Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will undergo a hard fork on November 15th. This follows an update proposal for the network published back in August.
This fork could cause Bitcoin Cash to split into two blockchains, known in the community as Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) and Bitcoin ABC (BCHA). There is still uncertainty whether both chains will be viable and get adopted by miners and the ecosystem. There is currently more miner and exchange support for BCHN, so at this time it is the dominant chain of the two.
How will Fireblocks handle the fork?
[updated Nov 14]
1) All BCH wallets will be temporarily suspended starting Nov 15, 10AM UTC, shortly before the expected fork. As a result, users will not be able to withdraw BCH funds or credit incoming BCH deposits. We will restore BCH operations as soon as there is more clarity around the network split and the adoption of the chains.
2) BCH Vault wallets and all whitelisted addresses will retain the BCH symbol but will work on the BCHN chain. In case BCHA chain will receive sufficient adoption, all wallets and whitelisted addresses will be duplicated to work with the BCHA chain and will have the BCHA symbol.
3) Once stable, we will enable deposits only.
4) If both chains receive sufficient adoption, we will activate a replay prevention mechanism for both chains. We will use a technique called "dust mixing" through our new feature, Ethereum Gas Station, to air drop special "dust" transactions to all wallets. These transactions exist only in one of the two chains, and thereby make any transaction that is later chained to their outputs non-replayable.
5) Then we will enable withdrawals.
In an event that BCHA does not gain sufficient support from miners to be viable or avoid posing a security risk (e.g. 51% attacks), we may decide to only support BCHN after a certain point. In that event, we will share a specific update confirming that we no longer support BCHA.
In addition to the operational and financial impact, the fork poses a security risk in the form of replay attacks, where a malicious party could use transactions legitimately signed in one chain and spend them in the other chain. Since the security of your funds is our top priority, Fireblocks will not actively restore client wallets until this security risk is reasonably mitigated. Furthermore, we will make all necessary effort to ensure clients are protected against it.
Do I have to do anything ahead of the fork?
No. You do not have to stop withdrawing or depositing BCH between now and 10AM UTC on Nov 15th. After the freeze, all your BCH balances in your wallets will be kept safe by Fireblocks for the entire period they will be frozen and you will be proactively notified via push notification and email as soon as we can confirm when they will be safely unfrozen.
We will issue more updates and recommendations as this situation evolves. Please refer to this article for the latest status on the fork and Fireblocks BCH wallets over the coming days.
The Fireblocks Support Team is here to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.