In bull markets like cryptocurrency, savvy entrepreneurs and deceitful con men have adopted an array of creative approaches to create value for their projects. One such method that has recently been shown as very successful is the act of rebranding.
If you weren’t involved in cryptocurrency at least two years ago, you’ll likely have no idea what DogecoinDark (DOGED) is. However, most everyone has at least heard of its current nomenclature, Verge (XVG). Verge is simply the rebranded version of DogecoinDark – same coin, same protocol, new name, new logo. In fact, despite what you may have heard, the reality is that Verge’s main developer is also the same person – Dogedarkdev on Bitcointalk.
— DogecoinDark (@Dogedcoin) February 15, 2016
Skeptics of XVG universally agree that the recent massive pump was a result of nothing more than exceptionally successful marketing, geared particularly toward new investors. Those who were aware of Verge before the recent run may be surprised that opinions on the coin have changed drastically, so soon after the coin saw a major hack that left those affected out of luck.
Critics of Verge further claim that the coin fails to actually protect the privacy of its users, despite being branded as a privacy coin. At a market cap of over US$2.5 billion, the coin is the second highest-valued privacy coin behind Monero. However, Verge’s privacy functions currently extend only to masking IP addresses on transactions. Ironically, this is the major function of another coin, DeepOnion, which Verge’s lead developer has criticized for having “no privacy software at all”. Monero, for example, on top of masking IP addresses, also masks wallets and transaction details completely.
Supporters of Verge argue that once the Wraith protocol is released, the coin will have many more privacy capabilities. However, the deadline for Wraith’s release has come and passed on three separate dates already.
Like Verge, many teams are adopting marketing-focused approaches as a means to create value for their projects and grow personal profits. Also like Verge, many teams have elected to “rebrand” their coins. There are a number of benefits to doing so, with the only downside being integrity lost in the eyes of serious investors. When coins rebrand, they are able to erase past road maps that reveal unkept promises. Additionally, they can give the same sales pitch to an entirely new crowd. Beyond that, it serves as a source of hype and excitement that does not require any further substance.
In addition to Verge, recent major pumps such as Einsteinium and Experience Points have also occurred following a rebranding. Unfortunately, naive investors are unaware of the past iterations of these coins, and are unaware of the poor performances seen in the past. In January 2016, prior to its rebranding, DogecoinDark was ranked #125 on CoinMarketCap.com and trading with a market cap of just over US$100,000. Of course, altcoins in general have appreciated exponentially since then, but Verge has grown disproportionately to other coins, without much in the way of technical growth to support it.
Before investing in the latest craze, do a bit of research and see if the coin is in its second or third iteration. Before you decide to buy, take a look to see how successfully (or not) it performed before rebranding.