In spite of adhering to the values of true non-interventionist decentralization, Ethereum Classic is an underdog. The battle of Turing-complete blockchains features more resourceful warriors who, despite choosing governance over immutability, seem to get more traction.
This happens, in part, due to the scaling debates and the constant need for decentralized applications to run smoothly. Being able to support millions of users who transact constantly is no small feat. However, Ethereum Classic has a plan to enable sidechains for every major application, thus retaining its decentralized and immutable main chain.
As we found out during the first part of our interview with ETC DEV Team’s Donald McIntyre, Classic looks promising. And when ETC Cooperative’s director Anthony Lusardi has reached to us, we decided to ask him more questions related to the original Ethereum blockchain.
Below you will find the first part of the interview with Anthony Lusardi, which mostly covers fundamental and general information about ETC’s state of affairs and development. The Cooperative director answers questions regarding the deployment of Dapps, running nodes, miners switching from ETH to ETC, the Classic roadmap, and the Ethereum Classic name itself. Enjoy!
Full transcript of the interview with Anthony Lusardi:
Vlad: Hello and welcome to another Crypto Insider interview. This is Vlad and today I will be talking to Anthony Lusardi, who is the US director of the ETC Cooperative. So hello Anthony!
Anthony Lusardi: Thanks for having me, I’m happy to be here.
Vlad: I’m happy to interview you too because there seems to be a lot of confusion in regards to the next Ethereum killer or the next platform to host Dapps and scale and provide true decentralization. And when people mentioned the alternatives for ETH, they seem to talk about, you know, TRON and EOS and all these platforms which I guess started from Ethereum and have the same fundamentals. But they overlook Ethereum Classic. Well, why do you think that happens?
Anthony Lusardi: I think it happens for a few reasons. I think for one, when you look at it, uh, obviously ETH and ETC have had success and long history of operation in general. And so when you’re a new entree like TRON who’s just copying some ETC source code or EOS where it’s, you know that, uh, what’s his name, Byte Masters’ third dysfunctional project. Uh, you end up in a situation where all they want to do is they want to attack Ethereum because they see Ethereum as the top, certainly as by market cap and by volume and it has a great deal of developers, so they don’t want to compare themselves to ETC. They, in my opinion, would be behind ETC for a lot of different reasons. And so they just kind of skip it. And you know, in general we’ve had, when ETC first started, we didn’t have any resources at all.
So we’ve grown quite a lot from there. And, that first year where we were just trying to get everything together really put us behind in a way because in people’s perceptions, because they were looking at Ethereum and Bitcoin and they said… well, Ethereum and Bitcoin have all these things, you know, ETC’s ideology is great and I agree with that. Why doesn’t anybody else have these same things? And so I think in general that just set us back a bit because people didn’t account for the fact that ETC, despite having a great potential here, we still had a lot of work to do, which we’ve now got it done.
Vlad: I see a lot of questions about how these decentralized and immutable blockchains can scale and it seems like the ETH blockchain is going to head towards sharding and Casper POS and Raiden and whatever big project they seem to promote and haven’t, you know, accomplished in the past two years. But what is the solution for ETC?
Anthony Lusardi: The ETC scaling solution is basically the practical solution that most chains are taking, like Bitcoin where you’re doing side chain stuff because you just can’t get the levels of decentralization and permissionlessness and this that we want by scaling on chain, at least not right now. And probably not for the foreseeable future, but yeah. So we’re just taking largely the side chain approach in terms of scaling, keep the main blockchain small and centralized and build things on top of that for when you need to do trade offs. You can do trade-offs but still have the main chain.
Vlad: Would you say that right now, ETC is easy to, you know, accommodate Dapps and anyone can deploy a sizeable, decentralized application on the blockchain?
Anthony Lusardi: It depends on what you mean by sizable. Uh, I don’t think there’s any blockchain out there that can deploy, you know, a Facebook or some sort of Google search or something. I think for smaller applications, yeah, absolutely. I think the thing is that people are going to need to learn over the next five or 10 years is exactly when to use the completely decentralized networks and when to use maybe something else. And I think in general that’s going to be something that a lot of developers are going to figure out and then end users won’t even need to be either that concerned or that aware. They’ll just get the benefits without having to do too too much. But of course, we want to be able to explain why you would use to sort of trade-offs to as many people as possible.
Vlad: Oh, I saw on your Twitter profile that you have this guide to deploy in an application and I think it was 50 minutes but less than one hour anyway. So would you recommend that to young developers want to experiment with blockchain?
Anthony Lusardi: Yeah, check it out. That particular article was written by somebody at Crypto Briefing, so that wasn’t an ETC Cooperative article. It was just somebody else would think it was Paddy Baker. And yeah, I read through it briefly. It looks good to me, you know. ETC Cooperative, we’ve been publishing some articles now on how to deploy applications on the ETC, blockchain. ETC DEV has the same thing. They have a lot of guides on there, on the ETC DEV team site and yeah, there’s a lot of information out there for how to easily or relatively easily deploy applications on blockchains. I don’t think any blockchain is very easy to develop for yet. But I think ETC is right up there with all the major blockchains as far as relative ease of development right now.
Vlad: I remember seeing a post by Jameson Lopp and he complained about the difficulty of running a full node with Ethereum. And he even had this very powerful system which he was running and it was unable to synchronize with the blockchain. But is the ETC blockchain easy to download? What is its current size? And is it easy to run a node?
