How to Fork With Coinbase and Get Free Coins
UPDATE: Bitcoin Segwit2x was cancelled. Keep an eye out for updates from Coinbase on Bitcoin Cash.
A Summary of How Bitcoin Segwith2x and Bitcoin Gold Work With Coinbase
The gist is that Coinbase will always do what they think brings the most value to their customers and will generally support both forks (just like past ones). With that said, there are some caveats (especially with Bitcoin Gold).
- With Bitcoin Gold, customers who held Bitcoin at block 494,784 will get 1 Bitcoin Gold for every Bitcoin they had stored in Coinbase if and when Coinbase deems Bitcoin Gold legit.
- With the Segwit2x fork, customers who hold Bitcoin at block 494,784 will get 1 Segwit2x Bitcoin for every Bitcoin they hold. That will happen in an orderly manner as per the rules below.
The reason Segwit2x gets clear rules and Bitcoin Gold gets murky ones is because… Bitcoin Gold’s whole release was a little murky.
NOTE: The official Coinbase word on Bitcoin Gold is, “your account will be credited with an amount of Bitcoin Gold equal to your Bitcoin (BTC) balance at the time of the fork.” That doesn’t say there was an early or late snapshot, that says if you held at block 491,407 (also phrased as “after block 491,406”) you get a 1:1 ratio of Bitcoin Gold for Bitcoin. The caveat is however: You don’t get it right away, you get it if-and-when Coinbase gives Gold the thumbs up. If it doesn’t get a thumbs up, it will be because it isn’t safe (and then chances are you really don’t want it anyways).
Important Excerpts of the Official Coinbase Statement
Below are the important parts of the official Coinbase statements on the forks.
To sum it up, to get Segwit2x coins (Bitcoin Gold is simpler and already happened):
You may want to hold Bitcoin (BTC) 24 hours before the Segwit2x fork on Coinbase and 48 hours after to be safe, but technically if you have BTC in your Coinbase wallet at block 494,784 you get both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Segwit2x (which will be called B2X by Coinbase according to the statement below).
This will notably produce two different Bitcoins, but is likely only one will maintain value comparable to Bitcoin over time (so consider that before you go selling and picking a horse). See details below.
From here forth is excerpts from Coinbase’s “Timeline and Support — Bitcoin Segwit2x and Bitcoin Gold“:
The Bitcoin Segwit2x fork is projected to take place on November 16th and will temporarily result in two bitcoin blockchains. Following the fork, Coinbase will continue referring to the current bitcoin blockchain as Bitcoin (BTC) and the forked blockchain as Bitcoin2x (B2X).
Any customer with a BTC balance on Coinbase at the time of the fork will be credited with an equal amount of the B2X asset on the Bitcoin2x blockchain. No action is required — we will automatically credit your account. So, if you have 5 BTC stored on Coinbase before the fork; you will have 5 BTC and 5 B2X following the event.
For more information about Bitcoin2x please see our FAQ page.
- Approximately 24 hours pre-fork. Coinbase will temporarily disable all bitcoin buy, sells, sends and receives. ETH and LTC will not be impacted. You will still be able to see your Bitcoin balances and monitor the price. If you plan on moving BTC into your Coinbase account, we highly recommend that you do so at least 24 hours before the fork to ensure your transfers are confirmed.
- Fork (block 494,784). Any Coinbase customer with a confirmed Bitcoin balance at this point will be credited an equal amount of Bitcoin2x.
- Within 24 hours post fork. Coinbase customers will be able to buy and sell both Bitcoin and Bitcoin2x. When you visit Coinbase.com or open your Coinbase app, you will see your new Bitcoin2x balance (in Accounts).
- Approximately 24–48 hours post fork. Once we have ensured that the blockchains are stable, Coinbase will re-enable Bitcoin and Bitcoin2x sends and receives. Please be careful when sending funds as certain wallets and bitcoin services may refer to the two blockchains differently.
The Bitcoin Gold fork is projected to take place on October 23rd. Information about this fork has been limited and there are concerns about its security and stability. As a result, we do not believe it is safe to allow support for Bitcoin Gold at this time. If the blockchain proves to be secure and valuable, Coinbase may choose to support it. At that point, your account will be credited with an amount of Bitcoin Gold equal to your Bitcoin (BTC) balance at the time of the fork.
You can read more about Bitcoin Gold at our FAQ page.
Over the coming weeks, we will keep you updated on this event through our blog, status page and twitter.
NOTE: And that is it. One thing this shows us is that Coinbase is a smart layer of protection for those who don’t want to brave the crypto space alone. Another thing it shows is that BLOCK NUMBER MATTERS with forks. Everyone was talking about dates with Bitcoin Gold, but ultimately it was a specific block (as one logically might have suspected) that mattered. Same for Segwit2x.