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  • Jed McCaleb’s XRP bag is almost gone, Ethereum’s difficulty bomb delayed, and FTX inks deal with BlockFi: Hodler’s Digest, June 26-July 2
    by Editorial Staff on July 2, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Coming every Saturday, Hodlers Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more a week on Cointelegraph in one link.Top Stories This Week  After 8 years dumping billions of XRP, Jed McCalebs stack runs out in weeksRipple Labs co-founder and former chief technology officer Jed McCaleb is nearing the end of his eight-year-long XRP dumpathon. The former Ripple exec has been gradually shedding his stash of 9 billion XRP since his departure in 2014. As of June 30, McCaleb only had 81.53 million XRP worth $26.55 million remaining, much to the delight of die-hard Ripple supporters. 80,000 Bitcoin millionaires wiped out in the great crypto crash of 2022The number of wallets holding over $1 million worth of Bitcoin has decreased by roughly 80,000, from 108,886 on Nov. 12 to a mere 26,284 as of June 30. That represents a 75% plunge within nine months. However, with the price of BTC crashing down to the $20,000 region and potentially lower, it may also give more people a chance to become whole coiners.  Old-school photographers grapple with NFTs: New world, new rules June 23, 2022 Risky business: Celsius crisis and the hated accredited investor laws June 21, 2022 Soulbound Tokens: Social credit system or spark for global adoption? June 16, 2022 The trouble with automated market makers June 10, 2022 Thailands crypto islands: Working in paradise, Part 1 June 8, 2022  Ethereum fork a success as Sepolia testnet gears up to trial the MergeOn Thursday morning, the Gray Glacier hard fork designed to delay the difficulty bomb successfully went live on Ethereum. The hard fork will delay the difficulty bomb by roughly 100 days as developers work to get the final stages of the Merge completed. Over the next few days, the Sepolia testnet is also set to run through its Merge trial, making it the second of three public testnets to do so. Bear market will last until crypto apps are actually useful: Mark CubanBillionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the current bear market wont be over until theres a stronger focus on applications that provide utility. Speaking on the Bankless podcast, he noted, It lasts until theres a catalyst and that catalyst is going to be an application, or we get so low people go fuck it, I’ll buy some. BlockFi announces deal with FTX US, including option to acquire for $240MAmid rumors that FTX US was planning to acquire beleaguered crypto lender BlockFi for as little as $25 million, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince revealed Friday that the actual deal was more costly. According to Prince, BlockFi signed agreements with the derivatives exchange for a $400-million revolving credit facility. As part of the deal, FTX US will have the ability to purchase BlockFi outright for up to $240 million. Still, thats a drop in the bucket compared with BlockFis valuation this time last year, which was roughly $5 billion.     Winners and Losers At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $19,433.55, Ether (ETH) at $1,058.95 and XRP at $0.31. The total market cap is at $867.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are TerraClassicUSD (USTC) at 164.07%, Amp (AMP) at 7.52% and Compound (COMP) at 6.15%.The top three altcoin losers of the week are Storj (STORJ) at 30.28%, Polygon (MATIC) at 21.52% and Zcash (ZEC) at 21.67%.For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.   Old-school photographers grapple with NFTs: New world, new rules June 23, 2022 Risky business: Celsius crisis and the hated accredited investor laws June 21, 2022 Soulbound Tokens: Social credit system or spark for global adoption? June 16, 2022 The trouble with automated market makers June 10, 2022 Thailands crypto islands: Working in paradise, Part 1 June 8, 2022   Most Memorable Quotations Anonymous is looking into Do Kwons entire history since he entered the crypto space to see what we can learn and bring to light. Anonymous, hacktivist group In the midst of this, Bitcoin and Ethereum have both traded below their previous cycle ATHs which is a first in history. Glassnode, Blockchain analysis firm A very solid use case for crypto is becoming apparent in the gaming industry, where people invest time that you can earn from it, and that’s all arranged by the blockchain.Maurice Mureau, CEO of Hodl There has been a real spike in the interest from traditional hedge funds who are taking a look at Tether and looking to short it. Leon Marshall, head of institutional sales at Genesis The metaverse is a market opportunity, a way to re-engage talent, and a path to connect people across the globe through a new collaborative experience.Laura Newinski, deputy chair and chief operating officer at KPMG Weve been so focused on tokens and money and Web3. I think its time to refocus on the underlying infrastructure layers that make all of that possible.Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares Prediction of the Week Dogecoin price could rally 20% in July with this bullish reversal patternThe price of OG memecoin DOGE appears to have been running through a bump-and-run-reversal (BARR) bottom since May 11, a technical pattern that points to extended trend reversals in a bear market. The pattern consists of three phases: lead-in, bump, and run. As it stands, DOGE appears to be in the bump phase and could be set for a 20% pump to $0.00941 in the near future.  FUD of the WeekInfamous North Korean hacker group identified as suspect for $100M Harmony attackProminent North Korea-based hacking syndicate the Lazarus Group has been identified as a key suspect behind the recent $100 million Harmony protocol hack. According to a report published on Thursday by blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, the way in which Harmonys Horizon bridge was hacked and the stolen assets laundered bears a striking resemblance to previous Lazarus hacks, such as the $600 million Axie Infinity hack in April. Singapore reprimands 3AC for providing false informationThe potentially insolvent crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) has been reprimanded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for providing inaccurate information regarding the number of assets it owned. When 3AC was registered in Singapore in 2013, it was permitted to manage funds for up to 30 investors worth up to $180 million, but it appears there may have been some alleged smudging of the lines in the name of supposed compliance. OpenSea data breach causes massive leak of users email addressesNFT marketplace giant OpenSea issued a warning to users on Thursday that a list of customers emails had been leaked to an outside party. The leak happened via an employee of, a platform for managing email newsletters and campaigns. The firm warned users to be on the lookout for potential phishing attacks.  Best Cointelegraph FeaturesThailands Crypto Utopia 90% of a cult, without all the weird stuffThe story of how a Bitcoin OG set up a libertarian crypto community and commune for digital nomads on beautiful islands in Thailand three times and why he hasnt yet given up on the dream.Governments, enterprise, gaming: Who will drive the next crypto bull run?With all the recent turbulence in the crypto space, the question of the moment is: What will drive the next crypto bull run?Metaverse fractional ownership to form similarly to property loans: Casper execRalf Kubli said that smart contracts can create fractionalization agreements and divide plots of metaverse land that can be leased out individually.  The best of blockchain, every Tuesday Subscribe for thoughtful explorations and leisurely reads from Magazine. 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  • Bitcoin indicator that nailed all bottoms predicts $15.6K BTC price floor
    by William Suberg on July 2, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    The MVRV-Z Score is a tried and tested bottom indicator, but it is not back at base yet, one analyst warns. Bitcoin (BTC) needs to go lower before putting in a macro bottom, one of the market’s most accurate indicators shows.Data from sources including on-chain analytics firm Glassnode shows Bitcoin’s MVRV-Z Score is almost — but not quite — signaling a price reversal.MVRV-Z Score inches towards macro bottomAmid ongoing debate whether if, or when, BTC/USD will go beyond its current macro lows of $17,600, new figures suggest that the market easily has further to fall.As noted by Filbfilb, co-founder of trading suite Decentrader, the MVRV-Z score is now in its classic green zone, but not yet at the point which has accompanied price bottoms in the past.MVRV-Z measures how high or low the Bitcoin spot price is relative to what is referred to as its “fair value.” It uses market cap and realized price data along with standard deviation to create what has turned out to be one of the most efficient Bitcoin top and bottom prediction tools.MVRV-Z has caught every macro top and bottom on BTC/USD in its history, and done so with an accuracy of two weeks, data resource LookIntoBitcoin notes.The metric has only gone below its green zone a handful of times, the last being in March 2020, but more downside pressure would deliver a repeat performance.“This chart is *the one* for me,” Filbfilb commented about the latest readings. “We normally bottom when MC Bitcoin MVRV-Z Score chart. Source: Glassnode$16,000 bottom zone gains traction$15,600 would tie in with various existing predictions of where Bitcoin is due to bottom. Related: Bitcoin will see ‘long bear market’ says trader with BTC price stuck at $19KIn an update to Twitter followers at the weekend, meanwhile, popular account CryptoBullet included that area as one of several important support zones to watch.$16,000, it confirmed, also marks the average deviation from Bitcoin’s 50-month moving average.Some very important #BTC levels:16k – Average Deviation from MA50 (-25%)14k – 2019 Echo Bubble Top12.2k – Celsius Liquidation10.7k – Key Horizontal Level— CryptoBullet (@CryptoBullet1) July 2, 2022 Bitcoin’s relative strength index, or RSI, is already at its lowest ever, another indication of the oversold nature of a market now below its previous halving cycle’s peak of nearly $20,000.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

  • Why longevity matters to everyone: Living longer lives in the world of Web3
