Want to create the next Bitcoin? This website makes it easy – too easy [SCAM UPDATE]

Bitcoins

SCAM ALERT: In the days following the launch of Coingen, users have reported that the site appears to be a scam – as in, its creator Matt Corallo has allegedly taken users’ Bitcoin without delivering custom digital coins, which was the purported service Coingen performed. Needless to say, do not use Coingen.

The rise of Dogecoin and the soon-to-launch Coinye West (yes, it’s named after the rapper) made it seem as though almost anyone can create a Bitcoin competitor. Now, with the launch of a clever and simple tool, that is actually true.

Dubbed Coingen, the site allows anyone to create their own cryptocurrency with staggering ease. Just come up with a name, an abbreviation, the type of cryptography protocol you want use (SHA256, like Bitcoin, or Scrypt, like Litecoin), and a variety of other technical details about your coin. Enter all of this information into the site’s form, and boom! You have your own coin.

Coingen charges 0.01 BTC (about $8, at current exchange rates) just to generate your coin. You can also choose to pay 0.10 BTC (~$80) to remove Coingen branding from your coin, and 0.05 BTC (~$40) to include the source for your coin.

Created by well known Bitcoin developer Matt “BlueMatt” Corallo, Coingen has received a flood of users since its launch this week. And the names people are giving their coins are … interesting, to say the least. Most, like Yolocoin and Trollcoin, follow the common “whatever-coin” naming scheme, while others take a less conventional approach – think Foobar, John, Stuff, and Dollar. And others are just intentionally offensive. (Rapecoin, anyone?)

The “beauty” of Coingen, says Corallo, is that it democratizes the altcoin creation process, allowing those without the technical know-how to join in the cyptocurrency fun on a new level. “It decreases the barrier to entry from some technical expertise to just marketing expertise,” he says.

“So far all altcoins have been a function of marketing, not interesting technical developments,” Corallo adds. “Coingen just makes that market more available to people with marketing expertise instead of those with just enough technical skills to run sed.”

According to the Coingen website, transactions are currently being processed “semi-manually” and there is a major backlog of coins waiting to come into existence. So, if you really want to fork over part of your Bitcoin stash, it might be best to wait until things calm down for Coingen. 

The interesting thing about Coingen is not simply how easy it makes the creation of new altcoins – easier than it should be, if you ask us – but what an influx of new, potentially worthless coins will do for the already volatile world of cryptocurrency. Whatever the effects will be, we can’t imagine they’ll be good. (Though there are some valid arguments to the contrary.) Then again, it could allow one of you to become the next king of Internet money, assuming Kanye West doesn’t take the throne first.

Updated with comments from Corallo and additional contextual information.

[Image via VallaV/Shutterstock]

Computing

Mining cryptocurrency for Razer Silver isn’t worth your computing power

Gaming peripheral maker Razer launched a cryptocurrency mining scheme called SoftMiner. You use its software to mine and in return, you get Razer Silver which you can use to buy Razer gear.
Mobile

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Deals

Breathe easy, stay warm with Amazon’s one-day deal on a Dyson air purifier fan

Dyson is a leader in bringing consumers the latest in heating, cooling, and air purification. Its Pure Hot + Cool Link HP02 does all three — and for today only, it’s on sale on Amazon for $359. That’s $241 off the suggested retail…
Gaming

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.