Saying that this week was a tumultuous one in the altcoin world would be an understatement, which is quite the feat considering its high volatility relative to the bitcoin marketplace.
In today's All Things Alt, we look at some of the less-than-rosy events of the week in case you missed the play-by-play on reddit, Twitter and, of course, the exchanges.
Libertycoin price falls following developer exit
The libertycoin community experienced a severe price shock when a senior developer for the alternative digital currency left the project this week, though it has since recovered.
The news – and alleged mass sale of his holdings – resulted in a correction that brought the coin's price from roughly US$0.07 to an average of $0.02.
Other developers for libertycoin released a statement on 28th May, clarifying their vision for how the altcoin would move forward following the exit of the developer and the ensuing price collapse.
Ideas include setting up an ATM network in Mexico City, where the developer Templar77 resides, and integrating libertycoin into a separate exchange project being pursued in Mexico as well.
Describing himself as a libertarian and "maybe a crypto anarchist", Templar77 took to task those who suggested the price collapse was an act of the development team, saying:
"I hate when people blame the 'dev team' for a given price in the market. It's not the job of a dev to care about the price. If the price falls is not our fault or our job to make it rise."
Templar77 went on to say that "if you want a coin's price to rise you have to work for it and not just depend on the 'dev team'".
Darkcoin, x11coin rivalry triggers Twitter spat
The past two weeks have seen the meteoric rise of anonymous altcoins, digital currencies which leverage specialized network technologies to conceal both the source and identity of those conducting transactions.
Earlier in the week, a rivalry of sorts began between the communities of darkcoin and XC which unfortunately took a turn for the worse as allegations of stolen or misrepresented code elements surfaced on Twitter and the Bitcoin Talk forum. Others questioned why the developer opted to keep some elements of the XC code private during development.
At the center of the argument was a tweet from the official darkcoin Twitter account, which linked users to the Bitcoin Talk post containing the allegation that XC's developer had appropriated elements of fedoracoin.
— Darkcoin (@DarkcoinCrypto) May 29, 2014
Some users quickly posted condemnations of the post, suggesting that members of the darkcoin community were intentionally sabotaging XC. Others defended the decision to use the official account to share the link, deeming it an effective method to force transparency in an ecosystem rife with fraudulent behavior.
The event triggered a broad sell-off in the price of XC, which fell from from an average of $2.70 to $1.40. At press time, the price of one x11coin was approximately $0.83.
The XC developer took the Bitcoin Talk forum and denied allegations that the code employed was appropriated from the fedoracoin code. There have been calls for independent reviews of the code, as well as a push for more information as to why the accusations emerged in the first place.
The developer has announced that the forthcoming edition of XC's Windows wallet demonstrates the anonymizing technology. Testing of this version is currently under way.
McDogecoin Burger efforts apparently stifled
However, it appears the community has run afoul of the competition, with its highest-voted entry having been removed from the contest website.
On 20th May, McDonald's UK announced the MyBurger promotion, a campaign that offered users the chance to submit their own burger designs on the company's website. People can also vote online for their favorites.
After the contest ends on 29th June, McDonalds UK will take the 12 top-voted ideas and choose five that will receive a month-long trial run at participating restaurants in the UK.
The dogecoin community's entry, called The McDogecoin, included hickory smoked bacon, nacho chips, spicy salsa sauce and crispy fried onions on a cheese and herb-topped ciabatta bun. The entry reportedly received tens of thousands of votes, and at one point was the highest-trending and most popular burger in the contest.
On May 29th, it emerged that McDonald's UK had deleted the entry from its site. Dogecoin fans quickly took to the dogecoin subreddit to discuss the matter, as well call for votes for other doge-themed burgers like The WowBurger.
CoinDesk reached out to McDonald's UK, who were unavailable for immediate comment.
Strange alt of the week
In previous editions of All Things Alt, we've profiled alternative digital currencies that toe the line of trademark violation (in some cases, leaping right past the line). When it comes to coins modeled after celebrities, the most notable example is Coinye West, the now-defunct altcoin that utilized the likeness of rap star Kanye West, resulting in a global lawsuit.
The alternative currency uses the X11 mining algorithm and is a proof-of-work/proof-of-stake hybrid, with an 11m coin max supply and staking interest of 15% annually.
According to the developer, the goal was to leverage Iaura B.'s fame as a means to both promote the coin and cryptocurrency at large via Twitter. The developer even suggested that users tweet at Iaura B. in order to generate interest and potentially bring her aboard.
Unsurprisingly, many forum users suggested that Iaura B. would most likely seek to shut down the coin. CoinDesk reached out to her PR team, who said:
"We already contacted the person who created the coin. If they will be making a profit out of it with our image and reputation, then we need to discuss that."
On 28th May, the developer announced on Bitcoin Talk that the project was cancelled due to "unexpected circumstances".
Have a tip about a notable happening in the altcoin world? Email CoinDesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement. Please do your own extensive research before you consider investing in the altcoin space.