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Bitcoin forks and airdrops (btcdiv.com)
108 points by naveen99 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 71 comments

But cryptocurrency is a rare commodity right?

How many bitcoin forks before people stop believing the bullshit that these tokens are deflationary.

Bitcoins are rare as long as people keep up the delusion that there is only one blockchain that matters, but there’s really nothing that distinguishes the consensus coin from the others aside from how much mining power it has currently.

All the miners or merchants could switch to one or several of these forks at the drop of a hat and the value of ‘core’ bitcoin will go to nothing.

Great point. Which raises the question: with billions of dollars on the line, why haven't all the miners switched at the drop of a hat to something more beneficial to them?

Miners are making a killing off of the insanely high Bitcoin transaction fees.

Are the miners paying the developers so that they don't implement a solution?

Two reasons, profitability and they are locked into the hashing algorithm. They can realistically only switch to BCH.

A lot of them have intermittently switched to bitcoin cash when the price/difficulty worked out for them.

That's like saying because there are an infinite combination of ways to stamp a physical coin, and that the USA could instantly switch over to some random stamping of a coin and the value of the USD would drop to zero at the drop of a hat...

The value bitcoin has is in it's trust. The miners do not give it that trust in total, only in part.

If there were a market for bad analogies for cryptocurrency, it would be inflationary.

But how is it wrong? Saying "there's an infinite amount of X because someone can create Y and everyone will switch to Y and call it X" is a silly pointless argument.

Of course that could happen, but it would require basically everyone to agree that Y is X and to switch over to Y, which is basically an impossible task, let alone when tens or hundreds of billions of dollars are involved.

It's a criticism that can be applied to literally anything.

Some time ago, I wrote a little parable about airdrops and how bizarre they are in real world terms:


This parable ignores the fact that other individuals want to own alternative currencies.

If Rolex company manufactures a new collectable Rolex and gives it away to someone who already owns another collectable watch, this does not mean that both watches now have half the value of the original.

Furthermore, if I produce 1000 knockoffs of the original luxury watch and give it away to the Rolex owner, it does not reduce the value of the luxury watch either.

In fact, the value of the 1000 knockoffs plus the luxury watch is higher than the value of just the luxury watch alone.

There is still a scarcity of luxury watches, as well as demand for ownership of both the luxury item and the knockoffs.

As long as more individuals wish to purchase said commodities with fiat the commodities have value, regardless of if they are given away or not.

Is it any more bizarre than any other marketing giveaway? Stadiums being paid for by cell phone companies?

United Bitcoin also seemed like an overly-elaborate attempt to encourage people to spam the Bitcoin chain (which has been running close to capacity) with junk transactions by promising them tokens if they did.

Wow, quite an elaborate scam to buy such a domain. Just curious, can anyone give a price estimation for ub.com?

Also the method to "claim" it requires you to make pointless transactions to your own address in the BTC blockchain, just adding to the congestion.

Sorry for the foolish question, but does anyone know a way of claiming Bitcoin Cash without revealing your private key? Or do I need to transfer my entire balance from the (pre-fork) address to avoid any potential issues, and then use the private key from that address to prove my claim? I've done some reading this morning about it, and can't find any options which don't involve giving up private keys - which I am not doing without having transferred my balance out already. I only hold 10.5 BTC (across several addresses), so I know it's not a fortune to most people, but it is to me!

There is nothing to claim for bitcoin cash if you already have the private key for your bitcoin.

To spend, create the transaction offline on a bitcoinabc wallet. Broadcast it from a connected computer later.

For that amount of money, if you want some pretty secure peace of mind I recommend picking up a Trezor - transfer the whole balance to it once you test it/are comfortable with it.

At that point you can then simply choose between BTC/BCH/BTG wallets with effectively zero risk - no need to perform wallet surgery yourself.

A Ledger Nano S is also a good choice, and is actually easily available now unlike trezor (although both companies are kind of overwhelmed with customers, like everything else in the cryptocurrency space!)

I have a Ledger Nano and I can recommend it wholeheartedly, it's fantastic. It also makes it very easy to claim your Bitcoin fork coins.