    by Garri Zmudze on July 2, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    Physicians and founders are rallying behind longevity medicine, and here is what a longer and healthier human lifespan means for the crypto community. Expected to reach a market size of $128 billion by 2028, the longevity sector is no longer something that those outside the medical world can ignore. In the next few years, life-extending technologies and treatments for aging-related diseases will reach human trials. There is an exciting wave of development happening in research labs and technology centers across the globe, with more and more early adopters embarking on their longevity journeys.As I’ve remarked in my earlier article, the crypto community would do well to learn more and engage in the growing longevity field. Longevity not only incorporates disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies but also has a visionary spirit and is supported by stakeholders dedicated to improving the human aging experience.To share more about this up-and-coming sector, I spoke with three individuals about their alignment with longevity science and why they want you to know about the opportunities afforded by embracing longevity. The sector has already shown tremendous support in favor of the industry. The insights from one of the world’s foremost longevity physicians, the founder of the world’s leading full-service blockchain technology company, are unique but share a common theme: It is time for the world to pay attention to what the future holds for human lifespans.Evelyne Yehudit Bischof, chair of the Longevity Science Foundation visionary board“As a longevity physician, my goal is to maintain or even improve the quality of life for someone. But the term ‘longevity’ conjures images of living longer. But it’s more than just that. Life has to be fulfilling. It has to be fun. In longevity medicine, it is essential to focus on physical health as well as behavioral and mental health. All these pieces fit to make a healthy human.”“In general, I am not a fan of sweeping recommendations. I like personalization. I like structure. I especially like structure when developing treatment trajectories for a patient. Of course, there is a foundation of longevity that incorporates common themes. However, I do not have typical recommendations for everybody.”“I look at the unique characteristics of each patient in several different categories. The first category is metabolic optimization. This category encompasses nutritional improvements, exercise and hormones. Some people are athletes, and I also work with pre- and post-menopausal women. Some patients are preparing for pregnancy. These unique characteristics factor into the recommendations.”“The second category is sleep. Many people underestimate how important sleep is to maintaining healthy bodily functions. As part of patient evaluation, I look at how easily the patient falls asleep and how optimal the sleep is based on oxygen levels, the number of apnea episodes, and more.”“The third optimization area is cognition. Neurodegeneration is a significant concern for individuals as they age, and optimizing this area requires early prevention of any cognitive decline or neurosurgical health. Cognition also includes mental health. I am trained in psychiatry, so mental health is essential to me. A lot of people are already on antipsychotics or antidepressants. I meet patients where they are and help them achieve their goals of improving mental health.”“As you can see, we very much focus on the granular level in longevity treatment. We focus on all aspects of a person to ensure treatments work in harmony. Physicians and patients need to remember that flexibility is key for any medical success. Longevity treatment should be just as flexible.”Val Vavilov, founder and chief visionary officer of Bitfury and member of the Longevity Science Foundation patrons board“My interest in longevity began as a personal one. Running a global, billion-dollar company takes a toll on you. To achieve our mission, I realized that I needed to optimize not only my health but also my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development. Health is usually one of the first things people neglect when they are focused elsewhere.”“I started reading about everything that was considered cutting-edge in the field, from intermittent fasting to veganism. I even went as detailed to evaluate the micronutrients of different fruits and vegetables I was eating to balance them. When you start researching these things, you will eventually come to the field of longevity because longevity is all about the optimization of your life and health. That speaks to the engineer in me. We look at what we can optimize and how to do it. I spent more than a year optimizing my health, food, sleep — everything. And now, I feel better than I did in my 20s!”“I became a patron of the Longevity Science Foundation because I genuinely believe longevity should not just belong to one group of people. Everyone deserves access to the tools and science to live longer and healthier lives. I support the mission of the foundation to democratize access to this information because everyone has the right to it. Longevity should be shared.”