This post explains what customers can expect from Coinbase in the event of a split (or fork) in the Bitcoin network. You can read more about what a digital currency fork is here.
Our first priority is the safety of customer funds. In the event of a fork, customer fiat currency (USD, EUR and GBP) and digital currencies (bitcoin, ether and litecoin) are safe.
On August 1st, 2017 there is a proposal to make changes to the bitcoin software. This proposal, known as Bitcoin Cash, is likely to create a fork in the Bitcoin network. This means that after August 1st, 2017 there are likely to be two versions of the Bitcoin blockchain and two separate digital currencies.
In the event of two separate blockchains after August 1, 2017 we will only support one version. We have no plans to support the Bitcoin Cash fork. We have made this decision because it is hard to predict how long the alternative version of bitcoin will survive and if Bitcoin Cash will have future market value.
This means if there are two separate digital currencies — bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCC) — customers with Bitcoin stored on Coinbase will only have access to the current version of bitcoin we support (BTC). Customers will not have access to, or be able to withdraw, bitcoin cash (BCC).
Customers who wish to access both bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCC) need to withdraw bitcoin stored on Coinbase before 11.59 pm PT July 31, 2017. If you do not wish to access bitcoin cash (BCC) then no action is required.
We plan to temporarily suspend bitcoin buy / sells, deposits and withdrawals on August 1, 2017 as the fork is likely to cause disruption to the bitcoin network. This means your funds will be safe but you will be unable to access your bitcoin (BTC) for a short period of time.
We will keep you updated on this event through our blog, status page and twitter.
Update for customers with bitcoin stored on Coinbase was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.