Litecoin has an upcoming fork called Litecoin Cash, “sold” as a faster version of Litecoin when it comes to transaction times. However, there is no official endorsement of this fork, in fact the founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, sees it as a potential scam.
PSA: The Litecoin team and I are not forking Litecoin. Any forks that you hear about is a scam trying to confuse you to think it's related to Litecoin. Don't fall for it and definitely don't enter your private keys or seed into their website or client. Be careful out there! https://t.co/qXbiIxp5Al
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) February 4, 2018
One of the main benefits and potential problems with cryptocurrencies is that anybody is free to release their own code and build new, or build upon the code of existing coins. This also means that they can launch their own coin and scam people out of money by claiming it is something else. This is part of the reason why governments are moving towards putting some regulation in place to prevent people from being scammed.
The claim of this new altcoin is to increase the block speed at which the network can process transactions. The creators claim that Litecoin Cash will have faster and 90% cheaper, transaction fees.
The fork will occur at block 1371111, around February 19th, but Lee and the Litecoin team reiterate that it is nothing to do with them.
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One of the big draws to crypto forks is free coins when the split occurs. This is exactly how Litecoin Cash founders are generating support; they claim to be offering 10 free LCC tokens for every Litecoin users hold. This is enough to entice those wanting a quick buck to jump into Litecoin, which is up 16% in the past 24 hours following a month of downtrending.
There is a catch, however. In order to receive your free LCC altcoins, a private key from your Litecoin wallet needs to be imported into the new Litecoin Cash wallet. This is inherently risky and should not be attempted. There are some workarounds, but at the time of writing, things do not appear as they seem. Also, the LCC team have not provided a safe option for receiving coins or elaborated on which exchanges will support it.
This has been posted on the website to explain the name choice:
We’re using the Litecoin Cash name simply because it has become customary in recent months for a coin which forks a blockchain to prefix its name with the name of the coin being forked. This practice has become a widely understood convention. We’re not associated or affiliated with Charlie Lee or any of the Litecoin team in any way; we are big fans though.
As we’ve seen previously in the Bitcoin community, a fork is not just the split in the chain; the founders and fans are also divided. Coin loyalties run deep and scams are widespread. Practice safe forking. That means the user must never paste private keys that hold live funds into any website or wallet in order to claim forked coins — including the Litecoin Cash website.