Major Ethereum Classic (ETC) Developer Updates Revealed for Q1 2019

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Stevan Lohja, the Technology Coordinator at Ethereum Classic Labs, recently published an extensive blog post, which has revealed several important updates regarding the ongoing development of Ethereum Classic (ETC), a Turing Complete and proof-of-work (PoW) platform for developing decentralized applications (dApps).

ETC Labs Core was reportedly launched in January in order to extend “support and move the Ethereum Classic ecosystem forward,” Lohja wrote. He added that during the course of the “first few months” of ETC Labs Core’s establishment, the organization “reached important milestones with ETC-ETH compatibility, vital data analytic tooling, fundamental specifications to improve the DApp development environment, and significantly grew the team with prominent developers in the blockchain space.”

Ethereum Classic Developer Team Size Increases by 75%

Lohja, a former Technical Writer at ETCDEV, an organization which focused on developing Ethereum Classic that was forced to shut down recently due to lack of funding, noted in a Medium post published on April 23rd, 2019 that Ethereum Classic’s developer team size has increased by 75%.

As Lohja mentioned, the Ethereum Classic development team “began with Constantine Kryvomaz, Meowbits, Michael Collison, Mike Lubinets, Shane Jonas, Stevan Lohja, and Zachary Belford.” Recently, more developers have joined, “including Alan Li, Devon Wesley, Jake Lang, Talha Cross, Zac Mitton, and Zane Starr,” Lohja revealed.

During Q1 2019, the Ethereum Classic developer team has proposed the Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal (ECIP)-1054 upgrade, which has been codenamed Atlantis. This update, Lohja noted, has received “tremendous support throughout the community.”

“ECIP-1054: Proposed Changes to Testnet and Mainnet Target Block Heights”

According to Lohja’s blog, the ECIP-1054 specification “contains proposed testnet and mainnet target block heights, but there needs to be more discussion with client developer groups at this time.” He added that “the motivation of the ECIP-1054 upgrade fork is to enable maximum ETC-ETH compatibility and performance improvements.”

As detailed by Lohja in his blog post, the following set of Ethereum Classic network upgrades are being worked on (or have been worked on) at present:

  • “ECIP-1054: Atlantis, EVM and Protocol Upgrades,”
  • ECIP-1053: Add OpenRPC Service Discovery to JSON-RPC Services,”
  • “Contributed to Kotti network, a public Ethereum Classic test network based on Proof of Authority,”
  • “Continued support and maintenance for Classic Geth and Multi-Geth clients.”

Staying Focused On Providing “High Quality Network-Driving Software”

Lohja further noted that the “Client team has remained focused on the task of providing high quality network-driving software,” in order to help developers create various decentralized applications (dApps).

During Q1 2019, the Ethereum Classic team addressed several issues, in addition to working on the updates mentioned, Lohja wrote. He added that in “early Q1, [the ETC team] had a double spend attack in the form of a 51% mining attack.” However, Lohja explained that the cryptocurrency platform’s team “responded with monitoring tools to help users of the network adjust number of confirmations accordingly.”

Technical Details: Optimizing The Ethereum Classic Network

To further ensure the security of the Ethereum Classic network, the team “completed an open source network supervisor to monitor network distribution in light of 51% attack” and it also “completed an ELK stack configuration for Geth clients,” Lojha noted.

As explained by Lohja:

In Q4 2018, we identified [that] there was a strong need for high-level software quality at the base layer for most application developers who engage with JSON-RPC. We examined solutions such as Open API and gRPC, but they were not a fitting solution. The idea of a tool to bring Ethereum Classic, as well as all other blockchains, up to speed with Open API and gRPC was started. So far, we have achieved a “no breaking change” of completeness in addition to releasing the spec with a number of complimenting tools.

In addition to working on these technical requirements, the Ethereum Classic developers focused on tasks related to the EVM/Compiler Team, Just-in-Time Compiler (JIT), LLVM EVM Backend, and they also ran into some “unexpected” issues. These details can be found in Lohja’s blog post.

The Ethereum Classic team also released the OpenRPC Specification 1x, and they contributed OpenRPC improvement proposals to Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC).

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