In the past, Ethereum ETH rolled back its blockchain to erase an event where millions of dollars worth of ETH were stolen. This was done with the approval of Ethereum's founder and most of its community.
A minority, however, refused to roll back the blockchain on the principle that blockchains are supposed to be immutable. This group retained the original blockchain, which records the theft incident. This blockchain is now known as Ethereum Classic, ETC.
By forking off the original blockchain and rolling the record back to before the theft incident, the theives ended up with ETC instead of ETH. ETC is worth a fraction of ETH.
So, the thieves ended up with a new coin that's worth a fraction of the price at which they stole the old coin. But wait - is ETC the new coin? Or is ETH the new coin? Which came first?
- ETH is a hard fork of the original Ethereum blockchain, with the support of a majority, including the founder.
- ETC is the original Ethereum blockchain, with the support of a minority.
So, which is the "real Ethereum"?
One could argue, both are.
- Present-day bitcoin BTC is a hard fork of the original bitcoin blockchain, with the support of the majority.
- Bitcoin cash BCH is a hard fork of the original bitcoin blockchain, with the support of the minority. (Bitcoin cash recently further hard forked into bitcoin cash ABC and bitcoin cash SV. The dust hasn't settled yet.)
Which is the "real bitcoin"?
Likewise, both. (Or, all.)
If you have a saltwater crocodile and a freshwater crocodile, which one is the "real crocodile"?
They both are, of course. One is simply more prevalent.
Only a man in a crocodile suit is not a "real crocodile."
What I'm saying is, think objectively. Avoid false dichotomies. The human mind tends toward dualities of absolutes. One has to be evil and one has to be good.
This is not the case. Good and evil always exist in both camps, to varying degrees.
Back to our crocodiles: Which is evil and which is good? The freshwater or saltwater variety?
Neither are good or evil. They both simply exist.
But if one ate your poodle, it wouldn't matter if it were the saltwater or freshwater variety. It would be a bad croc.
Try not to think in terms of absolutes, but in terms of appropriateness to the need at hand.
So it is with crocodiles and poodles, so it is with bitcoin and altcoins.