The trading platform, BitMex, has collated a list of Bitcoin’s 44 fork tokens, including those which have been forked from Bitcoin Cash. The list reveals the sheer amount of coins that have originated from Bitcoin, although it does not include software forks such as Litecoin and DASH— this list focuses specifically on chainsplits.
Searching through the list shows just how many of these forks are either no longer in use or are being neglected by their developers. For instance, Oil Bitcoin and Bitcoin Pay both seem to be almost entirely abandoned. Numerous other forks seem to be well maintained, but don’t offer anything of use. Coins like BitcoinStake and BigBitcoin are mostly providing the same old Bitcoin but with one or two changes.
What does this teach us about cryptocurrency?
Sadly, there is still of fraudulent and misleading activity in the industry. Almost all of the Bitcoin forks listed appear to have chosen to use the Bitcoin name as a means of capitalizing on Bitcoin’s success. They are doing it as a way to gain publicity or possibly as a way of fooling newcomers. Of course, this is not to say that every Bitcoin fork is a scam, as both Bitcoin Private and Bitcoin Cash appear to have solid teams with working products.
This list teaches us that we need to be careful about which coins we invest in. There are large numbers of high-quality cryptocurrencies on the market, but there are still some scams too. Many of the useless coins listed are the reason why big exchanges are reluctant to support forks.
What should be done about this?
The issue of poor and useless forks is not a problem that will go away by itself. We, as investors and fans, need to be mindful of which cryptocurrencies we support. It is only after developers learn that deliberately creating misleading forks will not yield any profits that they will stop. However, this is not to say that all forks are bad, just that many newer forks should be met with an increased level of scrutiny. A guide to evaluating forks can be found here.