ETC is the native token of Ethereum Classic. ETC started as an Ethereum hard fork, yet, as ofnow, it functions independently from the main Ethereum chain. Ethereum creators Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood launched the hard fork in 2016 as a backup chain after the Ethereum blockchain DAO suffered a hacker attack.
Following the Ethereum Merge, Ethereum Classic becomes the third largest Proof-of-Work blockchain in the world and the largest PoW smart-contract network.
Ethereum Classic combines the philosophy of Bitcoin and Ethereum technology: it has a fixed monetary policy like Bitcoin and operates on smart contracts as ETH.
ETC is a minable currency. After the Merge, miners will supposedly be massively switching to Ethereum Classic. ETC coin serves to store and generate value. It's also a governance token, giving its holders the opportunity to vote for network updates.