Revealing your private key to some form of software or online service is necessary in order to send it

Your method is correct, transfer your btc off of that wallet first and then go around claiming your forked balances

Thanks - just wanted to check before getting into all that!

once you transfer your btc by revealing your private key, can't someone else go ahead and claim those free alt-coins?

Be careful not to make your "claim" on an altcoin that has a very low value compared to Bitcoin.

Why? Well, to be safe, you need at least on Bitcoin transaction [1]. But that means you'll receive a loss if those transaction fees are larger than the exchange value you get from trading the altcoin back to Bitcoin.

[1] This is to avoid exposing a still-valuable (within Bitcoin) secret key to an unknown altcoin client.

Couldn't you just make a single transaction with all of your BTC you currently hold (provided you've held it in the same wallet for recent history, when all these forks have occurred), then cash out all of your forks/airdrops using the old secret key?

You still run a small risk that a shady fork/airdrop could try to use your secret key to transfer other forks/airdrops, but you would avoid the risk to your BTC holdings.

Given the current Bitcoin exchange rates and transaction fees, this "single transaction" could still be more expensive than the value you get out from all altcoins combined. It depends on how much Bitcoin you have, though.

Why not just sign a message?

Do you care to elaborate? Your proposal doesn't make any sense to me. What message? What kind of signature? How does it help to claim some altcoins with a net positive outcome?

Some airdrops ask you to prove ownership of a wallet, which can be achieved by using private-key to sign a message (usually the address of the wallet).

Forgive my ignorance, but who are all these people setting up these forks, and who is actually buying the forked currency? It makes no sense to me.

This is the result of conflicts between bitcoin actors, mainly miners and core devs. We'll probably see more of those, btw, as those conflicts are far from resolved.

The core problem is scalability. Miners are very incentivized to fix it, because they get fees on transactions (so, the more transactions the better). Core dev, on their part, want to keep the closest possible to original design (any change can have dramatic consequences).

In 2016, scalability issues started to become really serious, and miners asked to increase block size (that is, to allow to add more transactions in a single block, so that transactions wait for less time before being validated). In return, core dev proposed segwit as a solution for scalability problems (I still don't exactly get what segwit does). Miners still wanted to go with block increase, so it was a stall (and scalability problems got worse). A few forks tried to take matters on their hand to fix that problem (although, more like competitive softwares, since they did not use the same blockchain history, they started new blockchains at block 0).

In 2017, everybody finally reached an agreement: blocks size will be increased and segwit will be deployed, so both solutions would be implemented. But core devs asked for it to be done in two steps: first segwit, then segwit2x (segwit with double block size). Miners agreed and started to run their mining software with segwit, effectively making it used by the network (Bitcoin cash was born at that time, from miners who wanted block increased, but not segwit). But when came the time to implement the second part of the deal (segwit2x), core devs decided it was not needed anymore (and bitcoin gold was created as a reaction).

I would take two things away, here:

1. each time a decision need to be made, it generates a fork from people not agreeing to the final decision

2. the trust between miners and core devs is probably broken, there probably will be more and more forks, and more stalling on main chain

This wikipedia article explains more thoroughly the scalability issues: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin_scalability_problem

> The core problem is scalability

It is indeed the limiting factor for any public blockchain based system. The rest of your comment describes capacity however, which is something else. We can increase capacity without increasing scalability.

> Miners are very incentivized to fix it,

This is false. Miners are the ones who stand to gain from high fees. And before you say more capacity would lead to more transactions and higher fees, run the numbers. Compare with less developed chains. It is quite clear that there is a cliff beyond which fees per block quickly fall off.

There is more to this power conflict than two sides. Explanations that are trivial and wrong will not help us govern this system towards the future.

> (I still don't exactly get what segwit does)

It removes the hard block cap and replaces it with a flexbile limit. Inputs counts as one fourth the size of outputs, so the more inputs a block have the bigger it is allowed to get. This factor was chosen because it could be fit in the same backwards compatible transaction style that was utilized to deploy P2SH, where non-compilant nodes only see anyone-can-spend transactions.

