Everything you’ve heard about the Bitcoin scaling debate is true: the entrenched factions, contention, name-calling, compromising, collaboration, and progress. As you gravitate towards Bitcoin’s center you get to know the major players and their stakes: from the financially-cautious miners to the pragmatic protocol developers.
But what about the major exchanges – where do they stand? You may have read through my top bitcoin & cryptocurrency trading sites list and wondered how these market-leaders are preparing for the events to come.
The following page examines each of the leading bitcoin & crytpocurrency exchange’s positions (& contingency plans) with regards to the upcoming July 31 – August 1st potential hard fork and chain split (for Segwit activation). We’ll examine which sites are going to accept the new ‘Bitcoin Cash’ token & offer coin-splitting, and which will outright reject it.
Beginners: read this intro for more information about the outcomes of a chain split for your stored bitcoin wealth.
Compare the leading exchanges’ positions:
Please tweet me @BestBitcoinEx or leave a comment should any information need correcting.
Coin-splitting = the exchange will credit user accounts with coins from both chains (BTC & BCC) after split
How each exchange will prepare and respond to upcoming hard-fork:
Kraken: Aside from offering the best fees out there, I just love that this exchange always empowers their users. Kraken will proudly be offering coin-splitting and Bitcoin Cash trading services. Users can do as they please with both chain tokens:
“All Kraken clients holding Bitcoin (XBT) balances at the time of the fork will be credited with an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH)”
Coinbase: Very clear and precise reminders have been given to reassure the markets: no coin-spliting will be offered to users. Coinbase lived through some tough times with the Ethereum Classic debacle. Users are receiving multiple updates from Coinbase as the situation evolves:
“Customers who wish to access both bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCC) need to withdraw bitcoin stored on Coinbase”
Gdax: A very vague contingency plan has been announced by Gdax. Being owned/run by Coinbase I would guess that coin-splitting will not be offered to users – though I could be wrong here. Information has been given that Gdax will not support the Bitcoin Cash chain – even if it has more hashing power. Thankfully their main objectives & priorities are right-on target:
“We support the growth and scaling of the Bitcoin network, and look forward to working with others in the community to safely handle this event”
Poloniex: These guys have the most experience when it comes to chain splits (think ETC & the DAO fiasco). I’ve no doubt that things will be handled with upmost professionalism on Poloniex. Yet it’s interesting to see that the leading cryptocurrency exchange is remaining very neutral on which chain they would potentially support:
“At this time, we cannot commit to supporting any specific blockchain that may emerge if there is a blockchain split”
Bitfinex: All accounts will be credited Bitcoin Cash (BCH) equivalents at the time of the fork. A very detailed BCH distribution policy has been planned out for margin traders. Bitfinex kindly point out that:
“Although we see [Bitcoin Cash] referred to as BCC on other platforms, unfortunately, that ticker symbol is already in use on our platform by the chain-split token representing Bitcoin Core”
Gemini: As usual, no sides are being taken – Gemini will go with whichever coin has the most hashing power. Coin-splitting will be availalbe for users. Though I do find it quite unnerving to read:
“The “BTC” balance and trading activity you see on Gemini will likely reflect the chain with the greater total difficulty.”
Bitstamp: Europe’s largest bitcoin exchange is choosing to adopt a ‘Coinbase-like’ position with regards to the upcoming chain split and Bitcoin Cash token. Users will have to withdraw prior to July 31, should they want to access Bitcoin Cash tokens. Though they also hint that:
“If Bitstamp chooses to list BCC, we would decide at our own discretion on what course of action to take with balances deriving from the hard fork”
Shapeshift: A contingency plan has been set out whereby their altcoin swapping service will be switched off invariably. Shapeshift remark quite accurately that:
“we have no way of predicting when we will able to provide Bitcoin trading services again”
CEX: These guys have been keeping their act together. I say this because after a massive influx of new users CEX are still providing strong leadership in this space. Users have been reassured that coin-splitting will be provided to all those who have deposited BTC on CEX. Their contingency plan starts off nicely:
“The whole cryptocurrency industry is now preparing for the 1st of August, a crucial date for any Bitcoin holder. This is the date when a Segregated Witness will be triggered, a solution aimed to solve one of the biggest issues of Bitcoin, namely, its scalability.”