“What is the point of living a longer and healthier life if you are the only person benefiting from it? What kind of a world will you inherit? How can you build a better one if you are alone? Longevity is a crucial piece of our collective future. Crypto, blockchain and Web3 make it easier for us to work together and support each other — while protecting ourselves. Longevity science means we can do that while living longer, being healthier and being happier. In other words: A better existence is out there for humans if we collaborate and create more open systems accessible to everyone.”Maja Vujinovic, managing director of OGroup and member of the Longevity Science Foundation patrons board“I’ve been an early pioneer in emerging technologies since 2005, entering spaces, such as mobile payments, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, CRISPR and cryptocurrencies, years before they reached mainstream understanding and recognition. Working at this leading edge requires one to constantly question the status quo and to search for optimization. I’m bringing the same pioneering attitude to longevity: There is more to longevity medicine than the extension of life. It’s about nudging our evolutionary engine. It is a challenging yet thrilling quest.”“Our ancestors had countless challenges to overcome as we moved from caves to dwellings to tribes to cities to where we are now. We had to deal with predators, disease, famine, war, infection. While many of these challenges still exist, we have defenses against many of them. These are defenses that we developed outside of ourselves. There was nothing evolutionary about them. Today, it is a combination of internal and external development that is furthering society. Thanks to incredible technological breakthroughs, we are able to access products that aid in our evolutionary process.”“However, our biological evolution has been outpaced by a technological revolution. Simply put, the human brain cannot advance with the same inertia as current technological progress. This might seem like a scary concept, but it’s also an exciting one. This unprecedented progress is inspiring. I see this spirit in the crypto community, and I see it again in longevity medicine. There is a powerful movement to improve the way existing systems like the financial sector function by disrupting and democratizing them. I see the longevity thesis as a disruptor of the way we age.”“Longevity medicine is about the balance of technology and our own awareness to be more present and a reminder of the basics. In some aspects, our quality of life is even worse than that of our ancestors, as we have less time to do the things we love. Our appetite for connection is decreasing as a result of constant technology usage and less human interaction. Thus, longevity is about making a plan for yourself that looks beyond a pill, injection, hyperbaric chamber or an expensive health spa. Instead, it is about establishing a daily routine and lasting, sustained change versus mindless, endless growth for the sake of growth. It requires planning, restrategizing our healthcare costs, and upgrading where it makes sense.”“You commit to that in your work. Are you ready to do that for your life?”The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Garri Zmudze is a managing partner at LongeVC, a Switzerland- and Cyprus-based venture capital firm accelerating innovative startups in biotech and longevity. He is a seasoned business expert and angel investor with several successful exits across biotech and tech companies. He is a long-time supporter and investor in biotech companies, including Insilico Medicine, Deep Longevity and Basepaws.

  • What determines the Bitcoin price?
    by Jagjit Singh on July 2, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    The market forces called supply and demand determine Bitcoin’s price, which is volatile due to the uncertainty regarding BTC’s future value. What will happen if Bitcoin’s price crashes to zero?If BTC’s price drops to zero, it will impact the traders, institutional investors, price of other digital currencies, cryptocurrency enterprises and the whole financial system.Now, assuming that BTC’s price declines to zero, it will impact the price of other cryptocurrencies. As a result, many investors could just withdraw (completely or substantially) to reduce losses, depending on their type of investment. Large institutional investors may be particularly at risk because more and more have made larger investments to diversify their portfolios. The most exposed would be those who invested more recently at high prices or in crypto derivatives, and they would need to liquidate other assets to fulfill margin calls.Customers may lose faith in a system that appears to be crumbling, affecting cryptocurrency enterprises like Coinbase, Binance, etc., that depend on customers for transaction flow to generate revenue and funding/investments to grow. Investments in these companies may also stop altogether or significantly decline. Additionally, such enterprises may no longer be able to hire, pay or attract the personnel necessary to run and expand them.Furthermore, the contagion may, at least temporarily, have an impact on the rest of the financial system due to: Downward pressure on other assets such as those sold in a fire sale to raise money to meet obligations, such as paying remuneration, margin calls, maintaining premises, etc., andThe accumulation of bad debt or non-performing loans due to payment defaults amid the loss of revenue and capital.Why is the Bitcoin price so volatile?Uncertainty