The reason inputs were made to be cheaper than outputs was to disincentivize UXTO fragmentation. This is an increasingly serious problem which will soon rival the capacity problem. It was recently shown that a large Bitcoin exchange have completely unnecessarily fragmented millions of dollars worth into non-movable dust, since there have been no financial incentive to avoid it in the past.

Finally, since the new style transactions breaks compatibility anyway, the opportunity was taken to change the format into one that is not malleable, and avoids the worst case verification times of the old format. The latter is a true scability improvement. One limiting factor for the number of transactions in a block is the latency from verifying the signatures, and it would not be good for the network if people started cheating even more on this.

> But core devs asked for it to be done in two steps: first segwit, then segwit2x (segwit with double block size).

Bitcoin Core developers did not ask for that. By the way, Segwit2x was entirely unrelated to segwit. The name was adversarially chosen to cause maximum confusion like this.

> But when came the time to implement the second part of the deal (segwit2x), core devs decided it was not needed anymore

Segwit2x wasn't a "deal" that Bitcoin Core developers entered into. Segwit2x was a proposal that was strongly rejected by the community.


> Miners are very incentivized to fix it, because they get fees on transactions (so, the more transactions the better)

This is not true at all. Miners are much better off under bitcoin's crazy fee market (in the short-term at least). No other cryptocurrency is generating anywhere near as much value from transactions as bitcoin

I downvoted you because even though you took the time to write a detailed reply, you seem grossly misinformed. As others have indicated, increasing the block size was not agreed to by the core devs. It would create even more wasted space and thus further increase centralization.

The core devs are not committed to minimal changes to the original design, but they are committed to decentralization.

The problem with bitcoin is that things can get so confusing :-)

> As others have indicated, increasing the block size was not agreed to by the core devs

In fact, segwit is a capacity increase: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/6i5sx1/a_reminder_...

Thanks for letting me know. I tried to backtrace where I got that (core devs involvement) from, but it turns out the New York Agreement did indeed not include core devs: https://medium.com/@DCGco/bitcoin-scaling-agreement-at-conse...

I'm pretty sure I read about it like it was a consensus, but I can't find it again. Or maybe I just didn't understand it at the time.

So if trust is broken, it's only between members of that group, and it does not involve devs. Sorry, I can't edit my initial comment anymore (plus, replies would not make sense anymore if I edited it).

I should clarify: I understand BCH, and to a lesser extent BTG. But who in their right mind is buying BTD? Even if you mine it, who can you sell it to?

Oh, my bad, I thought your question was more about why they exist rather than who are their users.

I would love to know that as well, I never bought in any fork myself.

Although, the very first time I bought some cryptocurrency, it was dogecoin, soon after its release. I bought for an insignificant amount and considered it lost right away, just like when I buy a pizza or icecream. It was "just in case" (and it turned out to be my first profit, feeling good, albeit just winning a few bucks). Maybe some people are specializing in that?

Would love to hear from anyone buying in those forks.

The transactions are crazy expensive right know because they are scarce.

Bitcoin Cash is a fork of bitcoin which has no segwit or RBF and implements larger blocks. Basically it is bitcoin with on chain scaling. No idea about the rest of them, but BCH is pretty popular and pretty usable. Transactions confirm in 1 block and 0-conf transactions are pretty reliable.

Not only is it popular, but it is currently the third largest crypto currency in the world. It is closing following behind the market cap of ethereum.

I think you can take that with a grain of salt considering how much of it is probably unclaimed at the moment.

By market cap. That is a meaningless number for a coin that magically rained on those who have bitcoins.

If not traded, it has no market cap at all. It has serious cap because it is not traded at 0.001 usd. According to the market it has value.

For those who like to keep track of these sorts of things, https://coinmarketcap.com/ is a great resource.

To clarify, I was asking about shitcoin forks like Bitcoin Diamond, not BCH.

The same people who are buying into all the ICOs, including the obvious scams.

