Japan’s Bitcoin Exchanges Announce Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork Plans

| Updated
by Andy Watson · 3 min read
Japan’s Bitcoin Exchanges Announce Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork Plans
Photo: Martin Abegglen / Flickr

Seven of Japan’s bitcoin exchanges have announced their policies concerning Bitcoin Gold hard fork.

Update: Bitcoin Gold hard fork is already active and the process is currently underway and just similar to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The Bitcoin Gold will also be released to the existing Bitcoin users once the process gets completed.

The largest bitcoin exchanges in Japan have expressed their opinion regarding Bitcoin Gold, a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. 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 leading exchange, Bitflyer, plans to distribute and trade the new cryptocurrency. Bitflyer’s customers will be credited with an amount of Bitcoin gold corresponding to the amount of Bitcoin in theirs wallets.  No suspension of service is scheduled. The exchange wrote: “If the BTG [Bitcoin Gold] split is deemed by Bitflyer to be permanent and secure in regards to customer assets, on November 1 (tentative), users will be credited with BTG and purchase and sale of BTG will be made available on Bitflyer”.

Coincheck exchange announced: “We are planning to provide bitcoin gold if a Bitcoin Gold split occurs”. But at the same time, Coincheck emphasized that it may not be able to provide the new cryptocurrency, including a lack of adequate replay protection, miner hashpower, or protection from other vulnerabilities. In addition, the coins will not be made available if Coincheck decides that the “listing of bitcoin gold is inappropriate”.

It should be noted that American Bittrex exchange supports (as opposed to Coincheck) Bitcoin Gold and indicated its position regarding the coming fork. According to the statement, Bittrex will perform a “wallet snapshot” at the time of hard fork, which will occur at block 491,407. At that time, each BTC will receive an equivalent BTG.

Everything is not clear with Bitpoint. It announced that “bitcoin gold will be given to customers according to the number of coins [they] held at the time of the split”. However, this can be delayed if the new blockchain is unstable or there is a risk of replay attacks, the exchange conveyed. No service suspension has been planned.

GMO Coin announced that Bitcoin gold will be granted to customers, but the timing has not been decided. In addition, the exchange will temporarily suspend bitcoin deposits and withdrawals around 20:00 on October 25. Furthermore, GMO Coin stated: There are no plans to offer services such as buying and selling of Bitcoin gold.

So, things are not so simple. There are reasons for fears of exchanges and they are absolutely justified. Bitcoin Gold does not currently have:

  • Fully formed consensus code
  • Implemented replay protection
  • Adequate code for testing and auditing
  • Publicly known code developers

Some of the exchanges refused to distribute Bitcoin Gold. Zaif, Fisco and Bitbank are among them.

Tech Bureau’s Zaif exchange announced that “we have decided not to grant [access to] BTG, [including] deposits, withdrawals, and transactions at this time”. A similar opinion is held by Fisco. Bitbank stated that it will not initially grant Bitcoin gold to customers, for several reasons including the incomplete state of Bitcoin Gold’s code. However, the company will take a snapshot of customer assets at the time of the split. But all these exchanges emphasize the fact that this is a matter of time.

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Andy Watson
Author Andy Watson

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