Litecoin is up more than 27% Wednesday morning, more than any other major cryptocurrency, as its first ‘hard fork’ date approaches.
When litecoin hits block 1371111 — expected to happen at around 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 18 — litecoin cash will split from the litecoin blockchain, and give every litecoin holder 10 new coins for every one litecoin they own, the litecoin cash foundation announced Tuesday.
The new currency is not connected to the original litecoin in anyway. Its creator, Charlie Lee, has warned that any fork could likely be a scam, merely using the litecoin name as marketing.
“Any forks that you hear about is [sic] a scam trying to confuse you to think it’s related to litecoin,” he tweeted. “Don’t fall of it and definitely don’t enter your private keys or seed into their website or client.”
Still, the team behind litecoin cash maintain that the new coin will make several improvements over the original litecoin — and that it is far from a scam.
Specifically, the team claim that litecoin cash’s new algorithm, called DarkGravity, allows the mining difficulty to be adjusted on every cryptographic block. Litecoin’s mining difficulty can only be adjusted every 2016 blocks. This allows the network to be more flexible to demand for mining power.
“While this [naming] convention isn’t ideal, it will be instantly understood by most hearing the name that Litecoin Cash is a hard fork of Litecoin,” Litecoin Cash foundation’s design lead, Michael Wyszynski told Business Insider. “We have no doubt that there will be Litecoin forks in the future that will be scams, as well as things presenting themselves as hard forks that are nothing of the sort.”
Litecoin is currently on block 1368604, according to BlockCypher, meaning there are 2507 blocks until the fork, at the time of writing. Blocks are currently taking anywhere from one minute to six minutes to process.
Most cryptocurrencies are in the green Wednesday morning, likely given a boost by South Korea’s appearance of backpedalling on plans to outlaw cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
News reports the South Korean government would move to ban cryptocurrency mining and exchanges outright sent waves of fear and selloffs throughout the global cryptocurrency market in January, wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars of value.
Still, the rate of new cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) hasn’t slowed in 2018, despite rampant volatility and price swings of 10% in either direction for most coins.
“If 2017 was the year of Bitcoin, 2018 will be the year of altcoins,” Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange eToro said in an email. “As investors seek new opportunities and diversification within their portfolios, attention will shift away from the mainstream cryptos towards new challengers in the market.”