Two Important Rules to Get Ready for the Bitcoin Hard fork
Bitcoin cash is being created by the fork on monday. It is a new and different token (coin) than “bitcoin legacy” (the current Bitcoin network). Do not panic, though. Your coins will not just evaporate into thin air. You will have options on how to handle the consequences of the fork no matter what happens. Here are the two cardinal rules.
Rule 1: Protect Your Private Keys
The most important thing to remember: Is not keeping your coins on a custodial wallet. This will ensure you will have access to your bitcoin after the fork. Make sure you store your coins in a wallet where you KEEP THE PRIVATE KEYS.
Keys are not the same thing as “password”. You can use a password to login to a service (like an online wallet). “Keys” refer to the actual code used to control your funds (your coins) on the Bitcoin blockchain. As long as you have the key, you can always use that key (in almost any Bitcoin-compatible wallet) to access your funds.
To keep your private key private all you need to do is to use a wallet where you create a seed code or generate a password that protects your private keys. Many wallet applications provide information on whether they are custodial or not.
As a rule of thumb, any trading platform, exchange, or web wallet generally manages user’s keys themselves. They do not give you access to the keys, so in reality they control all the coins on their site much like a bank would control your assets if they are kept inside.
For clarification, a word code or seed code basically acts a replacement for your private keys. In the event that you lose your private keys, the seed code is used to regenerate that key and gain access to your coins.
When the fork occurs, possessing the private keys means you will be able to access also bitcoin cash. The amount you can control will be the equivalent amount of bitcoin you had the keys to at the time of the fork. If you do not have your keys, however, the custodian or web wallet controller will make that decision for you (whether to credit you with the new bitcoin cash coins or not).
Waiting Period: Obtaining Bitcoin Cash After the Fork
Furthermore, after the fork completes, each wallet provider may provide (or have already provided) information on how to manage bitcoin cash. Usually, this will just involve each service/app creating a tool or application that allows you to access your newly minted bitcoin cash. The user can simply wait until the service in question provides that tool. Read the news blog of the company behind the wallet you are using to check their latest statements. If there is no statement on Bitcoin Cash and they don’t reply to questions on the matter, it might be advisable to move coins to a wallet that explicitly supports bitcoin cash.
If the company does not, it is still possible to extract your private keys (in most cases, not all) and use them to claim bitcoin cash in another wallet, although this process requires some technical knowledge of command line or code. It may be best for most users just to keep their keys in wallets that have already announced support for bitcoin cash. Coinbase.com, for instance, currently does not support bitcoin cash. Another option, although a bit riskier, is to place your coins at an exchange that’ll support bitcoin cash
Rule 2: Do not Transfer Bitcoin During or Immediately Following the Fork
The second rule: Users should not to do any bitcoin transactions send or receive coins during or directly following the fork. All users should wait until two or three days after the fork before sending funds (maybe longer depending on network stability). This is important because the network may be unstable and vulnerable to attacks during this period. However, any vulnerabilities cannot be easily exploited if users are not sending funds around.
If you follow the two rules cited above, you should be well protected both during and after the fork, as well as be able to access bitcoin cash. Stay tuned to Bitcoin.com for more information regarding the fork as the situation develops.
Not Keeping Bitcoin Cash
All users must also bear in mind they are not in any way obligated to access or try to keep any bitcoin cash. If you just want to access your bitcoin, all that is recommended to do is wait for the fork to finish and the dust to settle. When the fork resolves, you should be able to continue using or saving your bitcoin like nothing happened.
Disclaimer: InfoCoin is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this article and is not responsible for their products and/or services. This press release is for informational purposes only. Information does not constitute an investment advice or an offer to invest.