The Bitcoin Gold Fork; Shrouded in Confusion…. Here are the FAQ

Bitcoin Goldhard fork” means “free coins” for holders of Bitcoin, but it is unclear if the snapshot date is Oct. 25, block 491,407, or something else.[1][2][3]

Meanwhile the official site for Bitcoin Gold, Bittrex.com, and Coinbase.com have suggested different snapshot dates (essentially; they agree on block 491,407… but not other specifics).

Since they agree on that block, it only makes sense to be in BTC (in a wallet or exchange that supports the fork) at block 491,407 (which occurred early evening Oct. 23 EST).

UPDATE: See Bitcoin Gold officially launched, see the most the recent update and find out how to claim your Bitcoin Gold. This page explains being in for the snapshot date. If you were, then see the link for how to claim your Gold.

How To Get Bitcoin Gold

If you were in Bitcoin in when Block 491,407 occurred (in a Bitcoin wallet or exchange that supports the fork), you technically have Bitcoin Gold.

The Bottomline on getting BitCoin Gold; be in Bitcoin in a wallet or exchange that supports the fork at Block 491,407 (then wait): The simplest safe harbor is to assume what the official Bitcoin Gold site says is right and make sure you hold Bitcoin at block 491,407 (or to be extra safe Oct 23rd to Oct 26th). You can see the current block here. Block 491,407 will occur sometime mid-day / early evening EST on the 23rd despite any other reports. It is unclear if this will ultimately result in BTC users getting Bitcoin Gold, but those who to take the chance should have Bitcoin in proper storage when that block occurs (as logically that is more important than the dates… although with that said, things are uncertain so we can’t offer a 100% certain answer to any of this). Read about how it all went down with Bitcoin Cash to get a sense of how this might go down. See also TREZOR Statement on Bitcoin Gold Fork (it notably warns about the lack of replay protection).

“The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) initial coin distribution method is exactly the same as that used by Bitcoin Cash (BCH). All Bitcoin holders who possess BTC private keys on October 25 (block 491 407) will receive Bitcoin Gold on the rate of 1 BTC = 1 BTG (If you have 20 BTC you will receive 20 BTG). You need to control BTC private keys in order to make Bitcoin Gold transactions.”

– Official Bitcoin Gold Site (Ignore the date; it may be an important date for the Gold project, but it is confusing as Block 491,407 occurred on the 23rd)

TIP: After block 491,407 you can spend or move out your Bitcoins. A snapshot was taken at block 491,407. It was only in that moment that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Gold were directly connected. Moving forward, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Gold should be considered completely different coins.

How to Claim / Collect Bitcoin Gold Tokens Assuming You Were in Bitcoin During the Fork

From there, the next thing we all want to know is, “how exactly do we get the actual BitcoinGold tokens assuming we were in ownership of our private keys at the fork, were in a wallet that supported the fork, or on an exchange that supported the fork?”

Assuming you were in a wallet/exchange that supported the fork during the fork at block 491,407, here is what you do to get your Bitcoin Gold tokens: For now, one should follow the advice on the official Bitcoin Gold site (but should do so with caution; see update below for insight into how and when to collect your Bitcoin Gold). Watch out for fake instructions and fake wallets (see examples of fishy instructions for claiming Bitcoin Gold tokens via fishy wallets). You can lose your Bitcoin if you make the wrong moves here. Once the official site gives instructions, we will verify and post them. See the official BitcoinGold site. See also our article: Don’t Get Scammed: Hodl Your Bitcoin Gold.

“Any secure Bitcoin wallet that gives the user exclusive control of the cryptographic private keys is a suitable location to store your coins prior to the October 25 fork. Some wallets may offer you direct access to your BTG, while others may require you to take additional technical steps. Verified wallets that support BTC and BTG side-by-side will be listed on the Bitcoin Gold home page. We will publish guides for retrieving BTG from the most popular wallets, including Bitcoin Core, Electrum, Mycelium, hardware wallets, paper wallets, and more.”

– Official Bitcoin Gold Site (Again, ignore the date for the reasons noted above)

UPDATE: The official site is starting to list wallets that can be used to claim Bitcoin Gold. You can follow the instructions in those links. However, in general, you won’t be able to access your Bitcoin Gold until after November 1st. For an example of a legit way to collect Bitcoin Gold see: Collecting your free Bitcoin Gold ($BTG) coins with Coinomi from Medium.com.

