ForkDelta is among the most popular decentralized Ethereum Token exchanges worldwide. Founded in January 2018, ForkDelta started as a fork of EtherDelta when it was sold to new owners. The reason for that, as pointed on the ForkDelta’s website, was related to the new management’s “questionable decisions” which differed from ForkDelta’s philosophy and future plans. The ForkDelta team focused on developing a new token listing system, API, front-end UI, and order book to take on its own path.
The main event that helped bring ForkDelta to life was when EtherDelta suffered a major hacker attack in December 2017. The platform’s DNS server was compromised and transformed into a phishing site. The hackers managed to steal approximately 308 ETH. According to a comment from the moderator of the EtherDelta Reddit community at the time, the exchange had already been sold to its new Chinese owners. In order to mitigate the damage, they decided to launch an ICO at the end of 2017. However, the ICO was very unsuccessful (reached 3% of its hard cap) due to multiple reasons – the painful effect of the recent hacker attack (many investors thought of the ICO as a new way for the hackers to steal additional funds), community concerns (mostly related to the whitepaper missing key elements that helped explain the new concept and the possible ways going forward for the platform), as well as the fact that the particular time of the year is associated with very low activity. As the community started to lose faith in EtherDelta’s future, they decided to take the matter in their own hands and go for a fork of the network. Since ForkDelta was founded, EtherDelta started to lose ground and slowly became inactive.
ForkDelta was established by Jonathan Dunford and Arseniy Ivanov. However, just 4 months after launching the project, Ivanov fired Dunford from the project. At the time of this writing, there is no further information about the current team behind the project and the managing staff.
According to its website, ForkDelta is the platform with “the most ERC20 listings of any exchange.” The trading process on the exchange is p2p and everything is based on smart contracts, hosted on the Ethereum network. ForkDelta acts as an updated interface of EtherDelta's original smart contract which allows the exchange’s clients to trade utilizing EtherDelta's volume. According to the team behind the project, the trading fees collected cannot cover all associated platform development costs, which is why they collect donations. All donations are claimed to be public and easily accessible from the blockchain. The team promises to notify its users about the way donations are distributed in a bid to keep the whole process as transparent as possible.
ForkDelta prides itself with being an open and community-driven project that can be easily accessed due to its open-source codebase. The team adds also that they “believe in direct and open streams of communication” with their community and welcome all ideas, feedback or criticism. However, the exchange is known for not being a very popular choice among beginners, as it remains relatively hard to use.
The exchange’s team states that they pride themselves with their availability in Discord while adding also that they can be reached out to via GitHub pull requests as well. This seems to be true, as, at the time of this writing, the public opinion about the exchange is firmly positive with very few user issues that remain unaddressed or resolved after a while.
At the time of this writing, ForkDelta has no history of government investigations or hacker attacks. Its predecessor EtherDelta, however, aside from the hacker attack, was also a subject to a SEC investigation. In November 2018, its founder, Zachary Coburn, was charged with operating an unregistered exchange. The reason for the charges was the fact that EtherDelta was offering DAO tokens after SEC’s 2017 DAO Report was issued. According to the report, all DAO tokens should be considered securities and all platforms, offering them, should be licensed for that.