Update: As of July 27th, BIP 91 was succesfully activated. There will be no fork between UASF and legacy nodes. However, there is a new development from the Bitcoin ABC community, who will attempt a UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork) on August 1st. You can find more information about this topic in a newer blog post.
In this blog entry we will describe our plans for a potential blockchain fork on August 1st, 2017. We will keep this text up to date over the next days. For general information about how we handle forks, have a look at our previous blog article "Bitcoin forking?".
What will happen on August 1st?
Both, BIP 148 (commonly referred as "UASF") and BIP 91 (part of the "SegWit2x" plan), are scheduled to be activated on this date and aim to improve the Bitcoin protocol. Unfortunately, these "BIPs" are developed and pushed by two competing communities. While both proposals are compatible with each other, there is the possibility that BIP 91 gets activated too late and the blockchain splits apart regardless. If you are interested in technical details of this potential fork and the possible outcomes, have a look at "A Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide to Surviving the BIP 148 UASF".
We are optimistic that BIP 91 gets activated soon enough and nothing bad will happen on this date. Nevertheless, we will disable deposits and withdrawals from Sunday, July 30th 5:00 PM (New York time) until Wednesday, August 2nd. If a fork happens, as defined per our terms of service, it might take longer until we reactivate deposit and withdrawals. Keep in mind that there will be some price volatility during these days; if you want to have full control over your funds, please withdraw them from 1Broker.
What are the chances of a fork on August 1st?
As of July 27th, BIP 91 was activated. There will be no fork between UASF and legacy nodes. However, there is a new development from the Bitcoin ABC community, who will attempt a UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork). You can find more information about this topic in a newer blog post.
Will clients lose funds when a fork happens?
In terms of the Bitcoin you own, no funds will be lost. If both currencies survive you can even withdraw and spend your funds twice.
It is not possible to predict if the combined spot price of the new currencies is higher or lower than the Bitcoin price before the fork. This means that, expressed in USD for example, nobody can predict if your Bitcoin holdings would rise or fall in value. This will be decided by the free market.
If the Bitcoin Blockchain does not fork on August 1st, will it fork in the future?
Yes, we expect that there will be a controversial fork sooner or later. Bitcoin ABC, which will be released in the coming weeks, is yet another competing implementation of Bitcoin's consensus rules. Additionally, there is a planned hard fork to to a block size of 2 Megabytes by the "SegWit2x" supporters. It is very hard to predict the economic support of such a blockchain fork and its side effects beforehand, but we will keep you informed via this blog and our social media channels.
As always, 1Broker takes no sides in the ongoing blocksize debate.