There was a lot of skepticism over the Litecoin Cash fork (LCC). However, the fork ended up being real, and the price of LCC has already hit $5.50 netting Litecoin (LTC) holders $55 per LTC held. Even as I write this the price is rising.
NOTE: New coins tend to have very volatile prices out of the gate. The price could rise drastically or fall to very low levels. No one knows what will happen. I won’t be shocked to see $1 LCC, and I won’t be shocked to see $10 LCC [update: it almost reached $10, but the market is very thin right now and subject to pumping and dumping; careful buying LCC until the price steadies out]. Of course, with all of that noted, anything greater than $0 is a win for LTC holders.
Or, at least the above is a simple version of the truth.
The process is complicated. You must claim your LCC and then trade it for that price on YoBit. Getting $55 requires some very specific steps to claim and trade your Litecoin Cash and requires you to be in the wallet where you were in control of your Litecoin keys before the fork. Get details on the Litecoin Cash fork here.
Still, this should serve as a reminder to us that being overly skeptical of cryptocurrency forks is almost always a bad move (just like following best practices like moving your balance before you claim the forked coin are always good moves).
As the fork approached, crypto users were split into two groups.
- Group 1, including us, said, “let’s assume the fork is real and hold Litecoin if it is a coin we would invest in any way. We have little risk here aside from a temporary dip in Litecoin’s price following the fork.”
- Group 2, said, “I know Litecoin Cash is fake or a scam for sure, because [insert reason here], therefore I will sell Litecoin before the fork as I assume the price will decline immediately after the fork.”
Those who assumed the fork was fake and sold their Litecoin or didn’t keep it in a wallet where they controlled their private keys missed out on, or have potentially missed out on, some valuable forked coins.
Meanwhile, those who took a chance now have 10 Litecoin Cash for every 1 Litecoin they held.
Sure, it could have turned out that the fork was fake, and the price dipped afterward, but this wasn’t the case, and it would have likely only been the case if the fork wasn’t legit.
Since there was zero risk involved in simply holding Litecoin aside from the risk of temporary price fluctuations and since Litecoin Cash had a site and GitHub and press release, we could be fairly confident that holding Litecoin you would have held anyways was a solid move in this case. And in general, this tends to be true for most events like this.
The reality is, this tends to be the same story for every fork. There will always be a group of doubters who tell everyone that they “know for sure” the fork isn’t real because of X reason. However, a majority of the time the fork ends up being real (especially true when the fork has things like a website, active Twitter, GitHub, etc.).
Will Litecoin Cash end up being a quality project that is widely embraced? Who knows? That is the same story for other forks as well.
However, if you are going to invest in a coin anyway, as a rule of thumb, you should always assume forks are real, ignore short-term price fluctuations, and prepare for any event. The last thing you want to do is panic sell your Litecoin, Bitcoin, etc. right before a fork because of some FUD spread on social media that gets you spooked about a fake or scam fork.
We do our best on our site to check out the Github site, Twitter, etc. of a planned fork. This is “doing research.” If the devs have gone through the trouble of creating these things, it is a good bet to assume the fork is going to be real. Sure, creating a malicious wallet and fake news can be profitable, but creating an actual fork that is even moderately successful is WAY more profitable (thus, even devs without pure intentions tend to go this route).
This is worth stressing because it is likely that we will see many more forks in the history of crypto. At each fork, you’ll need to decide which group you align with. If you align with the doubters every time, you’ll miss out on all the real and legit forks. If you align with the optimists, then the worst case is you suffer through a temporary price dip as your favorite coin sees a sell-off after the fork that didn’t end up being real.
I wouldn’t say rushing into a coin over a fork is the right move, I would only say that holding a coin you would otherwise hold is the right move and getting spooked over rumors of a fork being “fake” or “a scam” is the wrong move.
TIP: I would not suggest FOMO buying lots of Litecoin Cash out of the gate. Let the price even out before creating a substantial position. Likewise, if you get free coins, consider not selling your whole stack. If the coin ends up being like Bitcoin Cash, no price now is going to be as good as the one you can get down the road as a seller, but the price might be decent as a buyer. If it ends up being like Bitcoin Gold, then it could work the other way around. We don’t have a crystal ball, so taking a middle ground approach and incrementally selling or buying is a good move if you decide to even enter the market out of the gate at all.
The moral: No one can see the future. Since that is true, it is best to assume all forks are real and to hold coins you would otherwise hold long term. Meanwhile, if you are only in a coin for short-term gains, you have more considerations. It is common for forks to be real, but it is also common for prices to fluctuate before and after a fork. Still, there is very little to be gained from assuming all forks are fake based on rumors on social media. Historically speaking those who listen to fork FUD have seen the short end of the stick more often than the optimists (Bitcoin’s forks being the best example of this… and this Litecoin Cash fork being yet another example).