In the past, when cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have split in two, it was as if money fell from the sky.
Take Bitcoin’s August fork, for instance. Mathematically speaking, one split in half results in two halves. But instead of adhering to that set of logic, that particular fork resulted in one plus a little extra. So while the price of Bitcoin hovered around $2,750, the price of it’s “forked” coin, Bitcoin Cash, traded initially at $200. Thus, investors who owned Bitcoin woke up the next day with one Bitcoin Cash for each Bitcoin they owned, and all the wealthier for it.
Such forks are one way to get cryptocurrency “airdrops,” or apparently free digital coins distributed to users that meet certain criteria. And it’s a phenomenon some cryptocurrency investors have chased in recent months in the hopes of profits.
As Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee notes, that interest is enough for tokens with upcoming forks to maybe do well. Notably, Lee calls for investors to generally stay out of smaller cryptocurrencies, and stick with giants of the space.
“Tokens with upcoming forks and airdrops have outperformed bitcoin by 4.8% since the peak of altcoins,” wrote Lee in a note Thursday. “We identify six major forks/airdrops in next 90 days, which could support interest in these tokens.”
Here are the scheduled forks and airdrops Lee highlighted:
- ZClassic/Bitcoin fork of Bitcoin Private expected Feb. 28
- Monero fork of MoneroV expected March 14
- Ethereum Classic airdrop of Callisto expected March 5
- Neo airdrop of Ontology expected March 1
- EOS airdrop of Everipedia IQ Tokens
Lee also pointed to the “minor” drop of United Bitcoin (a Bitcoin fork) on Ethereum, Litecoin, Qtum, and Hshare holders—though he also noted that the “impact is minor.”
The only rather glaring problem: Forks can be messy and risky. Not all exchanges may choose to support the new cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, exchanges are also constantly changing—with software alterations requiring investors to be wary of updates. In mid-February for example, Coinbase enabled SegWit-compatible Bitcoin transactions in a bid to lower fees. In doing so, however, users who accidentally sent Bitcoin Cash to a Bitcoin address would lose their funds.
As Lee wrote in a follow up note, “Claiming the forked/airdrop token is not so easy.”