regarding the intrinsic value of Bitcoin and BTC’s future value makes it a highly volatile asset.A decreasing amount of new BTC is created each day since a finite quantity of Bitcoin exists. To maintain a steady price, demand must match this inflation rate. The Bitcoin market is quite small compared to other industries, and media coverage alone can drive its price up or down. For instance, news about Tesla’s willingness to accept BTC will drive its value upwards or vice-versa, making Bitcoin’s price highly volatile.Similarly, a tweet that the Bitcoin blockchain has been halted will drive its value down, followed by Bitcoin trading volume. So, considering high volatility, can the Bitcoin price go to zero? Technically, it is possible. For instance, the price of BTC is not pegged to any fiat currency like the U.S. dollar or any other real-world asset; it is susceptible to value crashes. However, we have seen that algorithmic stablecoins like Terra USD can create market turbulence too. Nevertheless, for such a catastrophic event to happen in the case of BTC, many red flags, such as an extended bull market, will appear in advance to allow investors to protect their funds. Also, the complex Bitcoin architecture is not easy to destroy; however, its scalability issues may put its future at risk. But, that does not mean that BTC’s price will suddenly fall to zero.What factors could impact Bitcoin’s price?Various factors impacting Bitcoin’s price include the supply and demand of BTC, competition from other cryptocurrencies and news, cost of production and regulation.Supply and demandThose with a background in economics are aware of the law of supply and demand. However, if you are unfamiliar with this concept, let’s help you to understand. As per this law, supply and demand market forces work together to determine the market price and the quantity of a specific commodity. For instance, the demand for an economic good declines as the price increases, and sellers will produce more of it or vice-versa.An event called Bitcoin halving impacts the Bitcoin’s price like the situation in which the supply of BTC decrease whereas the demand for BTC increases. As a result of the high demand, the price of BTC will move upward. Moreover, Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto with a 21 million BTC hard cap. That said, miners will no longer receive new Bitcoin for confirming transactions once that cap has been reached. The four-year halving of block rewards might not affect the price of BTC at that point. The things that will determine Bitcoin’s value will instead be its real-life applications.Competition and newsBTC faces competition from altcoins like Ethereum (ETH) and meme coins like Dogecoin (DOGE), making portfolio diversification appealing to investors. Any upgrades by the existing cryptocurrencies might drive BTC’s price down in contrast to a completely different scenario in which Bitcoin was the only existing digital currency. Due to media coverage, you may want to buy crypto assets with a positive outlook and ignore those with a shady future. Cost of productionProduction costs for Bitcoin include infrastructural expenses, electricity charges for mining and the difficulty level of the mathematical algorithm (indirect cost). The various levels of difficulty in BTC’s algorithms can slow down or speed up the currency’s production pace, impacting Bitcoin’s supply, which, in turn, affects its price.RegulationCryptocurrency regulations are constantly changing, from countries like El Salvador accepting it as a legal tender to China formally banning crypto transactions. The price of BTC could decrease if there is concern over a specific government’s decision against cryptocurrencies. Additionally, regulatory uncertainty will create fear among investors, dipping Bitcoin’s value even further.How is Bitcoin valued?Market forces called supply and demand influence Bitcoin’s price. The price typically decreases when there are more sellers or vice-versa.Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital coin, which is not issued by any government or legal body, in contrast to fiat currencies like the dollar, pound, euro and yen. To create, store and move BTC, a dispersed network of users and cryptographic protocols are required. Investors, carry out their commercial transactions directly as opposed to using a middleman. The peer-to-peer network removes trade restrictions and streamlines commerce. Satoshi Nakamoto first proposed the world’s first cryptocurrency in 2008, which was launched in January 2009.The number of businesses accepting Bitcoin is growing daily, giving it a real market value. However, this virtual currency has been severely hampered by security issues and volatility. Even at the height of its popularity, it was challenging to find precise answers to common questions like what determines Bitcoin’s value, who sets Bitcoin’s price and whether Bitcoin has intrinsic value?The same market dynamics, i.e., supply and demand, that affect the price of other goods and services, also decide the value of Bitcoin. Prices will probably rise if there are more buyers than sellers or vice-versa. Furthermore, it is essential to note that the price of Bitcoin is not determined by a single entity nor can it be traded in a single location. Based on supply and demand, each market or exchange sets its price.

