Ethereum had a bad breakup after the DAO hack, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stay friends. Although relations have been occasionally frosty between the Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) communities, developers from both sides say that the chill is beginning to thaw.
As relations improve, the blockchains are starting to share more – both ideas and talent.
Bob Summerwill is a blockchain developer who has been lauded for his ability to contribute to major projects, including the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys. Now he has been named the new executive director of the ETC Cooperative, making it his mission to mend fences between the ETC and ETH teams.
Summerwill caught the attention of ETC Cooperative when he was the keynote speaker at the Ethereum Community Conference last March, and again at an ETC summit in September. The tone was similar at both events, where he proclaimed: “I would like the ETC community to be seen as it actually is, a strongly principled group of people who develop useful technology.”
Stevan Lohja, Technology Coordinator at Ethereum Classic Labs, told Crypto Briefing:
Vibes between ETC and ETH are improving. ETC Coop, ETC Labs Core [and] ETC Labs are already collaborating with ETH folks. Bob Summerwill isn’t the first nor the last from ETH to pursue contributing to ETC initiatives.
While he landed the job through thanks to his contributions to the blockchain ecosystem, his strong convictions likely helped. Summerwill says he would like to see more developers building on ETC and contributing to the multiple codebases.
At ETC Coop, Summerwill’s new job will be focused on growing the ecosystem and building awareness around all things ETC. He told Crypto Briefing:
I especially want to make clear that the work happening is all “Ethereum.” It is all EVM. It is all closely related, and we can all learn from each other, no matter what happened in the past.
Summerwill is looking forward to a future that is multi-chain, one that has years worth of infrastructure building to come.
The idea of a single monolithic chain “winning” is not reflective of the whole of the history of human progress. The cut-throat competitiveness in such an early stage technical makes little sense to me. We should act more like siblings than like mortal enemies.
One way that this can begin, he suggests, is for ETH and ETC communities to “go to each other’s parties!”
Punching Below Their Weight
Philosophical disagreements aside, the similarities between the two Ethereum protocols are still far larger than their differences. That raises opportunities for fruitful cross-pollination between the two blockchain ecosystems, as well as mutual improvement.
“I think that the whole industry is punching well below its weight because of all of the infighting while no projects are ‘production grade,'” Summerwill said. “Talk to people working on similar projects. You are likely working through the same problems. Blockchain projects are not religions.”
But there’s one thing both sides can agree on: as convenient as it is to regard the smaller blockchain as the junior sibling, Ethereum Classic is not a fork of Ethereum.
Ethereum Hardfork Coordinator and Parity Technologies Release Manager Afri Schoedon explained: “Technically speaking, Ethereum did a hardfork and Classic did not. So saying ETH forked away from ETC is kind of correct with the minor nitpick that ETC technically didn’t exist before ETH forked.”
Now that that’s cleared up, we’ll let the devs get back to building. And for those blockchain developers who may be hunting their next project, Summerwill has some pearls of wisdom. He’s not pulling any punches, however.
It is really rough. My best advice to anybody would be to contribute to existing open source projects. Build your GitHub profile. Demonstrate competence. Be visible. Be helpful. Participate on mailing lists, Slacks, Gitter channels, etc. Many projects will look to such individuals when they are looking to hire because they already know you.
It worked for him. Perhaps for his next trick, Summerwill might persuade Craig Wright to give the Lightning Network a go; but until then, he’ll have his work cut out for him with Ethereum Classic.
The author is invested in digital assets, but none mentioned in this article.