On May 6th, 2020, a blog post from Ethereum Classic (ETC) Developers revealed that the Phoenix upgrade for the ETC blockchain, which was successfully activated on the Mordor TestNet last month, will now go live on the Kotti Testnet. This will, in turn, lead to implementation on the MainNet in the first week of June, 2020.
The upgrade, known more formally as upgrade ECIP-1088, is intended to increase the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) capabilities of Ethereum Classic. The EVM is what underpins the executions of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain (ETH).
Phoenix will build upon the previous Atlantis and Agharta hard forks that have already improved the compatibility of ETC with ETH.
Although originally marked in for a March 2020 release, Phoenix appears to have been slightly delayed to allow developers extra time to monitor the rollout in the TestNet phases. The MainNet Phoenix implementation will now take place on or around the 5th of next month.
A Fusion of ETH 2.0 and ETC Could be Possible
In April 2019, ETC developer Donald McIntyre announced that the interoperability of Ethereum Classic with Ethereum is a major concern of the developers to create a truly safe and efficient blockchain.
Now, the flurry of improvements such as the Agharta upgrade that we reported on recently, suggests that ETC aims at increased interoperability with Ethereum.
From a purely technical point of view, as ETH founder Buterin recently explained, the Shard technology of Ethereum 2.0 makes it possible to create a runtime environment that is adapted to the needs of the ETC blockchain.
However, a merger could also be speculation, as some in the crypto space suggest that ETC is positioning itself as a conservative option and possibly as an exit option for ETH miners when ETH moves to Proof of Stake.
ETC Lagging Behind in dApp Race
Despite the announcement of an imminent hard fork, the future of Ethereum Classic seems at least questionable. As a new DappReview report shows, Ethereum, TRON, and EOS are responsible for 98% of the transaction volume of the entire dApp industry in 2019. As the data confirms, ETC has not been able to gain a foothold in the dApps sector.That said, developers of ETC received a boost in confidence earlier this year when Grayscale Investments confirmed they would continue to back the project by donating one-third of the management fees generated from its Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust.