On June 19, the Ethereum Classic (ETC) community announced that the Atlantis hard fork is now in its testing stage. On July 25th, we spoke with the APAC Community Manager of ETC, Christian Xu, to learn more about Atlantis and ETC Labs in the Cointime Summit 2019 · Vietnam Station.

Christian Xu has 13 years of experience in software development and management. He used to work in a Silicon Valley giant on quality management of comprehensive system solutions. In 2015, Christian joined BTCC in Shanghai as quality director, formally entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. After leaving BTCC, he has served as technical director, business director, etc. Early last year, Christian was commissioned by Ethereum Classic Cooperative as ETC Asia-Pacific Community Manager, contributing to ETC ecological development in Asia-Pacific.

Wayne: ETC (Ethereum Classic) is familiar to everyone, and it had gone through nearly two years since the hard fork in July 2016. How about starting with ETC progress in the past three years?

Christian Xu: In July 2016, as a result of the DAO incident, the Ethereum community had a fork. Ethereum Classic came into existence when some members of the Ethereum community rejected the hard fork on the grounds of “immutability”, the principle that the blockchain cannot be changed, and decided to keep using the unforked version of Ethereum. This is how ETC was born.

After the hard fork, ETC went through two more forks, including changing the monetary policy and removing the difficulty bomb. The total supply of ETC was set at around 210m ~ 230m, and the block reward would be reduced by 20% every 5 million blocks so that ETC would carry through a deflationary monetary policy. Since the difficulty bomb was originally set up for Ethereum’s transition from PoW to PoS, ETC had determined the path of sticking on PoW and the difficulty bomb was no longer needed.

Wayne: In April this year, the ETC community adopted the Atlantis hard fork proposed in ECIP-1054, which was initially scheduled to take place at the end of September. Why was it decided to be carried out ahead of time?

Christian Xu: With active efforts of the ETC Labs Core Team, the development has been progressing very well. The content of the Atlantis hard fork was actually completed by the end of June. We consulted exchanges, miners and community members in the Asia-Pacific region, and people were ready to execute the upgrade on their clients. The execution time of the hard fork might have been earlier, and later in the final call with the U.S. community, their community members hoped to have more time to perform tests, contact exchanges, miners and other stakeholders. After careful consideration, we set the hard fork block height at 8,772,000, on September 17th.

Wayne: What are the improvements for ETC after the Atlantis hard fork?

Christian Xu: Specifically, this hard fork includes clearing state data, improving block production prediction, improving calls between smart contracts, contract-code size limitation, precompiled zk-SNARKs contracts and more. In summary, this hard fork will bring improved performance and availability, enriched functionalities, as well as better compatibility and interoperability between ETC and ETH.

Wayne: In March, ETC officially announced that a “peaceBridge” between ETC and ETH was in its final stages and ETC would soon be tokenized on Ethereum with a unique token called TETC. Could you tell us what’s going on with this “peaceBridge”?

Christian Xu: The peaceBridge is a bridge connecting assets on ETC and ETH. It introduces a trustless custodian mechanism and uses co-signing to verify transactions across the two blockchains. ETC will be minted on Ethereum in the form of TETC, while ETH will also be minted on ETC in the form of TETH, the purpose of which is for the two chains to exchange assets with each other. This is a mutual operation and process.

Wayne: What kind of product is the Lab ETCs Incubator? Could you give us a brief introduction?

Christian Xu: ETC Labs is an innovation accelerator for Ethereum Classic to accelerate the development of ETC community and ecosystem by complementing the ETC incubating system and services, attracting high-quality blockchain startups to develop projects on the ETC platform. With the excellent DApp environment, technology ecosystem and reliable incubation resources of ETC, ETC Labs has received hundreds of applications since its establishment in January.

Wayne:  What are the guidelines for ETC Labs Incubator to select projects? What resources will be provided for the selected project? Could you give some examples of applications that are successfully implemented?

Christian Xu: From infrastructural tools, games, fin-tech to the Internet of things and more, the 320+ blockchain projects currently being developed on ETC are very rich in categories, many of which even have not been emerging in the industry. In the face of the numerous excellent startups, ETC Labs adhere to strict selection criteria for the incubation projects, oriented with technical innovation development, taking actual and operational application scenarios as standard, and finally, after rigorous researches 11 projects were selected out of 180 in the first phase for up to 20 weeks of incubation.

Among these projects, 6 blockchain projects — Monetizr, VRex Labs, Button Wallet, Ethernode, Cryzen, Slips, have received direct funding support from ETC Labs; and 5 other projects — Anylog, Original My, Scanta, Play Exchange, Statwig, were rewarded with open offices in San Francisco from ETC Labs, as well as 1 to 1 technical coaching from ETC Labs Core development team, Workshops, investor dinner party, demo day, and comprehensive customized service support including industry resources, creative strategy consulting seminars, consultations on professional business, legal & financial plans, and even proposal trainings.

Wayne:  Could you talk about the actual value of blockchain and its future?

Christian Xu: Blockchain is now in practical use in multiple industries. For example, the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT). The cost of processing and computing multiple ledgers in the original system is very high, and the procedures are very complex. Through blockchain technology, these procedures have been simplified while significantly improving the efficiency of processing and computing. The most obvious example of this is cross-border bank transfers.

At the same time, blockchain introduces the concepts of decentralization, immutability, and censorship-resistance, which can greatly reduce the risk of human evil in centralized systems. And smart contract ensures that the system process is executed according to the original design.

Evidently, blockchain technology is still in the early stages with problems and bottlenecks, such as the scalability of public blockchains and the information island problem. There are a lot of teams and projects working on solving these problems, of which I’m personally bullish on the relay and cross-chain solutions. ETC is also vigorously developing its compatibility and interoperability with other public blockchains, to continuously solve and break through the bottlenecks in the blockchain technology through the diversity of its abundant ecosystem.

Wayne: What will be the significant events for ETC this year? What are the plans?

Christian Xu: After the Atlantis upgrade, ETC will conduct the Agharta hard fork this year, which will further enhance its compatibility with ETH. ETC Asia-Pacific community will continue to expand rapidly and strengthen online and offline promoting efforts for people to stay tuned with all aspects of ETC ecological progress.