Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Well here we are just about a day and a half away from this surprising yet highly anticipated Bitcoin ABC /Bitcoin Cash hard fork. This fork is scheduled to commence on August 1, 2017, 12:20 UTC. Here is a countdown if you would like to keep an eye of what time this means for you. This will be a split from Bitcoin or BTC as we know it today. This new token known as Bitcoin Cash will be either BCC or BCH. This has been a bit confusing because originally exchanges were listing Bitcoin Cash as BCC but BCC has already been reserved for something called BitConnect which is an interest bearing cryptocurrency that has been around since November of 2016. I would expect Bitcoin Cash to be labled as BCH going into the future, but we will have to see. For the purposes of this post I will call Bitcoin Cash BCC/BCH.
There are 3 exchanges as of today that are trading Bitcoin Cash as a futures token because technically it doesn’t exist yet. These 3 exchanges are ViaBTC, Bitfinex and HitBTC. Again, becoming an actual new currency will happen on August 1, 2017, 12:20 UTC. After this date you may or may not own BCC/BCH. This will depend on if you are either holding your own BTC keys or if you are storing your BTC on an exchange or service that is promising to honor a mirror balance of BCC/BCH. Basically, if you own BTC and are holding it on a hardware wallet or paper wallet then you will also own the same amount of BCC/BCH. If you own BTC and are holding it on an exchange or service that is promising to give this double balance of BCC/BCH then you will also own BCC/BCH. The most recent updated list of exchanges and wallets that will give you this BCCC/BCH balance are listed in this article. I know that the Trezor and Ledger are the 2 most popular hardware wallets out there so if you are holding BTC in either of these here are their official statements(Trezor and Ledger) on their plans to support this fork.
I know many of you, including myself are Coinbase users. I would like to stress again, IF YOU HOLD YOUR BTC ON COINBASE, YOU WILL NOT BE RECEIVING A BCC/BCH BALANCE! If you have waited until now to get your BTC off of Coinbase to take advantage of this double balance, you may face network congestion as some users have been waiting over 12 hours to receive their BTC from Coinbase. I wish you good luck and I wouldn’t wait any longer if you were going to make this move. Again, I don’t feel as this should have anything to do with how you feel about BCC/BCH as a viable currency going forward. Whether or not you support Bitcoin ABC/Bitcoin Cash, it is my belief that it would be in a user’s best interest to collect both if they can just for investment sake. I also understand if you have made a decision to be in fiat, as I am holding some of that as well. But if you have decided to hold any BTC, it is my belief that you should take advantage of having an equivalent balance of BCC/BCH too. Some other exchanges that I know of that will NOT be honoring BCC/BCH balances other than Coinbase are, some major Indian exchanges like Zebpay, Unocoin, and Coinsecure. As well as many other major Asian and European exchanges like OKCoin, Huobi, Slushpool, Bixin, as well as some others.
Beyond the Fork
Hard to say what will happen really. Will alts crash across the board? Will BTC crash? Will BTC go much higher? Will BCC/BCH crash or go much higher? Will some alts become a new reserve and go much higher? I would not be surprised if any one or a combination of these things occurred all within a week. Everyone has their sights set on Aug 1st, but nobody is talking about Aug 2nd or weeks after. I could see this dragging out for months. Keep this in mind if you plan on using Coinbase or Shapeshift or really any of the other retail level services. I think things like Coinbase and Shapeshift may be non reliable or even non operational for weeks after this Aug 1st date. Traffic will be high with these services and I can say from personal experience that the last couple of times I tried to use either in high traffic ICO times, they were both down. I think this event will cause even more traffic and panic buying/selling so expect delays at best. Just something to keep in mind.
Remember on the SegWit2x side of this fork, we will have another debate that will most likely start in mid Aug with the 2x part of SegWit2x. This is the hard fork of 2mb 3 months after SegWit activates on this chain. This again will cause massive volatility and uncertainty within the market. This could bode well for Bitcoin Cash, especially if the 2mb hard fork vote fails and we see more fighting and nastiness on both sides like we have been seeing on Twitter and Reddit. This has been nauseating to watch, very reminiscent of election cycle type mud slinging. The way I see it, let anyone try an idea. If the idea sucks, we will find out soon enough and it will fail. We don’t need a bunch of fear mongers with all of their FUD trying to manipulate people’s opinions and actions. We will see, so much yet to come.
A Word on Mining
A quick word on mining BCC/BCH. I know that you can mine BCC/BCH on ViaBTC pool. I know this because this is what I am doing. You can set up an account with their pool. I don’t think US citizens are allowed to trade on their exchange, but US citizens are certainly welcomed to mine via their pool. So if you have an old Bitcoin ASIC lying around like an old Antminer S3, S5 or S7 that is not profitable on the BTC network, you may try with ViaBTC’s BCC pool. Many believe that difficulty will be relatively low immediately after the fork happens on Aug 1st, so it might be an easy way to stack a good amount of BCC/BCH quickly before it rises if it becomes a popular currency. It might be sort of like being able to go back in time and mine some bitcoin with mining hardware from the future, who knows. What is clear is that they have changed the BTC 2016 block re targeting timeframe to be quicker with BCC/BCH. What I am unsure of is how much quicker. We will find out. Again whether you hate BCC/BCH or love it, I am mainly doing this from an investment standpoint. If I win, it may pay off big. If it dies or is not profitable, it will cost me nearly nothing to try. Just another thing to consider. Stay safe out there!