The following is my speculation only and not based in any real world data: Many people have found themselves on the winning side of a high risk bet and their Bitcoins are suddenly very valuable. Some of them look to put a part of their winnings in some equally unlikely bet, and it seems like any unlikely bet will do. When enough people do this it becomes self perpetuating.

> perpetuating

Sounds like it can go on forever. But the reality is that forever it is most certainly not.

Any change in the network requires consensus among miners, wallet providers and exchanges. The consensus occurs through debate in online forums primarily. When there isn’t consensus, groups go their own way with a fork. If they can garner enough support the fork thrives as an alt coin, otherwise it dies out.

People who might have been otherwise applying to ycombinator for social startups or launching ICOs. Speculators.

About Bitcore BTX:

This is not an airdrop or claim, you just need to keep your wallet and claim your BTX once your wallet.dat with (keys to) bitcoins held on Nov 2 don't contain any BTC anymore. Doesn't matter if you do it now or in 2 years though. Is that correct?

About United Bitcoin:

BTCDIV says: Must act before block 501878 (Jan 03, 2018).

UB.COM says: All users who transfer Bitcoins from his/her own address to his/her own address between Block 494000 and Block 498777 (11 November 2017 to 12 December 2017 GMT) will be eligible [...]

So what's the date, Dec 12 or Jan 3?

About Bytether.com:

A little bit complicated but as long as you had a BTC balance at the BCH fork, you can claim whenever you want (and as long as the site and contract are live).

Is that correct?

Atleast now people can stop lamenting how the best programmers are wasting their time on ads and cat pictures. Even deep learning has some competition from bitcoin for attention of hackers.

So is anybody making anything that'd allow me to claim all this free stuff automatically? I already did it for bcash but it took about a week to download the forked blockchain, would presumably be longer now. Doing it for all these things seems like a massive hassle. I'd be prepared to accept some risk and pay some of my free imaginary internet money in return for this service.

>I already did it for bcash but it took about a week to download the forked blockchain

Explain? I just imported my private keys (for Bitcoins I got before the fork) from Electrum to the Bitcoin Cash version of Electrum. Is there something else I need to do or is that just if you're running a full node?

I'm running the code from the bitcoin cash github repo, which I guess means I'm running a full node. Possibly I should be running Electrum or something instead.

I read that Electrum recommended you move your coins (both BTC and BCC) to a new wallet after getting your forked BCC.

The Coinomi wallet for Android seems to be early in supporting these forks. When it came to claiming bitcoin gold recently, running it in an android emulator and typing in old private keys was still the most reasonable option for someone with only iOS and macOS devices available.

If you had your BTC in a hardware wallet like Trezor during the split, claiming BCH and BTG was automatic with firmware upgrades which only came with considerable delay. Claiming lessor and unsupported forks off a hardware wallet seems like a major chore and security risk since you’d need to regenerate your private keys off-device.

Thanks to the OP - I have about 1.6BTC worth of other coins that I wasn't aware of. Not sure why I hadn't looked into this, but thanks again.

You are welcome. The information is surprisingly hard to find.

Interesting idea, though it seems that it doesn't work particularly well for coins held at exchanges like Coinbase.

When you have coins at an exchange, all you really have is an IOU from the exchange. This (and every other solution) for getting coins from forks requires you to prove ownership of an address with a private key. This is by design and is never intended to work with exchanges such as Coinbase.

Or when the value of your alts is less than the cost of a Bitcoin transaction, which as of today would be around $30.

So many warnings about importing bitcoin private keys into other software in order to claim.

+1, there's really no good reason for insisting on a private key instead of just a signed message.

If you do indulge, you'll want to move your BTC balance into another wallet, making the old one (and its keys) worthless, before you do so.

Alternatively, if you're using a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano, you can do the split fairly painlessly locally for Bitcoin Cash & Gold. Byteball is also straightforward to claim without sharing any private keys.

As strange as airdrops sound, they’re basically proof-of-ownership “likes” that payout if that fork does well.

Thank you OP I just found $950 worth of alts I didn't know I had


so signing a message was not enough?

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