- BitGrail “Loses” 17M Nano (or how shitty code re-enables the double-spend problem)
- MEW Forks to MyCrypto (an exact copy in this case)
- A Feast of Forks (Classic Private Callisto Cash… did I get that right)
BitGrail “Loses” 17 million Nano (fmr. RaiBlocks)
Nano ($XRB), formerly RaiBlocks before the rebrand, is a currency token known for its near-instant speed and zero-fee transactions. It went from a small project on one small Italian exchange to a $2 billion+ market cap in less than a month in December. On Friday, that small exchange BitGrail announced a suspension on all trading as its “internal checks revealed unauthorized transactions which led to a 17 million Nano shortfall” (price was $10 per XRB, or a $170 million shortfall, at time of announcement). Redditors blame the man behind BitGrail, “Bomber”, for writing shitty code, getting hacked (dating back to October), and/or using his exchange to manipulate prices to recoup losses (arbitraging between BitGrail and others). The Nano Core team has investigated the hack and confirmed the validity of all transactions (and rejecting a hard fork a la Ethereum DAO), inferring suspicious activity from BitGrail. As a reminder just a few weeks ago another exchange, Coincheck, had all of their NEM hacked. Stay safe out there.
MyEtherWallet Forks To MyCrypto
Founder issues is the #1 reason why startups fail (apocryphal) and the crypto world is no exception. MyEtherWallet (MEW) has been the de facto “mainstream” Ethereum wallet for ETH and ERC-20 tokens, due to its lightweight nature (client side, does not sync its own blockchain) and first-mover advantage. On Thursday the original MEW Twitter account, with 80k followers, suddenly changed its handle to "@mycrypto". In an environment of rampant hacks and scams, this change was concerning. One of the cofounders (?) @tayvano soon published an article introducing MyCrypto and a background of MEW, though with no mention of the reason behind the split. The original founder (?) @kvhnuke_ published his own article about the background of MEW and explained that the partnership had ended, though the Twitter handle change was unexpected (with new migrated account @myetherwallet). For now, MyCrypto is purportedly an exact replica of MEW.
Regardless of how the partnership ended, there should not have been a sudden takeover switch of as important a public communication channel as the Twitter account. On Wed the ex-founders seemed to have come to an agreement and swapped the Twitter handles back, with MyCrypto “hopeful that the new team at MyEtherWallet will use their reach of over 80k dedicated cryptocurrency followers wisely.” Salty!
A Feast of Forks
Speaking of forks... there are three major forks (/airdrops) coming up, and the anticipation of each has induced some interesting price movements in their respective coins.
ZClassic —> Bitcoin Private
ZClassic ($ZCL) created by @HeyRhett, is itself a fork of Zcash ($ZEC) which is a currency coin known for private transactions (unlike Bitcoin which has fully transparent transactions). Rhett’s main idea for ZCL was to remove the 20% fee in ZEC that was automatically given to the founders with each block, and instead give it to the miners. Okay, admirable redistribution move — but more ambitiously Rhett wanted to bake private transactions into Bitcoin itself with a new coin called Bitcoin Private ($BTCP) combining features from both ZCL and BTC. The twist here is that holders of ZCL and BTC will receive BTCP in a 1:1 ratio each (despite the price difference) at a block snapshot sometime Feb 28. The fork announcement in late Dec 2017 saw a 3x increase in ZCL price in one day. Critics call the project a scam to pump ZCL with an inevitable dump after the snapshot. Short term however ZCL holders don’t care as the price has almost doubled to $160. Comprehensive Reddit FAQ.
Ethereum Classic —> Callisto
Ethereum Classic ($ETC) and Callisto is another case of a fork of a (technically original) fork — in June 2016 the now-infamous DAO Hack prompted a hard fork of Ethereum to recover the lost DAO proceeds. Hardcore idealists continued development of the original fork in the spirit of immutability, and thus was born Ethereum Classic. On Jan 16, the developers behind ETC announced the Callisto Network ($CLO) fork which will credit ETC holders a 1:1 ratio of CLO at block 5500000 (Mar 5). According to the CLO whitepaper, Callisto aims to be a research and experimental blockchain to help improve the overall ETC ecosystem. In particular the paper mentions a smart contract auditing department, cold staking protocol, and governance system (Nov 11). ETC has doubled in price since a week ago but the overall market has recovered some and besides, this Redditor is unconvinced.
Litecoin —> Litecoin Cash
If you didn’t think Litecoin ($LTC) could get any lighter, wait until this coming Sunday when Litecoin Cash (air)drops. Holders of LTC will receive $LCC at a 10:1 ratio (10 LCC for 1 LTC) at block 1371111 (Feb 18). The biggest change in Litecoin Cash is the hash algorithm to match Bitcoin’s SHA-256, which allows mostly old Bitcoin ASIC miners to now dominate the new coin’s mining. Charlie Lee, chikun, has denounced the fork as a scam, which is a bit harsh as LCC represents its features quite transparently. Nonetheless LCC will have a hard time with adoption — not a single wallet has been published yet that supports LCC despite the fast-approaching fork date, and LTC functions perfectly well as a payment coin. $LTC has rallied almost 50% alongside the overall market recovery.
NEO ONT Airdrop
See you guys next week —
Crypto Weekly Roundup is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any investment recommendations.