Anthony Lusardi: Yes. So it’s not too hard to run a node right now. The total blockchain size really depends on the client you’re using. And I use Parity and I do just a regular sync on looking at somewhere between 15 and 28 gigs of data that you actually store. That’s for syncing a full node without fast sync, but not archival too. Because you don’t need to store everything to have a full node. And Jameson Lopp’s system that he was using to sync. So the ETC blockchain is obviously smaller than the Ethereum blockchain. So there is a lot of potential for issues with growth to create the same song as in ETC. But the benefit we have there is we’re now aware of these issues that it’s becoming harder and harder to sync the blockchain so we can do things like we can push for a lowering the gas limit, which is currently at around 8 million and just appears to be way too high a total for sinking purposes.
And yeah, just in general right now it takes about maybe 12 to 15 hours to sync an ETC full node. So it’s really not that bad. You can do it inside of a full day.
As far as Jameson Lopp. he had used a very beefy system and I know for the archival node that may not matter to too much because you get IO bottlenecks when you’re writing to the hard drive, or the SSDs in his case. And so that may have been overkill for that and you may not have actually gotten the performance benefit of having all those cores and that additional RAM. I think it was something like 24 gigs. But yeah, right now it’s becoming pretty hard to sync an Ethereum node, it’s taking about seven days, which is definitely worrying. And also worrying on the ETC side, because we share a lot of the same technology. But if you’re going to have a blockchain that does this Turing completeness and enables people to do all these sorts of things, you’re going to have to face these issues regardless. So I wouldn’t say it’s an inherent failure of Ethereum. It’s just the way things are and I don’t understand why people on the Ethereum side aren’t pushing for small block sizes because the moment I tried to actually sync one, which actually took seven days, I just became a small blocker immediately.
Vlad: I also noticed that in time, Ethereum Classic has begun to resemble Bitcoin in the sense that you’ve set a fixed supply and then you changed the difficulty time bomb and you basically realize that miners are very important and you don’t want to mess with them. Just like Ethereum (ETH) does when they want to switch to Proof of Stake. And by the way, do you expect ETH miners to switch to ETC as soon as ETH switches to Proof of Stake?
Anthony Lusardi: Yeah, I would expect ETH miners to move, especially when you’re talking about ASICs and there’s not too many other EThash. Well there are no that’s wrong. There are many other Ethereum-based chains, but as far as the most profitable one after ETH would be ETC. So I would expect them, you know, to move wherever it made economic sense for them to.
Vlad: I know that when people choose their investments, they just want to know which project has the best future, which one has something exciting on the roadmap. And what is the roadmap for ETC? Why would anyone invest in it and have hopes that it would become the next big block chain and the Turing complete project which actually succeeds.
Anthony Lusardi: Yeah. So ETC has a lot going for it and that. I mean for one, we have a very distributed set of groups working on us. We’ve got the ETC Cooperative, we have IOHK and ETC DEV doing the majority of the development and that we have ETC Labs who’s incubating a ton of projects for ETC. And we’re hoping to find more people, you know, even Parity Tech has supported the ETC network for a long time and we’re going to be working with them more soon. And just in general, I would say some of the main things that ETC offers are, we’re as far as tools we have like Sputnik VM, which is, and I’m trying to explain this simply, it’s just a very high-performance version of the EVM. It is probably the best performing version on average across all sorts of operations.
And that type of tech that we have on our side can be very valuable in our side chains and in our network in general, making it leaner faster when we talked about the scaling issues earlier. There’s potential there that operations pass through other EVMs make all a little bit slower and Sputnik VM give us a performance improvement there. And we’ve got Emerald project by ETC DEV, which is making developing applications a lot simpler on the ETC chain. One great example of the types of projects you could build is actually their Emerald wallet, which is based entirely on Emerald SDK slash platform, whatever they’re calling it now. And it’s just a great, it’s a very holistic set of tools to build Ethereum Classic apps. And so I think in general we’re not going to see… what we’re going to end up seeing and I think we see it already with even private blockchains largely adopting the EVM is we’re not going to see differentiation in scalability as far as main chain type things or these false promises that people give.
What we’re going to see a improvement on and where your value lies is in our principles and the tooling around it that really is going to make it easy for developers to use and adopt. So I see a lot of just general benefit there and it just kinda hard to dive into one specific reason why somebody would like ETC. I don’t want to like pull people for, to tell people to invest or buy the coin or anything. That’s not my job. There’s just quite a lot going on and I think right now we’re just have a bit of a communication issue.
Vlad: Do you think that the name ETC doesn’t really help the project itself develop? Because a lot of people say “Okay, this is like the poor man’s Ethereum, it’s not as well financed.” And they start to some principles which Vitalik Buterin who was regarded as, you know, a godlike figure in the community, ended up resenting eventually. And do you think that the name in any way stands in the way of the success of the chain?
Anthony Lusardi: Me personally, I’ve wanted to change ETC’s name forever. I didn’t want to fight that battle. But as far as the majority of the community, the majority of the community wants to be called, ETC, so that stays. But in general, I don’t think that’s going to be a major detraction for us. If anything, it helps people who are new to this space understand that in a lot of ways you get a lot of the same things on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, but what you don’t get are the principles that we stick to and you don’t get some things that come out of that.
Like for example, on the Ethereum side, there may be a lot of application developers that aren’t too worried right now about Dapps and the blockchain blow because sharding is coming and Proof of Stake is coming. Those are both very incredibly hard to solve problems that I don’t actually think are going to be solved in a reasonable time. So on the ETC side, you see, we’re not even focused on that. We’re focused on just providing developer tools and when you need high throughput you can just use side chains. So I’ve probably gotten a little away from the question, but I don’t see the name itself as too detracting from ETC right now, except maybe for newbies. I think newbies, it’s hard to explain to.