I would like to recount a tale of being scammed on an altcoin that had a huge potential upside. I was out to make over 15 BTC by manipulating a small market on Bittrex. A pump and dump of the century, curated by yours truly; I thought. In the end, the coin got hijacked by its developer. I managed to get 3 BTC back in the end, but still lost around 5 BTC due to an unexpected hard fork.
It all started in Late April 2015. I had just had my eyes opened to the massive potential of truly trading the altcoin markets (a potential I, personally, still have yet to fully tap). I thought I saw a coin in the twilight phases of a selloff, and I had just made my first 4 BTC on a pump. A novice to the altcoin markets and a hasty trader, I began to put all 4 BTC I had into the coin as it was falling. It hit its all-time low and I kept buying. It sank lower. I kept buying. At one point I was personally holding the price at 100 satoshi below the all-time-low and I was *incredibly proud*. I thought, “wow, I am holding a coin up just like a whale does.” What a stupid idiot I was.
The coin sank to 25% of the “all time low” over time. Everyone was selling off. I never stopped buying. I bought new bitcoin to buy this coin. Another 4 BTC. I was *all in* with 8 BTC and 33% of the total possible coins in circulation. Any fluctuation in price made my wallet, and stomach, jump with excitement. I could buy every coin available below 500 sat and make it look like I had 30 more BTC in my wallet than I actually did.
Well, a year went by and I was still buying. I was dedicated. I was a true believer. I was greedy.
Then wallet issues started to come up, the blockchain was too big (there were 16 second blocks) and bittrex didn’t want to host the coin anymore for how much it was costing them. The developer, who hadn’t posted to the main forum for over a year because he “lost his account password” (see: got banned from bitcointalk for scamming), created a new account.
They announced that all the coins would undergo a 10:1 swap, and the blockchain would be reset. I argued very loudly that this was a bad idea, and since I was holding the most coin, they should listen to me. They disappeared.
5 months later, they returned to announce that it was happening in 5 days. That’s right, they gave 5 days advance notice that a hardfork was happening. The kicker? All coins had to be sent to Bittrex for the hard fork. No bittrex account? S.O.L. In effect, a hard fork on the coin that had a total of 10 idiot users, and a developer so inactive that the only way to get news was to check a forum thread that was *never updated*. They blindly followed his lead, thanked him for his genius and generosity, and I honestly half expected nothing to happen. Real gains started to happen on the coin. I actually made about .25BTC.
Then, the hardfork.
All coins not sent to Bittrex were given to the developer. In addition, 25 million coins were created out of thin air. (the original “burn” of the coin was recreated and credited to the dev). A new, very buggy, wallet was released. The Developers didn’t even own a mac or mac simulation software to test if the wallet would work. Everyone involved patted themselves on the back for a job well done. They all have pretty poor English writing skills.
The “market” responded to a 1/10 reduction in coins by having a 10x price increase. Haha, not really.
The whole market had to be reset due to the hardfork, so trades that had been sitting for over a year were cleared to make room for the “new trades”. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many new trades. In fact, it still baffles me to this day why they decided a 10:1 coin fork was better than a 1:10. Alas, idiots will do what idiots will do. The coin basically trades at 1000 satoshi now (slightly higher or lower on a day-to-day basis). Which was 100 satoshi at the old market rate. My 33% of the total coin became around 10%, and I immediately tried to recoup my loss by selling at market rate. I made about 3 BTC back in the end. A total loss of 5 BTC.
I made a risky bet. I knew that all along. I just wish that in the end I didn’t have to place so much trust in the developers of the altcoin I chose. I thought that altcoins were trustless. Now, I will always remember that Cryptos are as trustless as the person holding the github update password. Don’t trust anyone out here in the new wild west of the internet. Everyone is looking to take advantage of you.
Oh, and the developer? I dread to give them any more publicity than they deserve, but at the risk of helping them, maybe I can further harm their reputations. Dev: Kingscrown. The coin: Exclusivecoin (EXCL)
Don’t touch these or anyone associated with them. They are poison.