As expected, yesterday the Bitcoin blockchain experienced a “fork”, in which a new coin called “Bitcoin Cash” was created.
That means that, if you had bitcoins (BTC) in Xapo at the time of the fork, you now have your bitcoins and an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). For your reference, the fork happened after block 478558 on Tuesday, August 1st at 6:24pm UTC.
As stated in our original post about how we will handle any fork, every Xapo customer will receive the BCH they are entitled to based on their BTC holdings in Xapo at the time of the fork. They will have the option to have Xapo sell the BCH and convert the value to BTC or to withdraw the BCH from Xapo.
We are receiving many questions from customers about when they will have access to their BCH. Our answer is the same as prior to the fork, which is that access to the BCH will occur as soon as we can safely enable it.
Extra urgency may be felt because the BCH price has risen significantly since the fork and many people want to sell. There are various issues involved in enabling access to and transacting in BCH – many of which are outside our control. Trading in BCH is extremely restricted and reputable exchanges enabling BCH have announced that it will be at least “several days” before any BCH deposits and withdrawals can take place, so current prices are only suggestive at best. The price may vary as the market becomes more liquid and individuals and companies (like Xapo) are able to transact safely in BCH.
Regardless, Xapo’s priority will continue to be the security of operations and safety of customers’ assets. Today, in order to safely manage your BTC, the necessary keys to sign transactions are accessible only after several layers of security, both technical and physical. Every time you send BTC from Xapo, we have processes that follow these security rules before your transactions are signed by those keys. This is what makes us the safest and most reputable place to store your BTC. In order to send your BCH, we need to put together operational signature processes similar to the ones we use to sign BTC so that we maintain the security standards that distinguish us.
In sum, as anticipated in our communications to our clients before the fork, the process for accessing your BCH in Xapo will take some reasonable time, until Xapo can meet the high security standards that we offer to our clients. We will keep our customers updated on the BCH situation and will provide estimates on timing as soon as we can. We ask that you check our twitter feed for updates first, before contacting customer support about BCH-related issues.
Please know that everyone at Xapo is working hard to provide the best service we can to all of our customers and be assured that we always prioritize the security of our customers’ assets above all else. We ask for your patience over the coming days.