High-rated coins to buy. Deceptive, imitation coins to avoid.

If you haven’t been following us on Twitter, you’re missing a lot of action and very timely information. To sign up, just go here.

This is especially important right now with our highest-rated cryptocurrencies on fire …

Cardano rose from its 2018 low of US$0.14 to a recent high of $0.38.

NEO went from $44.62 to a $92.63.

EOS has surged from $4.01 to its recent high of $21.13!

Plus more.

This doesn’t mean they’re risk-free. Periodic price declines and even crashes are normal in the crypto world. But their recent price gains are a testament to all the factors we consider in our ratings — their innovative technologies, solid adoption metrics and excellent promise for the future.

I have written frequently about these super coins. They are truly worthy of your investment dollars.

At the same time, I have warned you away from the coins to avoid.

I’ve told about The Flaws of Bitcoin Copycats, such as Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, Bitcoin God and others that provide only minor improvements in technology but suffer from major deficiencies in adoption.

Plus, I’ve alerted you to the intellectual dishonesty of cryptos like Bitcoin Cash.

Yet, some of these seem almost forgivable in comparison to the schemes I’m going to tell you about today …

The Serial Coin Imitator

If the man fools me once, shame on him.

If he fools me twice, shame on me.

And if we let him get away with it a third time, shame on all of us.

Who? I typically don’t name names, but this case seems so egregious to me, I will cite two: Everett Forth and Rhett Creighton.

“What did they do?” you ask.

Actually, they’re the same person. He used to go by the former name. Now he uses the latter. So I’ll just refer to him as “the serial coin imitator.”

His modus operandi: He basically takes a project that’s already out. He forks it (copies the existing code). He changes a few meaningless parameters. He re-labels it. And then he promotes it as “the next big thing” in crypto.

The saga begins with …

ZCash’s Innovation:
Zero-Knowledge Proof

ZCash is an innovative project by an honest team of developers, pioneering a unique, new privacy feature called “zero-knowledge proof.”

MIT calls zero-knowledge proofs one of the 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2018, and credits ZCash for making possible the first practical implementation of them.

This allow individuals to prove they own something — or that they have a certain critical faculty — without revealing who they are, what they own or what the faculty is.

ZCash has all kinds of possibilities: For example, it could make it possible to hold free elections on a blockchain, preventing fraud, protecting against hacking, as well as assuring that each voter’s ballot remains confidential and untraceable. This is a big deal.

But then, along comes the serial coin imitator, launching a series of three imitation coins. To better understand how he does it, let’s go back in time and walk through his projects, coin by coin …

Imitation #1

It’s 2016, and the serial coin imitator has a simple plan:

First, he grabs the innovative genius from ZCash by copying their code.

Second, he (with his team) cooks up a rationale for making a minor change: He argues ZCash developers have created an annoying “miner tax,” which collects money from coin miners to fund work by developers. And he bashes the implied centralization.

Next, he deletes that one small piece of the code; touts his project as more decentralized; boasts he’s taking the higher moral ground; and positions his project as “truer to the core philosophy of cryptocurrencies.”

His real agenda: To cash in on the innovations made by the ZCash team and disguise the fact that his work is just a cheap imitation.

Imitation #2
Bitcoin Private

Fast forward to early 2018.

Apparently, copying ZCash isn’t quite enough. So the serial coin imitator makes a new announcement: He and his team are forking ZClassic itself into another coin named Bitcoin Private.

And get this: The reason for the fork is that they want to introduce a “voluntary miner contribution” program to their original ZClassic.

The say it’s different. But it means they’re essentially adding back the same “miner tax” they had previously deleted.

Now, Bitcoin Private is truly identical to the original ZCash, except for meaningless differences. The only noteworthy change is the branding. They figure going back to the tried-and-tested name “Bitcoin” will earn them more visibility.

Imitation #3
Bitcoin Prime

This brings us back to the present.

After misleading investors by creating Bitcoin Private, building some hype around it, and making some big money in the process, the serial coin imitator is not giving up.

Click image for a larger view.

Based on one of his recent Tweets, it looks like he wants to grab the code of a nearly dead cryptocurrency called PrimeCoin, fork it into a new one he calls “Bitcoin Prime,” and start the game all over again.

To their credit, back at Bitcoin Private, the team bid the serial coin imitator a not-so-fond farewell.

Time for Investors to Wake Up

We recently conducted a poll about this on Twitter. We asked users to select which coin they believe is more closely aligned with Satoshi’s original vision — Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin Private. Surprisingly, the majority selected Bitcoin Private.

So it seems many people have yet to catch on. But there are notable exceptions …

On social media recently, some people have been slamming Bitcoin Prime project.

And Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer not only called the man out on this scheme, he also got him to admit he was holding PrimeCoin prior to his announcement that drove up its value.

Our Advice Is to Follow 3 Basic Rules:

Rule #1. Focus your investment dollars on the coins at the top of our list, meriting a grade of B- or better.

Rule #2. Avoid — or promptly get rid of — any coins you may have that merit ratings of D+ or lower, like Bitcoin Gold (D), DigiByte (D+), Electroneum (E), Nebulas Token (D+) or ReddCoin (D+).

Rule #3. Don’t touch the cheap imitation coins with a 10-foot pole. We don’t even bother to rate them.

And no matter what, be sure to follow us on Twitter.



About the Editor

When econometrician and pro trader Juan M. Villaverde first applied his algorithms to Bitcoin years ago, he discovered a regular cyclical pattern. And he has since used it to build the world’s first crypto timing model based on cycles. Thanks to his analysis, the Weiss Ratings team has accurately picked the top and bottom of major crypto booms and busts.

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