Forking bitcoin used to be a rarity. Then it became the norm. And then it became a meme, with anyone and everyone forking bitcoin on a weekly basis. There have now been a total of 69 bitcoin forks plus another 18 altcoin forks. Holders of bitcoin, monero, ethereum, and litecoin can claim almost 80 additional coins for free. Whether it’s worth their time to do so, however, is another matter.
Fork All the Things
It’s widely known that ever since bitcoin cash launched, the quality and value of subsequent forks has been deteriorating. What’s not so widely known is just how many forks there’s been. The likes of Bitcoin Coral, Bitcoin Sudo, and Bitcoin Star aren’t exactly household names. Nor will they ever be. Like most of the bitcoin forks to be found on Forkdrop.io’s exhaustive list, these coins don’t have exchange listings.
For anyone with a passing interest in forks, and who’s considering claiming some of these coins, Forkdrop.io’s resources include guides to claiming them and sections on passive and active airdrops. For those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, there are sites that will help you claim your free coins – in return for a cut. Whether these coins are worth claiming, with or without a commission attached, is debatable.
How Much Are Your Forked Coins Worth?
Of the 69 bitcoin forks to date, just 10 are tradable on exchanges. Combined, these have a value of $941, or around 0.12 BTC. Take bitcoin cash out of the question and you’re left with only $206 or 0.026 BTC. Unless you’re sitting on a trove of bitcoins, claiming these forked coins simply isn’t worth it. And for those who are blessed with a bountiful supply of BTC, moving them, and risking exposing your private key on a third party site, to claim an additional 2.5% of BTC simply isn’t worth it.
When it comes to altcoins, the returns are every bit as poor. Forkdrop.io lists 18 altcoin forks, although many more have forked by cloning the code and then adding their own twist. Verge, for example, is a fork of dogecoin, but was never made available on a 1:1 basis to doge holders. Forkdrop’s altcoin section lists six ethereum forks, three litecoin forks, and six monero forks plus a couple of others. Only three of these forks are tradable, with a combined value of just $20. You don’t even need to punch the numbers in to appreciate that claiming forked altcoins is a pointless exercise, unless they’re automatically distributed by an exchange, sparing holders from having to move a muscle.
Free Coins – But at What Price?
Forking bitcoin is easy. Tools like Forkgen will do all the hard work for you. Using the mantra “Fork it till you make it”, they guide noobs through a simple process which concludes by hitting the blue button marked “Generate New Altcoin”. As the developers of such forks as Bitcoin Minor, Bitcoin King, and Bitcoin Boy are discovering, though, after forking from BTC, the hard work is only just beginning. As Jimmy Song put it:
Bitcoin will continue to be different because unlike centralized coins, it’s market driven, immutable and unseizable. These happen to be the properties of a great store of value and this gives Bitcoin a utility that no other token has.
One coin that isn’t listed on Forkdrop is Bitcoin Private. It was a little different from the rest in that it forked simultaneously from zclassic and bitcoin. BTCP started trading at around $80, but has dropped four-fold in under a month. It seems it doesn’t matter what you fork from, how, or why, the fact remains that everything since bitcoin cash has been destined for irrelevance. Forked coins might be fun, but on the evidence so far, they aren’t worth claiming.
Have you bothered to claim any of the forked coins available to you? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Forkdrop.io
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