About two weeks ago, Coinbase announced that it would begin allowing its users to withdraw forks of the bitcoin protocol in coming months. The announcement which was made in a blog post did not mention any specific timelines as to when this would begin. However, it is worth noting that the cryptocurrency company affirmed that it was “not announcing support for any specific assets at this time.”
“This change will allow customers to more easily withdraw assets associated with Bitcoin Forks across all Coinbase Products. As always, we look at technical, operational, and legal considerations when deciding which Bitcoin Fork assets to support and will always state on our website which particular assets are supported.” Coinbase wrote in the blog post.
Bitcoin forks used to be quite rare before it became a norm and eventually led to new bitcoin forks being introduced frequently. So far, there are a total of 69 bitcoin forks – as well as 18 other altcoin forks. This gives bitcoin, litecoin, monero and Ethereum holders the option claiming nearly 80 additional coins for free. Unfortunately, not all of them are worth it.
The Problem with Cryptocurrency Forks
One of bitcoins characteristic features it the number of forks that are attached to it. A number of other famous digital currencies such as Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash were forked for the original bitcoin protocol. However, it is public knowledge that after the launch of Bitcoin Cash the quality and the value of the subsequent forks dwindled significantly – even Bitcoin Cash’s upcoming hard fork is raising some doubts. Naturally, these forks that are characterized by poor quality and value have failed to grab the needed attention for mainstream use or massive adoption.
Bitcoin Star, Bitcoin Coral, and Bitcoin Sudo, for instance, are almost unheard of in the cryptocurrency community. In fact, looking at Forkdrop.io’s exhaustive list of digital currencies, the ones mentioned above, as well as many others, do not have any exchange listings.
Only 10 out of total 69 forks of bitcoin are tradable on exchanges at the moment all of which have a cumulative value of $941, that is if Bitcoin Cash is included. Taking bitcoin cash out of this equation drops the value down to $206. Whether or not it is worth your time and energy is a matter of how much of a risk taker you are and how much faith you have in the fork.
Still, forks have one great disadvantage that is inherent in being a fork. Bitcoin’s popularity in the cryptocurrency community is not just because of the fact that it was the first of its kind but also because it is “market-driven, immutable and unseizable.” These properties, according to Jimmy Song “happen to be the properties of a great store of value which give Bitcoin a utility that no other token has”