Localbitcoins: Surprisingly no updated statements have been issued for over 10 days. From their last post we do know that coin-splitting will be facilitated (good job Localbitcoins!) for as long as possible. Note that Localbitcoins will support the chain with the most hashing power (the majority chain) – BTC or BCC:
“Once the danger period has passed LocalBitcoins will allow withdrawals of Bitcoins on both the majority and minority chain for as long as it is feasible”
Bitmex: Good contingencies ready and no acceptance of alternative chains. As the leading margin trading platform, Bitmex nails it when they say:
“Anyone can create a chain fork of Bitcoin at any time”
Blockchain: No statement/guide has been released as of recently. Users are asking for clarifications but none have been given. Last time that I checked my Blockchain wallet, I did still have access to the private keys – which means users should technically be able to reach both their BTC and their upcoming BCC tokens should they want to. Blockchain, please get back to us!
Update: A statement was released today from the Blockchain team reminding users to have their recovery phrases written down. Bitcoin Cash tokens will potentially be redeemable for all users with BTC deposited on a Blockchain wallet. For now, the team do not plan to provide BCC trading unless this chain becomes the longest one after the hard fork. Very nicely said:
“Blockchain wallets are non-custodial and you hold the private keys, meaning you always have full, exclusive access to your funds — which are always accessible with your recovery phrase. In short, we enable you to Be Your Own Bank.”
“In the event of two separate blockchains after August 1, 2017 we will support the longest chain. As of today, we have no immediate plans to fully support the Bitcoin Cash fork within our main product.”
Bisq (aka Bitsquare): As the leading decentralized exchange, Bisq have opted for caution and conservatism (User Activated Soft Fork) all throughout the scaling debate. The Bitcoin Cash trading pair will not be made available (Bisq have recently clarified this). Other changes are being made to Bisq’s ‘base currencies’ – meaning that users will no longer have to use bitcoin as their main token. Bisq are progressively showing the wider community how using decentralized p2p exchanges really has strong advantages over centralized custodial platforms. I just love the passion when the say:
“the hard-fork which will very likely happen and the included features like 8 MB blocks (or even unlimited block size) as well as the heavily Bitcoin Unlimited influenced road map is a very drastic divergence from the current version of Bitcoin. Not to talk about the unhealthy influence of a monopolistic ASIC and mining company who have proofed many times how damaging they are for Bitcoin (ASICBOOST, Antbleed, empty blocks, blocking SegWit,…)”
“By using another coin as base currency Bitsquare is not dependent on what is going on the Bitcoin block chain anymore and all the problems which might arise from the fork sceanrios are out of system”
Update – recent Bisq statement: https://forum.bisq.io/t/bisq-will-not-list-bcc-bitcoin-cash-bitmaincoin-bitcoin-abc/2608
Bittrex: Coin-splitting to Bitcoin Cash will be facilitated for users. Other statements:
“Bittrex will monitor the BCC network and developments and assess the viability of opening trading of BCC assets”
Changelly: As the #2 ‘pure’ cryptocurrency exchange (by user traffic), Changelly has a strong position in this space. Their statement is not entirely clear about which chain would be supported as the ‘main chain’. Coin-splitting will likely be facilitated. It’s nice to see an exchange finally tell their users to take control of their private keys:
“We strongly suggest you to keep your Bitcoins on wallets that provide your private keys. After the hard fork you will be able to import the keys and receive BCC in BTC equivalent. Store the keys in a safe place nobody else has access to.”
Yobit: Come on Yobit – no blog page, no statement, no leadership. These guys have significant volumes rivaling those of Poloniex at times. I’d definitely keep a close eye to see how they move.
Update: Yobit will automatically credit all BTC wallets with their equivalent in BCC:
“BCC balance will be same as BTC balance”
YoBit is ready for Bitcoin wallet update and BCC fork. BCC balance will be same as BTC balance. Btc deps/wds will be disabled 31 jul – 4 aug
— Yobit.Net (@YobitExchange) July 29, 2017
Cryptopia: Also a major player in the cryptocurrency space – Cryptopia have released a clear statement on how they’ll be handling the upcoming chain split. Bitcoin Cash will not be immediately listed and may never be. Coin-splitting will not be made available for users with BTC held in their wallets:
“It is up to you, the user, whether you withdraw your BTC funds from Cryptopia before 31 July 2017 if you wish to participate in any splits/forks of the original BTC network.”
Advanced users: I’d recommend listening to Andreas Antonopoulos & Adam Levine’s in-depth discussion on what exactly is Segwit.
I’ll conclude this post with my favorite ‘hard-fork quote’ so far (from the Poloniex Team):
“If you don’t want to leave the decision of which Bitcoin tokens to support (or recognize as valid) to a 3rd party, you should not keep your tokens on any 3rd party platform”
Good luck to all!