Ethereum Classic vs Ethereum PoW: which is better for payments?

The Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency is the second-largest in terms of market capitalization as well as appeal. However, throughout the years, it has experienced numerous forks.

The most notable of them include Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum PoW (ETHW). Those that aim to follow the original idea behind the Ethereum network will typically support and use these cryptocurrencies. However, which one is truly better used for payments? 

Author: Milko TV

Ethereum Classic vs Ethereum PoW: which is better for payments?

Today, we will be jumping into everything you need to know surrounding Ethereum vs Ethereum Classic as we take an in-depth look at both options, and how users can use the NOWPayments cryptocurrency payment provider to set things up.

Key points:

  • Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum PoW (ETHW) are both forked versions of the original Ethereum network made at different points in time.
  • The Proof-of-Work (PoW) network is preferred by those who want to follow the original idea and concept behind the network.
  • Both of these cryptocurrencies can be mined, unlike Ethereum (ETH), which switched to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) model.
  • Through NOWPayments, you will be able to accept crypto payments as on any business or website. 

What is Ethereum PoW (ETHW)?

In December 2020, the team behind Ethereum announced that they would switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.

What is Ethereum PoW (ETHW)?

The transfer, known as “The Merge,” happened on September 15, 2022. The Merge was one of the most anticipated upgrades in Ethereum’s history. However, it was disadvantageous for Ethereum miners due to the fact that their mining systems were no longer needed, and as such, they could not mine the ETH cryptocurrency.

Due to this, plans were made to create an updated version of Ethereum based on the original blockchain that used Proof-of-Work (PoW). This led to the creation of Ethereum PoW. The network came online after the Merge on September 15, 2022, as well. 

Ethereum PoW’s native cryptocurrency given as a reward to miners is known as ETHW.

What is Ethereum Classic (ETC)?

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is an open-source and decentralized blockchain-based distributed platform for cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum Classic is a smart contract platform that’s a forked network of the original Ethereum network. There was a disagreement about how the network should carry on after a hack, and some community members decided to carry on with the original network, now renamed Classic, with its own cryptocurrency, ETC.

A majority of the community members behind Ethereum at the time decided to reverse the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) hack that occurred in 2016. Those that did not agree created Ethereum Classic. 

Ethereum Classic’s native cryptocurrency is known as ETC.

The difference between Ethereum PoW and Ethereum Classic

Both Ethereum Classic as well as Ethereum PoW use the same, Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. However, both networks are different. Ethereum Classic offers a blockchain for building decentralized applications (dApps) and an option to mine cryptocurrencies, while for the time being, Ethereum PoW is generally seen as a reward system for the mining process and is used for transactions. 

Network:Ethereum Classic (ETC)Ethereum PoW (ETHW)
Consensus Mechanism:Proof-of-Work (PoW)Proof-of-Work (PoW)
Release Date;July 30, 2015September 15, 2022
Circulating Supply (as of December 15, 2022)138,376,716 ETC107,527,737 ETHW
Value (as of December 15, 2022)$18.29 Per Coin$3.50 Per Coin
Market Cap (as of December 15, 2022)$2,531,091,841$375,853,990

Which Ethereum Is Better as a Payment Tool?

Ethereum Classic (ETH) has been around for quite a lot longer when compared to Ethereum PoW (ETHW). What this means is that it is far more likely for a lot more services, eCommerce stores, and other types of websites to already support the cryptocurrency.

Underneath, both cryptocurrencies are similar, as they can both be mined and use Proof-of-Work (PoW). This means that over time, we can expect similar waiting times, similar levels of network congestion, and similar gas fee costs associated with their transactions.

However, for the time being, as of December of 2022, due to the fact that Ethereum PoW (ETHW) is newer, it is a far cheaper cryptocurrency to buy, has fewer coins in circulation, and has a lower market cap. This means that it is far cheaper to actually buy the token and, in turn, transfer it. 

How to Accept Ethereum PoW or Ethereum Classic Payments?

NOWPayments is one of the largest cryptocurrency gateways available in the crypto market. The service is aimed at providing tools to all kinds of eCommerce and even brick-and-mortar businesses and aims to enable them the opportunity to accept over 150 different cryptocurrencies. 

NOWPayments even lets individuals accept cryptocurrencies, and if you want to accept crypto for your business or conduct mass payouts, NOWPayments can efficiently accomplish this goal. And even features crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto conversion features.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how anyone can begin accepting ETHW or ETC payments:

  1. Head over to the NOWPayments crypto payment gateway website, and create an account.
Create an account
  1. Select which cryptocurrency wallet address you will be using. Any future payments made to your website will send cryptocurrencies directly to this wallet.
Add a crypto wallet
  1. Generate your own unique API key through the website by going to the API Keys section. Make sure to select what kind of payments you will be sending or receiving here.
Create an API key
  1. Introduce the Payment Solution to your website. You can do this by installing a plugin. There is a complete list of all of the available options here. Remember that you can access plugins and enable Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum PoW (ETHW) payments on your website with ease on websites built using WooCommerce, Magento 2, Zencart, OpenCart, and WHMCS, among other platforms. Remember that developers or users can also integrate the API directly. 
Accept crypto on WooCommerce
  1. Begin accepting ETC and ETHW cryptocurrencies through your added payment option. Remember that NOWPayments is a non-custodial service, which means that users remain in full control over their wallets, and the transactions are made from one cryptocurrency wallet to another. 

This enables a much higher level of security, and anyone, from anywhere in the world can send or receive over 150 different cryptocurrencies. 

With the help of the NOWPayments’ partner Switchere, you will be able to make withdrawals to a Euro bank account directly, starting 15 Euros.


Hopefully, now you know everything there is to know surrounding the key differences between Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum PoW (ETHW) and how you can set up crypto payment processing. While both networks and their native cryptocurrencies might seem similar, they were created at different points in time and fill two completely separate purposes.

By leveraging the power of the NOWPayments cryptocurrency payment gateway, any company or individual can begin accepting over 150 different cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum Classic ETC and Ethereum PoW (ETHW), opening their business to a much broader target demographic of cryptocurrency enthusiasts.