Trust no one

I think all of us involved in the cryptocurrency world now know about Ethereum Classic vs Ethereum Core. Well, almost all. Personally, I do not think I know enough.

A few days ago my wife gave birth to a wonderful baby, my second daughter, so I was caught up with so-called “life problems” and probably did not follow the etherea saga properly.

However, both personally and as exchange, it seems we need to make a new stance on this as if the first one was not clear enough.

We do not support ETC (Etherum Classic).

That’s not because we do not like it, quite the opposite indeed: we were against the hard fork to adjust theDAO mess, but we decided to support the chain with most hashing power and not two different chains; the one with most hashing power was Ethereum Core (and still is).

No one complained. Indeed we received a lot of support on this decision. None of our users asked for their ETC balance before or immediately after the fork.

Then Poloniex decided to make ETC trading available and thousands of BTC were immediately used to bid! I personally envy these exchanges that can get liquidity so suddenly: my experience is that getting enough market makers to make a trading pair jumpstart requires a lot of work, time and patience; and it is usually not enough. It smells fishy to me, but speculators and gamblers with big money to risk, exist in a perfect world.

Things suddenly changed: some of our users (just a couple to be honest) asked for their ETC balances, to which we refused.

We will piss someone for sure, but listen, when an exchange like therocktrading supports a coin, it’s because of several pondered reasons:

  • it’s technically interesting (which ETC is, along with ETH)
  • it has a good developers base support, which ETC has yet to prove to have
  • it’s requested by the users, and (this may be due to our specific user base) ETC is not and even ETH is not top of the list
  • it has market makers willing to provide both volume and liquidity; and believe me, this is very very difficult to achieve

Supporting a coin has a cost, and it’s not small. Exchanges like us, are not cash cows as most of the people seem to think: you need good servers with enough resources to support a coin, and this is not cheap; you need good developers to make software communication with a blockchain work properly, and this is not cheap; you need good sysadmins/developers to properly maintain it, and this is not cheap.

We are a small exchange, and probably the last one or so with no VC funding of any type, so we have to make tough decisions on what we can support and for ETH/ETC the choice was clear. ETH still has the major hashing power, the majority of developers, it has interested users and it has some small market makers. ETC has nothing of this at The Rock Trading, unfortunately.

Plus we are lazy.

As Wally of Dilbert used to say: “trust no one, but the laziest”. This should be applied to any cryptocurrencies exchange :-).

To answer the most asked question, will The Rock Trading ever change its mind and support ETC one day?

Maybe. You can never say never in this space, where time seems to be compressed and things change very rapidly. But conditions expressed above apply to ETC as to any other coin and if they will ever be met, ETC will be nicely and happily added. Otherwise, it will not.

Article written by Davide Barbieri, Chief Technical Officer at The Rock Trading