Forked coins are often regarded within the crypto community as being practically “free money.” While that is true, at least to some extent, the whole process involved while claiming forked coins can be both complicated and very risky.
Before anything else, it’s worth mentioning that for you to claim any forked coin, you first need to have held the said cryptocurrency on the original (or initial) blockchain before the fork takes place. To be more precise, the coins have to be present in your wallet before the hard fork happens.
This is because the developer of the new chain (the forked one) will take a “snapshot” of the blockchain at a specific block height and thereby creating a duplicate copy of the chain. Evidently, anyone holding the original coin holds a proportionate ratio of the new coin on the newly forked chain by default.
The process of claiming the new forked coins takes place after the forked coin goes live. In some cases, this happened in a couple of days, but there have been cases when it took weeks and even months.
Things to note before claiming forked coins
Claiming a forked coin involves a lot of risks, especially if done fast and without the necessary knowledge. Hence, it’s important to take the time and learn more about the forked coins you’re interested in as most of them have very little to no value and may not be worth your time.
Also very important to remember: NEVER try to claim a forked coin with an address that has the non-forked coins in it, as it could result in you losing your original funds. There have been multiple cases of fraudulent services (or wallet services) that accepted users’ private keys (required for the fund transfer process), only to steal the cryptocurrencies associated with those accounts.
Hence, the best course of action is to empty the associated wallets containing any cryptocurrencies before claiming the forked coins before exposing the existing private keys to new wallets or exchanges. This way, you basically remove any possibility that your holdings on the original wallet are stolen.
Needless to say, you should only use trusted wallets or exchanges. It’s also recommended that you don’t jump head first into the whole process of claiming forked coins. Wait until the new blockchain is protected and until you head what other investors have to say.
Basic forked coin claiming methods
The easiest general method of claiming forked coins involves you having a wallet and fully control your private keys before the snapshot block. The next step involves moving your funds to a new address after the snapshot, but retain your private key for the old address. Once the new wallet is live, simply download it. Follow through by importing your private key from the address you have crypto on before the fork to the new forked coin’s wallet.
– Claim forked coins using a wallet or exchange
If a forked coin is supported by a wallet or exchange, you can transfer your funds to one of these services before the official “snapshot” is taken. This method is considered risky since it involves you having to hand over a private key to the service provider.
– Claim forked coins by sending manual transactions
This is the safest method of claiming forked coins. It involves you having to connect to the forked coin’s network and send a signed transaction manually. It’s not as easy as it sounds since it does require a bit of reading in order to sign a transaction in a format that is fully compatible with the net network.
– Claim forked coins with the help of software
Most of the hard forks in the cryptosphere have public blockchains and source codes. This method of claiming forked tokens involves you having to install a software or an app on your computer and use the provided interface. It’s the simplest option of claiming forked tokens, but it’s also not advisable to use it since there’s really no guarantee that a certain software doesn’t contain malware which can deprive you of your initial funds.
Claiming forked coins can be very lucrative if done with patience. When claiming forked coins, it’s important to thoroughly research the new coin, find everything you can about the developers behind the project, and also look at the roadmap in order to determine if it’s really worth claiming or not.