Bitcoin Cash will hard fork on November 15 2020 around 12:00 pm UTC as part of a scheduled protocol upgrade. This upgrade is controversial and will likely result in two chains after the fork.
The likely split is between two protocols known as “Bitcoin Cash Node” and “Bitcoin Cash ABC.” At the present time, over 70% of blocks are signaling for Bitcoin Cash Node while less than 1% are signaling for Bitcoin Cash ABC, so Bitcoin Cash Node looks like it will be the dominant chain by far.
For live updates on how miners are signaling, go here.
Here is a summary of Kraken’s plan for the fork:
- We will support Bitcoin Cash Node regardless of the outcome of the fork.
- Bitcoin Cash Node tokens will be called “Bitcoin Cash” on our platform and represented by the ticker symbol “BCH.”
- We will support Bitcoin Cash ABC ONLY IF the hashpower on the ABC network is at least 10% of the hashpower on the Bitcoin Cash Node network (see below for details on this requirement).
- If we support Bitcoin Cash ABC, it will be called “Bitcoin Cash ABC” on our platform and represented by the ticker symbol “BAB.”
- If we support Bitcoin Cash ABC, clients with a BCH balance at the time of the fork will receive an equal amount of BAB.
- Our support of Bitcoin Cash ABC may be limited to crediting balances and enabling funding (no trading). The decision on whether to enable BAB trading will be entirely at our discretion.
- Clients using margin for open spot positions in BCH are advised to close their positions ahead of the fork. See below for important details on how spot positions on margin will be handled across the fork.
- Clients who want full control over the outcome of the fork should withdraw their BCH to a private wallet. By holding a BCH balance with Kraken across the fork, clients agree that Kraken will handle the fork at its discretion, and understand that Kraken may decide not to support Bitcoin Cash ABC at all.
Follow our status page for updates before and during the fork
- Status Page: https://status.kraken.com/
This announcement only covers how the fork will be handled on Kraken’s spot exchange (https://www.kraken.com/). It does not cover how the fork will be handled by Kraken Futures (https://futures.kraken.com/).
For information on how the fork will be handled by Kraken Futures see here.
BCH Trading and Funding
BCH Trading will continue across the fork
BCH trading will proceed without interruption across the fork. After the fork, trading BCH will be trading of Bitcoin Cash Node tokens, and BCH balances will be balances of Bitcoin Cash Node tokens.
BCH funding will be halted at approximately 10 am UTC on November 15 – do not deposit BCH during the fork
Kraken will halt BCH funding (deposits and withdrawals) approximately 2 hours before the fork and safely secure funds. BCH funding will be re-enabled after the outcome of the fork is clear and the network is safe. Do not send any BCH deposits while funding is halted.
After the fork, BCH funding gateways will be re-enabled and will only support Bitcoin Cash Node transfers (gateways will have replay protection)
If you withdraw BCH after the fork, you will be withdrawing Bitcoin Cash Node tokens. Bitcoin Cash sent to Kraken should be split first so that you are only sending Bitcoin Cash Node tokens to Kraken BCH deposit addresses. Kraken will not credit coins from alternative chains sent to BCH deposit addresses after the fork.
If We Support Bitcoin Cash ABC
Requirement to support Bitcoin Cash ABC
We will support Bitcoin Cash ABC ONLY IF the hashpower on the ABC network is at least 10% of the hashpower on the Bitcoin Cash Node network. It must sustain this level in a reasonably stable way – brief spikes above 10% will not count. We will give the ABC network a period of time after the fork, entirely at our discretion, to meet this condition.
Crediting Bitcoin Cash ABC
We will snapshot BCH balances at the time of the fork. If we support Bitcoin Cash ABC, all clients holding Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at the time of the fork will be credited with an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash ABC (BAB). See the section below on timing of the fork for the exact time at which we will snapshot BCH balances.
Bitcoin Cash ABC funding
If we support Bitcoin Cash ABC after the fork, we will enable funding only after it is safe to do so. Do not send Bitcoin Cash Node tokens to BAB deposit addresses as they will not be credited.
Bitcoin Cash ABC trading
Note that our support of Bitcoin Cash ABC may not extend to trading (supporting BAB deposits and withdrawals only). If we do support trading, we will announce the the BAB trading pairs at a later date.
BCH long spot positions on margin held across the fork will result in a BAB credit
If you hold a BCH long spot position on margin across the fork, it will carry over and can be closed at any time in the usual way. If we support BAB, you will also receive a BAB credit to your balance corresponding to the margin position.
example 1: long 10 BCH/USD = +10 BAB after the fork
example 2: long 10 BCH/XBT = +10 BAB after the fork
Note that you will receive the BAB credit even if we do not support BAB trading.
BCH short spot positions on margin held across the fork will result in a BAB debit
If you hold a BCH short spot position on margin across the fork, it will carry over and can be closed at any time in the usual way. However, please note that you will also receive a BAB debit. The debit could result in a negative BAB balance in your account that must be corrected by either buying or depositing BAB.
example 1: short 10 BCH/USD = -10 BAB after the fork
example 2: short 10 BCH/XBT = -10 BAB after the fork
Why the debit? The BCH margin used to open the short spot position must be settled in full to close the position, and post-fork this means that tokens from both chains must be settled.
Any account with a negative BAB balance will be placed on withdrawal lock until the balance is corrected.
Note that if we don’t support BAB deposits or trading, then a negative BAB balance will be corrected against other balances in your account. This will be done automatically by Kraken, with the asset chosen to correct the balance at Kraken’s discretion.
Time of the Fork and Balance Snapshot
Time of the fork
The exact time of the fork cannot be known in advance because it is based on the median time past of the last 11 blocks (MTP-11). The fork will occur when the MTP-11 is greater than or equal to UNIX timestamp 1605441600 (Nov 15 2020 at 12:00PM UTC). Check our status page ahead of the fork for updates on when the fork will occur.
Time of the balance snapshot
We will use the timestamp of the last common block for our snapshot of BCH balances right before the fork. In other words, the timestamp of the first block that makes the MTP-11 increment to UNIX timestamp 1605441600 (Nov 15 2020 at 12:00PM UTC). See the section above for an explanation of MTP-11. If we support BAB, we will look at the BCH balance you had at this timestamp and credit an equal amount of BAB to your balance (so if you had 10 BCH at this time, you will end up with 10 BCH and 10 BAB).
Warnings and Disclaimers
Traders using margin for open BCH spot positions should be very cautious across the fork
Traders using margin for open BCH spot positions are advised to be very cautious across the fork, by either reducing their position sizes or closing out positions entirely before the fork. In addition to the provisions described above (possible BAB credits and debits), traders using margin should plan for the possibility of extreme volatility and unfavorable forced liquidations surrounding the fork. As always, traders using margin are strongly encouraged to set stops.
A word of caution for everyone
Kraken makes no promises, guarantees or warranties on the outcome of the fork. We will make our best effort to handle things in a way that benefits the most clients, but clients should manage their own wallets/coins if they want perfect control. Kraken will not be held responsible for any circumstances that result in the loss of BAB.