Stellar Community Warns About ‘Dolphin’, a Dubious Hard Fork

Stellar Dolphin is presenting itself as an upcoming hard fork of Stellar Lumens (XLM). It’s making the rounds on social media, seeking pre-sale investors, and promising an airdrop at the end of the month.

But the crypto community is wary, and many believe that it’s a scam. Does Dolphin have any legitimacy?

Is Dolphin Really a Hard Fork?

Hard forks often occur as an update to an existing blockchain. The majority of a coin’s miners agree on new features, rendering the old version of the blockchain obsolete. Everyone must upgrade their software to support what is, for all intents and purposes, a new cryptocurrency with an old name.

Projects will give everyone quite a lot of warning before such a hard fork occurs. Stellar has made no comment on Dolphin, meaning that Dolphin is certainly not a majority-based hard fork.

However, Stellar and many other cryptocurrencies are open-source and can be hard forked at any time by a minority of users. The fork simply won’t replace the existing coin and blockchain, and will (more often than not) become worthless.

Stellar is a young cryptocurrency, but we only need to look to Bitcoin to see how hard forks can play out: Bitcoin Cash was a hard fork that had support from only a minority of miners. It did not replace Bitcoin, but it turned out to be legitimate, and is the most successful Bitcoin spinoff to date.

Meanwhile, other hard forks, such as Bitcoin White, have turned out to be scams, and some, like Bitcoin Gold, merely failed. In other words, Dolphin could be a legitimate coin, a scam, or a well-intentioned failure.

Suggested Reading: For more information on hard forks, check out our comprehensive ‘What is Blockchain‘ guide.

Is Dolphin a Scam?

Perhaps the only definite takeaway is that hard forks can introduce investors to the same risks as ICOs. There are several red flags that Dolphin isn’t legitimate: Dolphin doesn’t identify the members of its team, its social media presence is minimal, and the project has a sketchy policy concerning how their wallet will handle your private keys.

Dolphin is planning to execute its dubious hard fork (and airdrop its tokens) on August 30th, but projects with minimal reputations often push deadlines into the indefinite future.

Approximately $1000 worth of XLM has been sent to Dolphin over the past few months, which is a very small amount compared to Stellar’s $3.8 billion market cap. It seems unlikely that Dolphin can do anything with that sum of money, so there may never be a clear conclusion to Stellar Dolphin’s saga.

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