Recently, there has been some talk about the possibility of the Bitcoin block chain “forking” or splitting into two chains, and subsequently, the BTC currency splitting into two separate currencies, possibly called BTC and BTU.
If the fork happens, GateHub Fifth is prepared.
Issuance of forked coin balances
All holders of GateHub Fifth’s BTC at the time of the fork will keep any existing balances, and will also be issued the same amount of the new coin.
For BTC held in GateHub Fifth’s hosted wallets, this process will be quick and won’t require any user interaction.
Handling the BTC held in our users’ Ripple wallets is slightly more involved due to the properties of the Ripple protocol. We, like any other Ripple gateway, can only proceed with funding our users’ wallets with new (forked) coins if the Ripple wallet explicitly allows the new currency by setting a trustline. Only the Ripple wallet owner (holder of the Ripple wallet private key) can allow new currencies by setting the trustline. To facilitate smooth issuance of the new (forked) coins, we will enable our users to issue this trust in advance, before the fork.
When we deem the probability of bitcoin forking high, we will enable our users to add the required trustline in a single click.
Our users that will have required trustlines already set up will receive forked coins immediately after fork on their ripple wallets and have all the power of trading and transferring them within the Ripple network immediately.
Trading will continue as usual
Trading of the (old and new) coins on the Ripple network will be, thanks to the 100% up-time of the Ripple network, completely uninterrupted by the fork.
Deposits and withdrawals will be suspended
We cannot at this time guarantee deposits and withdrawals on the losing chain to be honored or processed.
During the period of the fork, and until we consider it safe to re-enable them, GateHub Fifth Bitcoin withdrawals and deposits will be temporarily suspended.
We strongly suggest for our users to not make any Bitcoin deposits during this time: all such deposits on the winning chain will be delayed and processed only after the fork is resolved.
Potential support for other Ripple gateways
Since there are other BTC gateways on the Ripple network, we will provide some basic support for users of our wallet client to set a trustline to such gateways, provided the gateway in question decides to support the fork and is willing to cooperate with us. We will keep our users up to date about fork support from other Ripple gateways. So far, to our knowledge no other gateway has made a statement or request on this issue.