  • How to earn crypto passive income with forks and airdrops?
    by Murtuza Merchant on July 2, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    Hard forks and airdrops are forms of passive income strategies, which are essentially free giveaways of particular tokens to users. When cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) go through bear phases like the one we currently find ourselves in, the idea of earning passive income from one’s holdings becomes all the more attractive for long-term investors. Related: Decentralized finance: A beginner’s guide to earning passive income with DeFiDifferent methods such as staking, lending, cloud mining, and yield farming have become popular in the past few years and involve rewarding investors with money or tokens for the crypto tokens invested in the mechanism. However, with hard forks or airdrops, users who are active in the crypto ecosystem can forage for tokens or projects that offer additional tokens in proportion to their vested holdings as a reward for a variety of reasons. Since both are intended at increasing the popularity of the project or as part of a promotional campaign, hard forks and airdrops work differently and come into existence through completely unique mechanisms.Let us look at what differentiates crypto airdrops from hard forks and how one can benefit from them when invested in the crypto market for the long term.What is a crypto airdrop and how does it work?Considered to be like manna from heaven for crypto fans willing to experiment with different projects, crypto airdrops require minimum technical knowledge and potentially lower risks. A crypto airdrop is a gratuitous distribution of a cryptocurrency coin or token to existing token holders, also known as token giveaways colloquially. Usually associated with the launch of a new project or cryptocurrency, the intent of an airdrop is to gain more user traction in a market that is flooded with thousands of crypto tokens and coins.Purely promotional in nature, users do not have control over when an airdrop might occur, and it is usually done by developers or crypto entrepreneurs to reward existing token holders with additional tokens or coins for free. The quantum of tokens awarded is based on the invested amount or contributions made toward a project and is similar to how traditional brands offer freebies to popularize a new product offering.There are two types of crypto airdrops: retroactive airdrops and takeover airdrops, with key differences between the two being at which stage they are being offered and their specific purpose. A retroactive airdrop is generally announced when an existing blockchain protocol is planning to unveil its native crypto token and rewards early users or those who have contributed to the project prior to a particular date. It is a very popular tool for creating hype around the soon-to-be-launched token. Meanwhile, it also serves as a liquidity creation mechanism and helps with audience engagement by awarding tokens in exchange for retweets, feedback or even increasing followers on social media.Takeover airdrops are employed when decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols want to snatch users away from the competition or increase their chances of retaining them by offering greater rewards. While it is a comparatively more aggressive form of an airdrop, takeover airdrops are targeted at liquidity providers and users who have displayed higher engagement in activities such as staking so as to attract them away from a competing DeFi protocol. DeFi aggregator 1INCH conducted a number of airdrops with the specific intention of enticing rival Uniswap users to shift to its platform, rewarding specific user sets in a series of airdrops and acting as a classic example of how free crypto airdrops are utilized.Advantages and disadvantages of crypto airdropsThey have long been considered an unorthodox form of radical marketing in the crypto space, but crypto airdrops have become increasingly popular. Innumerable projects use this method to spur the adoption of their new crypto tokens. Airdrops offer superlative benefits for crypto entrepreneurs and investors alike, making them the most preferred marketing tool to create initial hype and catalyze user traction — two elements that are critical for a new coin’s success.For crypto firms aiming to launch a native token for their blockchain or DeFi protocol, crypto airdrops are possibly the simplest and most cost-effective mode of advertising in the crypto world today. Even though it involves expending a lot of tokens, and that, too, for free, these form a rather small portion of the overall tokens to be brought into circulation and are a sure-shot way of generating excitement among other crypto token holders as they see users earn crypto from the free airdrops.On the flip side, airdrops can have a negative implication if too many tokens are given as part of the airdrop, diluting the market value of the token and impacting the token’s price in the process. Moreover, most of the addresses that receive the airdrop could sell the received tokens immediately once it is listed, which will again exert downward pressure on the token’s price. For users, it is also important to conduct due research to weed out dump airdrops or crypto scams that are getting more sophisticated with time.If the token increases in popularity and demand, these airdropped tokens can potentially generate even more returns as the value of the token increases in tune. By