Yesterday, August 1, 2017, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was successfully launched. BCH is a fork of bitcoin (BTC), which means everyone who had BTC in their breadwallet at the time of the fork now also owns the same amount of BCH in addition to their BTC. You can read more about forks here, and you can see yesterday's announcement about BCH here.
Now that BCH successfully exists, many users have been asking us about how to access the BCH stored in their breadwallet. The price of BCH has risen considerably on the exchanges that have chosen to support it, and understandably many of our users want to move their BCH to an exchange to take advantage of this opportunity.
First, however, it is important for users to understand a few details about the state of the network.
The bitcoin network is maintained by “miners”, and the work required to maintain the network scales up as more miners participate. BCH just launched, and it will take time for miners to get started and improve the performance of the network. This means BCH transactions could take 6-12 hours to be processed, compared to the 10-30 minute processing time of BTC.
For extra security, many bitcoin exchanges don’t allow users to sell their funds immediately after depositing them. Instead, they wait for additional processing by miners (called “confirmations”) before crediting users with their deposit. For BTC, many exchanges require 6 confirmations which usually means a waiting time of 60 minutes before you can trade your funds.
Exchanges are being extra cautious with BCH, however, and are requiring users to wait for 20 confirmations. Added to the slower processing time of BCH, this equals to a possible waiting period of 5 days or more before your funds will be available to trade.
As you can see, even if you could send out your BCH immediately in an attempt to cash in on the current price offered on exchanges, you wouldn’t actually be able to trade those funds for many days, possibly even a week or more.
The network is expected to improve as time goes on, and the delays could be shortened considerably. However, it could also get worse just as easily as it could get better. It is really impossible to tell at this point, but we feel it is important that users be aware of the situation and understand that BCH is simply not easy to move around right now.
We fully understand our users’ interest in getting access to their BCH. It is your money, and you deserve easy access to it! Our current plan is to add a simple feature to the existing breadwallet app, that will let users send their entire balance of BCH to an address of their choosing (for example, users could choose to send it to a bitcoin exchange). This operation can only be done once, and your entire BCH balance will be sent to the address provided. Your BTC will not be affected in any way.
This solution will at least give users the ability to move their BCH out of their breadwallet. We will continue to monitor the health of the network and explore any security implications, and if things continue to look good we plan to release a full-featured version of breadwallet that supports BCH for sending and receiving.
Some important notes about this solution:
- Using this newest feature to send out your BCH can only be done once, to a single address, and will include all the BCH your breadwallet held at the time the fork happened. If you received any BCH after the fork (not many people have), it will not be sent out by this feature and will remain in your breadwallet.
- There is no guarantee as to how long the transaction will take to clear. It’s possible your BCH funds will be locked up for an extended amount of time, or the transaction may fail altogether (if the transaction fails, you will be able to try again).
- We do not yet have a firm estimate when this feature will be ready, but it is currently our top priority and we hope to have it out as soon as possible. Be wary of scams. We will post another update once the feature has been added.
- Any new BCH sent to your breadwallet at any time after the fork will not be visible in your wallet, and although it will be safe, you will not have access to it unless we release a full-featured BCH version of breadwallet. We recommend you do not send BCH to your breadwallet at this time.
- This will not affect your BTC is any way. You can continue to send and receive like normal.
As always, the security of our users and their bitcoin is our main focus. We appreciate our awesome community of breadwallet supporters, and look forward to providing you will the best bitcoin experience possible.
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