Ter the past year, we’re seen the rise of a fresh phenomenon ter the Bitcoin world: deliberate chain splits.
Since a voortdurend chain split had never actually occurred before summer 2018, there wasgoed an air of fear and uncertainty about what the implications of a split would be. How disastrous would it be if there were two Bitcoins ter existence?
Would they cannibalize each other? Would the network’s reputation take an irreparable succesnummer? Would the ecosystem partition into smaller and smaller hostile factions?
Bitcoin Specie Blazes a Trail
Those questions were busted broad open te August when Bitcoin Metselspecie soundly split off to pursue its own vision.
The much-feared event went relatively slickly, and to the verrassing of many observers, the price of both coins proceeded on a constant upward trajectory.
And from the holder’s perspective — this wasgoed good! Now you had two coins, the total value of which wasgoed considerably larger than what your BTC wasgoed worth before the split.
Spil more and more exchanges listed both coins, the Bitcoin world spotted that it wasgoed something fresh, it wasgoed profitable, and it had precedent. Te late October, Bitcoin Gold followed suit, and the floodgates were thrown open.
Other Coins Join the Party
Since then, we’ve seen half a dozen announcements for upcoming amiable splits to the network. You may have seen references not only to Bitcoin Gold, but Bitcoin Diamond or Bitcoin Platinum. There are even airdrops that haven’t latched on to the Bitcoin name, but are crediting BTC holders with free coin. You may have heard of Stellar Lumens or Byteball.
Getting thesis free coins are a good trading chance. You can add them to your portfolio or commence speculating, but there’s an even simpler strategy. They’ve bot proven spil a safe way to simply increase your Bitcoin stash, so that’s what many traders have bot doing.
But what you’re very likely wondering now is…how do I get a hold of my free money? Well, that’s what we’re here to help you out with.
Before wij start, there are two things wij need to understand. The very first is the concept of private keys. Ter brief, if your funds are on your account on an exchange or other online service, then you don’t hold your private keys. This means that you may or may not be able to voorkoop your reserve coins, based on whether or not your business supported it.
On the other palm, if your bitcoins are stored on a wallet or hardware device that stores your private key, then you can, at least ter theory, rechtsvordering your coins on both chains.
The other concept wij need to understand is a “fork date” or “snapshot”.
Fork Dates and Snapshots
When some developers determine they’re going to fork off of the Bitcoin network, they choose a particular block, and announce that from that block onward, they will be continuing on their old chain. What this means is that if you possessed any Bitcoin at the time of that block, then you may be entitled to the same amount ter the forked coin.
The simplest example is a fork date where the fresh network commences operation more or less instantly at that fork. This is what Bitcoin Contant did.
On August 1st, after block 478558, Bitcoin Metselspecie continued on their own chain. If you possessed Bitcoin at that time, you then possessed BTC, and BCH. Now, not all exchanges supported the coin split, at least not at very first, so you may or may not have bot out of luck. But if you had your own wallet, then there’s a good chance you could optie it. Particularly useful are Trezor or Ledger wallets, which quickly built ter functionality to let you rechtsvordering your Bitcoin Specie.
When it comes to individual exchanges, they each had to choose their own policy, and would have made public statements to that effect, so you’ll have to check them out on a case by case ondergrond.
If you’re somewhere te the middle, and think you might still have some Bitcoin Metselspecie lounging around te your own wallet, there are several options for you, spil outlined ter this guide here.
Let’s budge on to fork number two: Bitcoin Gold. This fork happened ter a slightly different style, because even however it split from block 491407 on October 24th, the network didn’t launch until a few weeks straks, on November 12th. What this means, is that the Bitcoin Gold fork took a “snapshot” of the blockchain on October 24th, and determined to credit everyone based on the BTC they possessed at that date.
So again, if you possessed Bitcoin on October 24th, you might have some Bitcoin Gold to voorwaarde. If you had it on an exchange or other business, find out if they honored the fork. If you had your bitcoins on your own wallet then, you can go about claiming them much te the same style spil with Bitcoin Contant. (Again, the hardware giants, Trezor and Ledger, quickly implemented a ordinary way to divide the coins…it will vary depending on other wallets.)
Beware of Scams!
Both Bitcoin Specie and Bitcoin Gold were rather vooraanstaand and sizable networks upon creation, but the forks and airdrops following have seen less and less widespread acceptance. The third fork wasgoed Bitcoin Diamond, which wasgoed far less charming. It wasgoed only credited by a handful of exchanges, (Korbit, for example), and wasgoed exposed spil a scam shortly thereafter.
While it’s not going to nipt you any money at this point, it’s worth pointing out spil a reminder that not all that glitters is gold. So be careful about fresh software claiming to fresh you some effortless dividends.
That being said, it seems like a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for several upcomers this month. Te the works are Bitcoin Platinum on December 12th, Super Bitcoin on December 17th, and Lightning Bitcoin on December 23rd (don’t get this man confused with the Lightning Network which is entirely different animal).
It seems spil however this trend is catching on, too, because there are just many to list all te a chunk like this. Fortunately, there are a duo of sites and communities attempting to keep track, like here and here.
Very first, determine if you had any bitcoins at the adequate fork date.
If your Bitcoin wasgoed on an exchange, do a quick search for anything they might have announced about the fork you’re interested ter, or voeling them about it.
If you’ve bot using your own wallet, see if they’ve included splitting contraptions, and then you can send to a supporting exchange to sell or trade.
If you’ve got your own private keys but there isn’t a native contraption supporting the fresh fork, you’ll have to take things on a case by case poot. There will be information on most of the fresh forks’ sites explaining how to acquire your coins, but be wary of scams!