simply following a project on its various social media handles or by sharing news about it with friends, crypto airdrops reward crypto users with free tokens that can be worth hundreds of dollars, with absolutely no strings attached.In fact, for crypto wallet holders or those holding specific crypto tokens, airdrops are a great way of making good profits on what is basically a zero investment and can be a great way of generating passive income in the crypto markets. All one needs to do is to stay tuned to projects or companies that are slated to offer airdrops and take advantage of them.Thus, not only can you make money from crypto airdrops by immediately selling the received tokens on a crypto exchange, you can opt to hold them for a longer duration and potentially increase the chances of generating even more returns.What are hard forks and how do they work?More often than not, blockchain protocols undergo alterations to produce a new blockchain that runs in parallel with the original but may differ in terms of the end utility that it offers to users and token holders. One of the most prominent examples of such a parallel blockchain is the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fork, creating a P2P cash system in the process from what is essentially a Bitcoin hard fork.Related: Soft fork vs. hard fork: Differences explainedThere are other Bitcoin forks such as Bitcoin Gold, and they demonstrate how hard forks are created by changing the base protocol’s code to create a parallel version of it that is intended for a different purpose. Moreover, since the newly created blockchain requires a native token for its users to transact with, a hard fork results in the creation of a new crypto token and creates value for those who were invested in the original coin. A notable example of this was when each BTC holder received an equivalent amount of BCH tokens in August 2017, generating sizable returns considering a listing price of $900 for Bitcoin Cash on cryptocurrency exchanges.With an increasing number of new blockchain protocols being created and many more branching out through hard forks, it is easy to see how investors can benefit from hard forks without assuming high risks. However, not all hard forks originate from an intention to create a new system, with some being the product of a crypto debacle. Take the example of the Ethereum hard fork, Ethereum Classic (ETC), which even supports a different consensus mechanism and has the native ETC token that can be exchanged on cryptocurrency exchanges freely. Hived off from the “official” Ethereum blockchain, it came into existence in response to the attack on Ethereum’s most notable project, The DAO, and issued tokens to all existing ETH holders in a 1:1 ratio. Originally intended as a new decentralized business model for commercial and non-profit entities, The DAO was subject to a vulnerability attack which led to a few users siphoning off one-third of its funds to a secondary account. When the Ethereum community voted to hard-fork the original blockchain in order to restore the lost funds, it split the blockchain into two branches and the unforked blockchain was renamed Ethereum Classic.For discerning investors, there are many opportunities often available to invest in blockchain protocols before a hard fork and potentially take advantage of the additional new tokens on offer. However, it is important to conduct thorough research and invest only in those tokens that have sound fundamentals in order to make money from hard forks.Pros and cons of hard forksHard forks provide developers with the opportunity to add new functionalities without having to alter the original blockchain, especially when it has a huge user base that would not like any changes to be made. It also involves less computational power than employing a soft fork and provides more privacy too.What’s more, token holders and investors are issued extra hard fork tokens, which can be immediately monetized or held to benefit from long-term appreciation, a scenario with a high probability if the hard fork succeeds in its objective and gains prominence in the crypto space. However, this may not always be the case, as demonstrated by BCH, which is trading near all-time lows since its issuance in 2017.Apart from the chances of price erosion, users of the hard fork face a higher risk of losing their token holdings in the light of an attack. Because a hard fork occurs as a result of the underlying blockchain being split, it is often perceived as detrimental to the security of the network, making them more vulnerable to malicious attacks. This is especially true if the split occurs between the nodes and miners, as it exposes the blockchain and its fork to bad actors who could use their computing power to overcome the network to steal funds. Irrespective of the type of attack, the intention is either to undermine the network’s reputation, which could lead to price erosion for the native token, or to steal funds from the network itself and divert them to accounts on another network. This would result in investors losing capital on the hard fork tokens as well as the original token. Therefore, it is important to research the actual improvements being made in a hard fork and whether the developers have taken the necessary precautions to insulate the fork from any attack. Investors can benefit from hard forks if they stay abreast of the latest developments and spot the right opportunities to generate income by earning crypto through hard forks.