TIP: You already have your Gold if you were in a wallet/exchange that supported the fork during the fork at block 491,407 (i.e. if you held your private keys or if you were on a platform that supported the fork). That is, you have the private keys associated with your Bitcoin Gold it even if you don’t have Bitcoin Gold tokens in a Bitcoin Gold wallet.

TIP: Word on the street (which can be verified via GitHub code; see following link) is that Bitcoin Gold has been premined. Consider what Bittrex says, “Bitcoin Gold codebase also contains a private premine of 8,000 blocks (100,000 BTG). Please be aware that if a market does open there is a possibility of the developers selling their premined BTG on the open market.”

Notes From Before the Bitcoin Gold Fork

Everything below is essentially notes from before the Bitcoin Gold fork.

This page has been updated to reflect what we all need to know today and moving forward. Meanwhile, old insights have remained published below.

Thus, the result is some of the information below is speculation from before the fork. Essentially everything you need to know moving forward is already covered above. However, feel free to keep reading for more insight (it might for example help you better understand what to expect for the next fork).

TIP: One might consider holding BTC after block 491,407 as a safe harbor (especially if held on an exchange where they may create their own snapshot; for example, on Bittrex I’d hold at the exact time they say in their press release noted below and at the official block 491,407). Also, if all the notes aren’t a big enough hint: You should be cautious, read what each source has to say (Coinbase, Bittrex, Trezor) and make your own call as to what your move is for the fork. Good luck!

NOTES: This page has been updated to reflect what we have learned as more information has been released.

NOTES: Some sites had listed block 478,558 is being associated with Bitcoin Gold… BUT that block is associated with Bitcoin Cash. Thus, this was likely incorrect information and that block can likely be ignored. That helps clarify things, but it still leaves unanswered questions. The current block here on Oct. 22nd at 1pm EST is 491,172. If the snapshot for Bitcoin Gold is block 491,407, then you should use blockexplorer to keep track of the block we are at and make sure you hold BTC at the proper block [originally said “then its projected to happen around 3am on the 24th like Bittrex says“] (the info from Bittrex was likely incorrect as a general statement; block 491,172 is fast approaching here on the 23rd). See BlockExplorer.Com for current block.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Coinbase has come out and announced the Bitcoin Gold fork has already taken place! This obviously conflicts with the message on the Gold site and Bittrex. If what Coinbase says is true, it means that the Oct 25th date stated on the official Bitcoin Gold site is misleading (although no one seems to know what is the case for sure). This means that the theorizing we do below should be considered only after you consider what Coinbase says (as if Coinbase is right, the “capture” date has already passed and that date is actually unknown to the public). This does not bode well for Bitcoin Gold if Coinbase is right and the Bitcoin Gold site is not being forthcoming about this. Please read Coinbase’s take here: Bitcoin Gold FAQ.

Consider, Bittrex.com says this:

“If you have a Bitcoin (BTC) balance on Bittrex during the BTG snapshot block 491,407 occurring approximately on October 24, 3am PT (10am UTC), you will be additionally credited the equivalent amount of Bitcoin Gold (BTG) on a 1:1 basis….

….Bitcoin Gold intends to perform a wallet balance snapshot at Bitcoin block 491,407 but the actual Bitcoin Gold network will launch publicly at a later undetermined date and time (the only guidance is the statement “after the launch on Nov 1″).”

Meanwhile Coinbase says this:

“The fork has already privately occurred at a point known only to the Bitcoin Gold development team. The Bitcoin Gold blockchain will be made publicly available when the Bitcoin blockchain reaches block number 491,407, which is currently estimated to occur on October 25, 2017.”

Meanwhile the Official Bitcoin Gold Site says:

“The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) initial coin distribution method is exactly the same as that used by Bitcoin Cash (BCH). All Bitcoin holders who possess BTC private keys on the October 25 (block 491 407) will receive Bitcoin Gold on the rate of 1 BTC = 1 BTC (If you have 20 BTC you will receive 20 BTG). You need to control BTC private keys in order to make Bitcoin Gold transactions.”

Why Aren’t Things More Clear on Bitcoin Gold?

With the above in mind, if we seem shaded out, that is partly because, as Bittrex says:

Bitcoin Gold does not currently have:

Bitcoin Gold was announced about a month ago and is shrouded in mystery. The whole thing is a little fishy… but like, no one wants to miss out on free coins, so there are many who want a clear answer. Unfortunately, the only answer might be to hold Bitcoin from the 24th to 26th and increase your chances of getting the snapshot date right.

