It happened. Bitcoin forked. There are now two Bitcoins: Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Hopefully, you took your Bitcoin off the exchanges before the split and took control of your private keys. If you did, you now own both and can decide what, if anything, you want to do your Bitcoin Cash.
This post shows you how to split your hodling in two using a simple, free wallet app, and how to then trade your BCH for BTC, or fiat, if you prefer.
Disclaimer: I am only doing this with very small amounts of BTC held in paper wallets I created a few months ago. This process involves risk, more than usual with the current uncertainty, and you may want to wait for dust to settle before shifting any serious amounts. Read on at your own risk! (and read to the end before you do anything)
These are the giveaway paper wallets left over from a talk I did in May. BTC was transferred to the wallets’ public addresses long before the split – in block number 467885 to be precise. Those transactions are valid on both blockchains, so how do I claim the BCH and the BTC?
At the time of writing, many of the wallet app providers are either sitting on the fence with their BCH position, or haven’t yet figured out how they’re going to support BCH, but after some research I found one that seems to work just fine, Coinomi. Unfortunately, it’s Android only at the moment.
Once the app is installed, all you need to do is set a wallet for each Bitcoin flavour.
Then in each wallet, scan the private key.
You’ll end up with an amount of BTC and BCH, minus the transaction fees.
Now it’s time to sell the BCH…
As I write, I am waiting for Kraken to approve my ‘Tier 1’ verification, which would allow me to deposit and withdraw crypto. I think they’re probably overwhelmed at the moment as the site keeps going down. I’ve also tried Bitfinex but get an error when trying to generate a BCH address to send to.
Also, it’s been seven hours since the last BCH block was mined so there are still obstacles to shifting BCH. I will update this post as soon things change.