Updated: What to Expect During the Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

By Author

November 13, 2018

, 6 min read time

We have now begun reaching out to customers that held Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at the time of the hard fork.

In mid-November, Bitcoin Cash underwent a hard fork, resulting in two chains. On November 20th, we announced the “ABC” chain would retain the designation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on Coinbase.

The competing chain, known as Bitcoin SV, resulted in a forked coin now commonly referred to as BSV. When the hard fork occurred, the BSV blockchain used the amount of BCH associated with an address at the time of the fork to determine the amount of BSV that would be allocated to the parallel address on the BSV blockchain. As such, the amount of BSV now available in respective customers’ Coinbase.com accounts is the same as the amount of BCH that was in their Coinbase (Coinbase.com and Coinbase Pro) account at the time of the hard fork.

Coinbase does not support purchases or sales of BSV, so customers cannot sell their BSV for fiat currency on Coinbase. They may send their BSV balance to an external wallet, following instructions here.

Update as of Monday, November 26, 2018

Coinbase has now re-enabled sends and receives of BCH on Coinbase Pro, Prime, Coinbase.com and the iOS and Android apps. We expect to enable full BCH trading and functionality, including buys and sells on Coinbase.com and the mobile apps, in the next 2 days.

Following the BCH hard fork and conclusion of the hash war, Bitcoin SV has confirmed the creation of a new coin, BSV. Coinbase intends to allow customers to withdraw BSV at a future date, though we do not currently intend to support trading, buys or sells.

We will provide additional updates as they are available. We anticipate development work for BSV withdrawals will take at least a few weeks, but may take longer.

Update as of Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Since the Bitcoin Cash fork on November 15, 2018, Coinbase has been closely monitoring the BCH network. We have observed consensus in the community that the BCH ABC chain will retain the designation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Coinbase will also adopt this designation for BCH. Coinbase has made this decision based on a number of factors including the fact that ABC has a higher hashrate and a longer proof-of-work chain.

Coinbase is now prepared to resume limited trading in BCH. For Coinbase Pro and Prime, we will turn on trading of BCH in the next 2 hours. Sends and receives will remain offline until we can confirm that they are safe to re-enable, including a prolonged absence of chain reorganizations. We expect that to occur within the next week.

For Coinbase.com and the iOS and Android apps, we will continue to evaluate the safety of the network before re-enabling buys, sells, sends, and receives. We expect that to occur within the next week. We will resume all BCH services when it is safe for our customers.

We will continue to evaluate the safety of the BCH SV chain. Our current intention is to support withdrawal services for the BCH SV chain so that our customers may withdraw funds at a future date. We anticipate this development work will take at least a few weeks, but may take longer. We will communicate directly with customers that hold BCH and notify them when we complete this work and they can withdraw funds from the BCH SV chain.

If network conditions significantly change or become unsafe at any point, Coinbase may revise these plans.

November 13, 2018

Twice a year, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network hard forks as part of scheduled protocol upgrades. The next BCH hard fork is scheduled for this Thursday, Nov 15, 2018.

Unlike previous BCH hard forks, there is a competing proposal that is not compatible with the published roadmap. Coinbase will monitor the hard fork process and work to minimize customer disruption until the network meets Coinbase security standards.

Coinbase previously announced that we would pause sends and receives on the BCH wallets at Coinbase.com, in our iOS and Android apps, and at Coinbase Pro, Prime, and Custody beginning at 8:00AM PST on Thursday, November 15 (approximately 1 hour before the fork).

Due to recent developments, we have now determined that it will be necessary to also pause all buys, sells, and trading of BCH starting at 8:00AM PST on Thursday on Coinbase.com, in the iOS and Android apps, and on Coinbase Pro and Prime. Accordingly, during the time of the pause, you will not be able to sell or remove your BCH from Coinbase. If you wish to have access to your BCH during the pause, you will need to remove it from the Coinbase platform prior.

Please note that Coinbase has no control over the timing of the fork, and therefore cannot provide specific timing for the items below. We will monitor the fork and communicate with our customers promptly and frequently regarding the status of access to BCH. During the fork, we will take the following steps.

Starting at 8:00AM PST on Thursday, November 15, Coinbase will:

  1. Pause sends (withdrawals) and receives (deposits), as well as buys, sells, and trading of BCH;

  2. Take a snapshot of existing BCH balances;

  3. Monitor the fork for network consensus;

  4. When network conditions stabilize, we will notify customers of the expected date and time to re-enable buys, sells, sends, receives, and trading of BCH

  5. Clear order books and re-enable buys, sells, sends, receives, and trading of BCH; and

  6. If another viable chain exists, customers will have the ability to withdraw funds at a future date. We anticipate this will take at least a few weeks, but may take longer.

Questions & Answers

When will Coinbase pause sends and receives of BCH?

We will pause sends and receives and all trading on the BCH wallets at Coinbase.com, in our iOS and Android apps, and at Coinbase Pro, Prime, and Custody beginning at 8:00AM PST on Thursday, November 15 (approximately 1 hour before the fork). Please be sure all BCH sends, receives, and trading are completed prior to that time. During the pause, your BCH will remain safely at Coinbase. As it may take several hours for a transaction to be processed, we recommend initiating any sends, receives or trading no later than 3:00 am PST.

When will Coinbase take a snapshot of BCH balances?

We will take a snapshot of existing BCH balances on the platform immediately after sends, receives, buys, sells, and trading of BCH are paused at 8:00am PST on Thursday, November 15.

How long will trading be paused, and what happens when you turn it back on?

We cannot predict the duration of this process. When the upgrade is complete, we will evaluate the security and viability of the network and take appropriate next steps, including re-enabling sends, receives, and trading. We will update our customers throughout the upgrade process and about the outcome of the fork once the network reaches consensus.

The order book for BCH on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime will be cleared after trading is paused so Coinbase Pro and Prime users will need to submit any new orders after trading is re-enabled.

When will Coinbase re-enable sends and receives of BCH?

We cannot predict the duration of this process. When the upgrade is complete, we will evaluate the security and viability of the network and take appropriate next steps, including re-enabling sends, receives, and trading. We will update our customers throughout the upgrade process and about the outcome of the fork once the network reaches consensus.

Will there be more than one BCH chain?

We cannot predict if there will be one or two viable chains after the fork. We will monitor the network closely, and will communicate with our customers. as to when we will re-enable sends, receives, and trading of BCH.

What will happen if there are two viable chains?

In the event that multiple viable chains persist after the fork, we will strive to ensure that customers have access to their funds on each chain. Coinbase will initially resume customer access to BCH and then Coinbase will work to provide withdrawal access to funds on the second chain at a future date. We anticipate this will take at least a few weeks, but may take longer.

If I leave my funds on Coinbase during the fork, will they be safe?

Funds stored on the Coinbase platform will remain safe throughout the fork. Our primary goal during this fork is to protect customer funds. Customers who leave BCH on Coinbase during the fork will be able to access it after the network has reached sufficient consensus as to the outcome of the fork, and we have determined that the network is secure, at which time we will re-enable sends, receives, and trading of BCH.

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