TIP: The above is what we know now. Below is the original article before the Coinbase and Bittrex announcements.

The Original Article Before I Saw the Coinbase and Bittrex Announcements

  • If it is October 25th, then if you have BTC on that date you get 1 free Bitcoin Gold for every Bitcoin you have then.
  • Meanwhile, if the date has passed… then there is nothing one can do now. That is, if Coinbase is right, the deed is done.
  • Meanwhile, if it is block 491,407, then the date should be around 3am on the 24th.

Consider what the official FAQ on the Bitcoin Gold Site (which you should read for yourself) says:

“Bitcoin Gold is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain that will occur on October 25, 2017. At the predetermined block height, Bitcoin Gold miners will begin creating blocks with a new proof-of-work algorithm, and this will cause a bifurcation of the Bitcoin blockchain. The original Bitcoin blockchain will continue on unaltered, but a new branch of the blockchain will split off from the original chain. The new branch is a distinct blockchain with the same transaction history as Bitcoin up until the fork, but then diverges from it. As a result of this process, a new cryptocurrency will be born.”

The above implies that the block number, not the date is what is important. However, elsewhere in the FAQ it implies that Oct 25th is the key date. For example, the section on “What wallet should I keep my BTC in to make sure I get my free BTG?” says:

“Any secure Bitcoin wallet that gives the user exclusive control of the cryptographic private keys is a suitable location to store your coins prior to the October 25 fork. Some wallets may offer you direct access to your BTG, while others may require you to take additional technical steps. Verified wallets that support BTC and BTG side-by-side will be listed on the Bitcoin Gold home page. We will publish guides for retrieving BTG from the most popular wallets, including Bitcoin Core, Electrum, Mycelium, hardware wallets, paper wallets, and more.”

Then, the site specifically says (as noted above):

“The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) initial coin distribution method is exactly the same as that used by Bitcoin Cash (BCH). All Bitcoin holders who possess BTC private keys on the October 25 (block 491 407) will receive Bitcoin Gold on the rate of 1 BTC = 1 BTC (If you have 20 BTC you will receive 20 BTG). You need to control BTC private keys in order to make Bitcoin Gold transactions.”

Given the FAQ, we can assume that Oct 25th is the magic date, and that the block number is less important… but there is assuming going on there and that isn’t the same as hard fact.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I suspect that block 491,407 is the key and the Bitcoin Gold site is perhaps just incorrectly guessing on what date that block will occur.

The difference makes all the difference.

Further, there is still a chance that Bitcoin Gold isn’t real, or that it is real but will end up having no real value.

All the unknowns kind of make Bitcoin Gold’s hard fork a source of confusion (well that and the fact that the site went live less than a month ago).

We can’t offer you answers to questions no one knows the answer to here…. We can however offer a safe harbor.

The simplest safe harbor is to make sure you hold at block 491, 407. Don’t worry about dates, don’t worry about what anyone else says. Just be in a wallet that supports Bitcoin Gold at block 491 407.

That is, one would want to hold Bitcoin in a wallet that supports the fork (so a full node or an exchange/broker that supports Gold) at that block number. Or, to be even safer, from the 23rd to the 26th of October… but keep in mind that anything could happen.

For all we know, Oct. 25th could be the date of a bloodbath (hard crash)… or like block 491,408 could be. Thus, call a low that you are willing to get out at, and be ready to sell off your coins and lose your Bitcoin Gold (setting stops won’t cut it generally speaking, because you need your coins in a wallet you own to take advantage of the fork).

Taking a big hit on Bitcoin for the prospect of Bitcoin Gold isn’t something everyone would want to do. The choice is yours, but don’t chase the Gold to the degree that you end up taking an uncomfortable position in Bitcoin. It wouldn’t have been worth it with Bitcoin Cash (if it was that Bitcoin had gone down during the Cash date and stayed down), it likely won’t be worth it with Gold (in the worst of cases).

That said, to be clear, the crypto market did rather well during the Bitcoin Cash fork, so it could be the case again.

TIP: Learn more about Bitcoin Gold from the official site.

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Citations

  1. Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts are Confused Over the Bitcoin Gold Premine Date
  2. The Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork explained
  3. Bitcoin Gold


"Bitcoin Gold Fork Means “Free Coins”… But How Exactly to Get them is Unclear" contains information about the following Cryptocurrencies:

Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold

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