonymous third party, despite the fact that they have called themselves volunteers and have asked for donations from the community.

So the state of ETC development is that there are three “teams” - (1) one anonymous guy who is possibly the DAO attacker, (2) a company mainly working on a directly competing product, and (3) a group that barely accomplishes anything while causing division and being totally untransparent and misleading. This criticism isn't new and was being commented on months ago.

And all of it shows. In the past year every other blockchain project has moved forwards by leaps and bounds. But what has ETC done? Last fall the hype was talk about monetary policy. In spring the hype was agreement about monetary policy. In summer the hype was that the code for the monetary policy had finally been written. Now it's December and the hype is that monetary policy is about to actually be implemented. Also a couple of wallets came out in the meantime (not that we didn't already have wallets, courtesy of Ethereum). Is this accomplishment? Is this a revolutionary disruptor of a technology? Hell, is this even anything remotely useful? I think not.

“But what about the price? The price has gone up, hasn't it?” Yes, it has. And this is the problem – the price has gone up based on what? Not because of any increase in the inherent value of the chain. It's gone up because we have one big-shot investor, Barry Silbert, who's gone to Wall Street and sold some people on it. It's gone up because of hype – it's been pumped. Any time anything at all happens everyone rushes to stir up enthusiasm as if it's a big deal – a major red flag that nothing is really moving forward. The biggest excitement for the past year has been the monetary policy – which is just an artificial restriction of the supply in order to make the price go up. But what is the utility of a higher price if the chain itself is no more functional, has no more use cases being developed, than a year ago? The only utility of a higher price in such a situation is the ability to sell for more profit – to dump.

The point I'm making is that the value proposition of Ethereum Classic is a sham. Everyone claims it's decentralized, but a handful of people control the development and the narrative. Everyone claims that ETC is more responsible than Ethereum – we would never spawn an “ICO boom” of questionable get-rich-quick-promising crowdfunded projects with no working products. But in reality the ETCDEV team is now closely associated with an ICO (with no working product) – Fractalide, and are trying to create a platform for launching ICOs (TokenMint). The whole ETC community acts like it has some sort of ethical superiority over Ethereum, but in practice they are trying to do the exact same thing – they're just doing a pathetic job of it so far with less resources. The big money in ETC is just pumping and dumping, while the ordinary people are left in a state of denial, deluding themselves into thinking that they're blazing some revolutionary path while they're really just following Ethereum's footsteps, but at a snail's pace.

All the above points are the reasons I have decided to sell all of my ETC. But there is also a much bigger reason why I am writing this, and why I have taken down my website and twitter account. The bigger reason is that Ethereum (including ETC) is a danger to the entire cryptocurrency space. Many (most?) of us in the space believe that blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the world's economic system – and to facilitate a massive transfer of power from the banks and corporations into the hands of ordinary people. But, there has been great resistance from the existing “system”, which has tried to characterize cryptocurrencies as nothing but unsafe, shady, and risky speculative assets (for example: Jamie Dimon calling Bitcoin a fraud). And this system still has one largely untapped weapon up its sleeve – regulation.

The recklessness that has been happening and continues to happen in the Ethereum ecosystem – including the multitudes of unambiguously illegal (and often shady) ICOs, and the long trail of damage left behind due to security errors prevalent in the system – strongly confirms the narrative that the establishment is spinning about cryptocurrency in general. Furthermore, this will be the doorway to a massive regulatory crackdown on all of cryptocurrency, the likes of which very few people will anticipate. Cryptocurrency is currently very under-regulated, and of course regulation is inevitable and healthy for its global adoption, but if the banks, corporations, and governments need any excuse to wage open war on the entire free cryptocurrency space, this is it.

Conclusion: I really am sad to say this, but I no longer believe in Ethereum, least of all Ethereum Classic, as either a viable investment or as a source of positive change. They have simply screwed things up too badly, past the point of no return. Fortunately, Ethereum is no longer the only major smart contract platform in existence – several other good and viable projects now exist – Cardano, as well as NEO, and EOS (although I am not so familiar with these two), and also IOTA has smart contract plans in 2018. And let us not forget about the Rootstock platform, which is very close to bringing smart contract capability directly to the Bitcoin network. 

It took me 3 months of stepping back and stripping my emotional attachments away in order to see things clearly.  This wasn't a decision taken lightly, nor a post written without trepidation.  But these things needed saying.  Please just strip yourself of emotional attachment and consider honestly these things written.  Best wishes to the individuals whom I have met while involved in this project, especially Classic_Kevin who has administered the day to day of ETCisComing recently (and who was not made aware of my decision until moments before, and who is a brilliant young man with a promising future.  Kevin, I am sorry that this will probably hurt you, but in this case the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the one). Goodbye.