On Jul. 20th, 2016, the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit organization that created, maintains, and updates the Ethereum Network, created a new version of the Ethereum mainnet via a hard fork. It altered the history of blockchain and reallocated the $60 million worth of native coin ETH (Ether) stolen during the "The DAO" hack to its owners.
Like its cousin Ethereum, Ethereum Classic also uses the proof-of-work mining algorithm. However, unlike Ethereum, its native ETC coins have a fixed supply of 210,700,000 that will be released in a deflationary manner over time, much like its predecessor, Bitcoin.
Mining is a computationally-intensive process by which some blockchain network participants verify transactions and get rewarded with new tokens. This is how new ETC coins are created (or released), and anyone with a computer can ‘mine’ ETC.
The original blockchain was rebranded as Ethereum Classic and the new blockchain, with the theft erased from its history, carried on as Ethereum. Ethereum Classic works similarly to Ethereum and supports smart contracts and non-fungible tokens or NFTs. Additionally, Ethereum DApps are also fully cross-compatible with Ethereum Classic.