Beware of Non-Native Forks of Monero

Or, “Keep your private keys private

Here at MyMonero, we were recently inundated with support requests from users who were asking how they’ll be able to gain access to their MoneroV fork airdrop coins through the MyMonero web wallet. After a brief search for the cause, we soon became aware that the people behind the upcoming MoneroV fork coin have been informing users that MyMonero will be supporting MoneroV. [1, 2]

Given the especially high volume of support requests we’ve received, and because the Monero community has a number of good reasons to regard the MoneroV fork coin with suspicion and extreme caution, I wanted to take some time to explain our stance on the matter and to provide some basic safety guidelines to our users.

Firstly, MyMonero will definitely not support any non-native forks of Monero — including MoneroV. This means there will be no support for obtaining access to funds or airdrop coins on such non-native forks.

Secondly, we regard MoneroV in particular as a hazard to Monero users.

The primary hazard I’d like to focus on here is the fact that MoneroV has been recommending users to take their Monero private keys and use them directly with the MoneroV blockchain and software in order to redeem an inflated number of coins in an “airdrop” (with the obvious implication that recipients of airdropped MoneroV coins could speculate on their price rise).

Using your Monero private keys for MoneroV is a particularly dangerous recommendation by the MoneroV team (all of whom are apparently anonymous).

At present, the only way for you to obtain the MoneroV coins using your Monero private keys is to input them directly into MoneroV’s presently closed-source wallet. MoneroV claims that they are an open source project, but will only release their compiled MoneroV wallet after their planned fork date. [3] Oddly, they even make the claim they can only compile their source after the fork date. From our point of view, withholding the wallet binaries — or even the source code — until after the fork date is obviously going to cause a rush from inexperienced, uninformed, or apathetic users to redeem their airdrop using a wallet that never had a chance to be verified.

From the start, using a closed source wallet is a bad idea simply because there’s no way for users to know what the code is actually doing. The MoneroV wallet could very well be recording all Monero private keys which people enter into it.

Not only could you have all of your Monero stolen, but MoneroV operators might obtain a significant amount of knowledge about the contents of the Monero blockchain through users giving MoneroV their private keys.

Your private keys should absolutely never be shared, and entering them into what from our point of view is a dodgy wallet service is doing exactly that.

In general, when in doubt, do not use non-native forks of Monero. If there’s an improvement that a coin makes over Monero, you can generally rest assured that the Monero community will either adopt it immediately, or be easily convinced to do so. However, so far, we haven’t found any non-native Monero forks which we wanted to recommend. Meanwhile, the Monero Research Lab continues to improve the Monero technology through its collaboration with cryptocurrency researchers from multiple projects worldwide.

1. “We will publish guides … for … retrieval of your XMV from popular wallets such as …”

2. Various MoneroV support responses on Twitter:

3. “The official MoneroV wallet, in addition to other dependencies such as the MoneroV daemon will be released a few days after the blockchain snapshot date, as compilation and setup can only occur after the 1529810 blockchain height point.”